COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination
1. At its 1236th and
1237th meetings, held on 18 and 19 August 1997, the Committee considered
the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh periodic reports
of Burkina Faso, submitted as one document (CERD/C/279/Add.2), and
adopted, at its 1242nd meeting, held on 21 August 1997, the following
2. The Committee welcomes
the presentation of the State party's reports and the presence of
its delegation and appreciates the opportunity to resume the dialogue
with the State party. The Committee regrets, however, that the report
did not follow the guidelines established by the Committee for the
presentation of reports and that the report lacked concrete information
on the practical implementation of the Convention or on laws bearing
on issues concerning the Convention. The Committee expresses its
appreciation of the delegation's oral presentation, which substantially
supplemented the written report.
B. Factors and difficulties impeding the
implementation of the Convention
3. It is noted that
the country's difficult economic situation may affect the full implementation
of the Convention in Burkina Faso.
C. Positive aspects
4. The spirit of tolerance
in Burkina Faso, the State party's active policy of equality and
non-discrimination, and the process of democratization embarked
upon since the submission of the previous report, are commended.
5. It is noted with
satisfaction that the Convention takes precedence over the national
legislation and can be directly invoked before the Courts.
6. It is noted with
appreciation that the prohibition of discrimination on any ground,
in particular of race, ethnic origin, colour, religion or caste,
is contained in the Constitution, which makes it an excellent basis
for the implementation of the Convention in Burkina Faso.
7. The recent enactment
of provisions in the Criminal Code to make racial discrimination
a criminal offence is welcomed.
8. The measures taken
by the State party to favour the use of and instruction in national
languages in education, as well as in the media, are also welcomed.
9. The establishment
of the office of Mediator, to consider complaints by any individual
against arbitrary acts of the administration, is appreciated.
D. Principal subjects of concern
10. Concern is expressed
over the lack of the legal provisions required in order to implement
fully the State party's obligations under article 4 of the Convention.
11. The lack of data
on the demographic composition of the population and on the representation
of ethnic groups at various levels of public life is regretted.
12. Concern is expressed
over the absence of data on the enjoyment of economic, social and
cultural rights by different sections of the population, and on
their access to development projects and programmes in different
E. Suggestions and recommendations
13. The Committee would
wish to receive more precise information about the provisions of
article 132 of the Criminal Code and of Law 10/92/ADP of 15 December
1992 concerning freedom of association, and in particular whether
and how the law provides for the prohibition of all acts of racial
discrimination and of organizations which promote racial discrimination.
14. The Committee requests
the State party to provide in its next report information in accordance
with paragraph 8 of the reporting guidelines on the composition
of the population and on the representation of ethnic groups at
various levels of public life, as well as on their enjoyment of
economic, social and cultural rights.
15. More information
is also requested with regard to the progress made in the promotion
of national languages and the education of all the population.
16. The Committee also
requests information on the powers and functioning of the institution
of Mediator and other institutions promoting respect for human rights
and multicultural and multi-ethnic understanding.
17. The Committee recommends
that the State party ratify the amendments to article 8, paragraph
6, of the Convention adopted at the 14th meeting of States parties.
18. It is noted that
the State party has not made the declaration provided for in article
14 of the Convention, and some members of the Committee requested
that the possibility of making such a declaration be considered.
19. The Committee recommends
that the State party's next periodic report, due on 17 August 1999,
be a comprehensive report and that it address all the points raised
in the present observations.