Ouagadougou, 2 December 2021 (TDI): UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet concludes her official visit to Burkina Faso on 1st December. Michelle Bachelet thanked the government of Burkina Faso for its invitation.

This was the first official visit by a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Burkina Faso. She mentioned that the UN will establish a Human rights office in Burkina Faso. Consequently, it will promote and protect human rights.

Challenges faced by Burkina Faso 

Burkina Faso faces a multitude of challenges that impact human rights. The violent extremist groups in the country launched devastating attacks in regions bordering Mali and Niger.

Along with this, the country is also facing a climate change crisis. The humanitarian situation has also worsened. Around 3.5 million people need humanitarian assistance and nearly 3 million are food insecure.

Michelle Bachelet mentioned that during her four-day visit to Burkina Faso, she had constructive discussions on these challenges.


She shared her concerns regarding violence. Its impacts on the human rights of the population have been extremely serious.

According to the Government, more than 1.4 million people have been internally displaced. Moreover, there are increasing reports of horrific acts of violence along with human rights abuses by violent extremist groups.

UN Human Commissioner mentioned that there is a need to ensure state security. The affiliated forces must comply with international humanitarian law.

Moreover, there is a need to settle inter-communal tensions. Political and community leaders must work actively. Burkina Faso has a long tradition of ensuring the peaceful coexistence of its people.

There is a need for efforts to ensure human rights and avoid discrimination. The authorities need to address inequalities and must ensure inclusion.

The youth is also facing dire challenges. Poverty, along with the lack of access to economic opportunities as well as discrimination and marginalization.

Consequently, young people become more vulnerable to radicalization by extremist groups. There is a lot of frustration and impatience with the deteriorating security situation.

At such a time, it is more important than ever to create the space for meaningful dialogue among all parts of society. There is a need for democratic space and consistent protection.

On freed of expression she said that internet shutdowns affect the exercise of rights. It affects the People’s rights to access livelihood along with educational and health information.

Burkina Faso is in the grips of not one but several major, intersecting crises. It includes challenges from the broader region. UN High Commissioner encouraged the international community to step up its support to help resolve this serious situation.

There is a need for peace and security for millions of people in the country. International and regional support will be vital for peace in the region. The government needs to ensure the inclusiveness of all groups and sectors of society.

Particularly ethnic and religious minorities. It must include women, youth, along with trade unionists, and civil society actors in urban and rural parts of the country to enable true dialogue.