Burkina Faso is a landlocked Sahelian country. Its Capital is Ouagadougou and its second city is Bobo-Dioulasso. It is situated in West Africa in the loop of the River Niger. The country stretches over an area of 274,122 km². It is bordered in the North and the West by Mali, in the South by Côte-d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin, and in the East by Niger.
The population is in constant evolution. It increased from 7,964,705 inhabitants in 1985, 10,312,609 in 1996 to 14,017,262 in 2006, according to the final results of the general population and housing census held in recent years. It comprises 6,768,739 men and 7,248,523 women, namely 93 men for every 100 women. The population density was estimated at 51.8 inhabitants per km² in 2006 and the annual growth rate was 3.1% per annum.
Burkina Faso is sub-divided into Territorial Communities (13 regions and 351 Districts) and Administrative Constituencies (13 regions, 45 provinces, 351 Departments).
Article 62 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights stipulates that each State Party shall commit itself to present a Report, every two years, on the legislative and other measures taken to give effect to the rights and liberties recognized and guaranteed by the Charter. Burkina Faso, which ratified the Charter on the 6th July 1984, discharged this obligation by submitting its Initial Report in October 1998 to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and by defending it in May 1999 in Bujumbura, Burundi, during the 25th Session of the ACHPR.
The present Report follows the one covering the period 1998-2002, to enable the ACHPR appreciate the significant developments that have taken place in Burkina Faso regarding the respect for human rights and in particular for the rights set out in the Charter. It presents a summary of the most recent political, social and institutional developments pertaining to the promotion and protection of human rights. It endeavours to give an account of the progress made by Burkina Faso in the field of human rights during the period under review, by indicating to what extent the political and administrative Authorities have given effect to the fundamental rights and freedoms set out in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
This Report was prepared taking into consideration the relevant directives. It was drafted by the technical department of the Ministry responsible for the promotion of human rights issues in collaboration with all the other Government Ministries. It was submitted to a validation workshop which brought together all the actors working on human rights issues. Furthermore, the draft Report was submitted to the Interministerial Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Commission (CIMDH) and adopted in the Council of Ministers meeting.