The Republic of Burkina Faso is a member of the United Nations and the African Union. It has ratified many UN Human Rights Conventions (compare list on the right) and thus has made binding international commitments to adhere to the standards laid down in these universal human rights documents.
Burkina Faso is a French-speaking country in West Africa. It is a landlocked, middle-sized country with an area of 274,200 square km. On a global scale, its population density is medium. The capital of the country, which became independent on 5 August 1960 from France, is Ouagadougou. Burkina Faso is a member of the regional economic communities ECOWAS and CEN-SAD.
With a Human Development Index of 0.39 Burkina Faso ranks sixth lowest among 182 countries ranked in the UNDP Human Development Report of 2009. Life expectancy of the 15.2 million inhabitants at birth is 52 years, population growth is 2.9 percent per year. GNI is 1,160 US-$ per capita. External debt is 21.7 percent of gross national income. Primary school enrolment is 58.1 percent.
In as far as Burkina Faso has ratified the Optional Protocols for UN Human Rights Conventions or has accepted the Competence of the corresponding UN Treaty Bodies (compare list on the right), the inhabitants of Burkina Faso and their representatives are able to invoke their human rights through these bodies.
All inhabitants of Burkina Faso may turn to the UN Human Rights Committee through procedure 1503, to the Special Rapporteurs for violations of specific human rights or to ECOSOC for women's rights violations.
Since Burkina Faso is a member state of UNESCO, its citizens may use the UNESCO procedure for human rights violations in UNESCO's fields of mandate.
Employers' or workers' and certain other organizations (not individuals) of Burkina Faso may file complaints through the ILO procedure in the cases of those conventions which Egypt has ratified.
Since Burkina Faso is an AU member, its citizens and NGOs may file complaints to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Since Burkina Faso has made a declaration under article 34.6 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, individuals as well as NGOs having an observer status at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights can plead before the Court against the country.
Burkina Faso’s citizens may also file complaints according to the EU guidelines (on Human Rights Defenders, Death Penalty and Torture) to Embassies of EU Member States and the Delegations of the European Commission.
In cases of human rights violations by multinational enterprises, they may also invoke the National Contact Point in an OECD member state.
Burkina Faso has joined the International Criminal Court, it may thus be called upon in case of severe crimes.