The Republic of Burundi 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.
Burundi is a Kirundi- and French-speaking country in East Africa. It is a landlocked small country with an area of 27,830 square km. Much of its south-western border is adjacent to Lake Tanganyika. On a global scale, its population density is medium. The capital of the country, which became independent on 1 July 1962 from Belgium, is Bujumbura. Burundi is a member of the regional economic communities EAC, ECCAS and COMESA.
With a Human Development Index of 0.39 Burundi ranks ninth lowest among 182 countries ranked in the UNDP Human Development Report of 2009. Life expectancy of the 8.1 million inhabitants at birth is 51 years, population growth is 3.0 percent per year. GNI is 140 US-$ per capita. External debt is 154.6 percent of gross national income. Primary school enrolment is 81.2 percent.
In as far as Burundi 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 Burundi and their representatives are able to invoke their human rights through these bodies.
All inhabitants of Burundi 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 Burundi 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 Burundi may file complaints through the ILO procedure in the cases of those conventions which Burundi has ratified.
Since Burundi is an AU member, its citizens and NGOs may file complaints to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
They 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.
Burundi has joined the International Criminal Court, it may thus be called upon in case of severe crimes.