Human rights Even more respect for basic rights is needed

The human rights situation has improved. In the past few years, various measures have been taken to ensure respect for human rights. Among other things, a fund for the victims of political violence was set up, and reforms in the judiciary were introduced.

A woman with children at a water point in Burkina Faso

A woman with children at a water point in Burkina Faso

A woman with children at a water point in Burkina Faso

However, respect for basic rights, and specifically women's rights, is still inadequate in rural areas; women have virtually no say in political decision-making processes. Since 2009, a quota has therefore been in place for general elections that requires 30 per cent of the candidates on electoral lists to be women.

Combating female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is banned by law. Studies show that the number of cases of FGM is declining, especially for girls under 14 (with a rate of 13.3 per cent recorded in 2010 among girls aged 0 to 14 years, versus about 66 per cent in 1996). Among the adult population, most women are still affected by FGM.

In the region, Burkina Faso's political commitment to eradicating the practice of FGM is exemplary. Burkina Faso was one of the first countries in Africa to adopt a law against the mutilation practice in 1996. FGM is a punishable offense, with prison sentences of between six months and three years. In cases where FGM has had a fatal outcome, prison sentences of five to ten years are imposed.

Child labour and child trafficking are widespread

Although the rights of children and young people are enshrined in law, their living conditions remain difficult. Child labour and child trafficking are still widespread. More than 40 per cent of all children work. The majority of them are employed in hazardous and detrimental occupations, for example in gold mines. The share of children who are living separately from their parents in order to work (for instance as illegal migrants in neighbouring countries) is estimated to be 5 per cent. 52 per cent of all girls marry before they reach the age of 18.

A community health worker in the village of Djomga in Dori, northeastern Burkina Faso, talks about maternal and child health and proper hygiene.

A community health worker in the village of Djomga in Dori, northeastern Burkina Faso, talks about maternal and child health and proper hygiene.

A community health worker in the village of Djomga in Dori, northeastern Burkina Faso, talks about maternal and child health and proper hygiene.