Children's Rights: Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi

Protocol II, Chapter I, Article 3:

1. The rights and duties proclaimed and guaranteed inter alia by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child shall form an integral part of the Constitution of the Republic of Burundi. These fundamental rights shall not be limited or derogated from, except in justifiable circumstances acceptable in international law and set forth in the Constitution.

26. Every child shall have the right to special measures to protect or promote her/his care, welfare, health and physical security, and to be protected from maltreatment, abuse or exploitation.

27. No child shall be used directly in armed conflict, and children shall be protected in times of armed conflict.

28. No child shall be detained except as a measure of last resort, in which case the child may be detained only for the shortest appropriate period of time and shall have the right to be kept separately from detained persons over the age of 16 years and to be treated in a manner, and kept in conditions, that take account of her/his age.

Implementation History

2003

Intermediate Implementation

Arusha accord prohibits recruitment of child soldiers and therefore prohibited to be used in armed conflict. Therefore, the transitional government along with coordination with the UNICEF started demobilization of child soldiers and their reintegration.
2004

Intermediate Implementation

As of December 2004, 2,261 children have been demobilized and reintegrated with their families and communities by the National Structure for the Demobilization and Reintegration of Child Soldiers.1

  • 1. "Burundi; More Child Soldiers to Be Demobilized," Africa News, December 7, 2004.
2005

Intermediate Implementation

Article 45 of the constitution protects children from being used in armed conflict. Also, in 2005 the president pledged to provide free primary education to all children.2

  • 2. "Burundi; President Pledges to Provide Free Primary Schooling for All Children," Africa News, September 8, 2008.
2006

Intermediate Implementation

The practice of children’s rights, however, was not vigorously enforced. In fact, the UN Secretary General asked the Burundian government to immediately work towards ending persistent rapes, killings, detainment and recruitment of children in Burundi.3 According to a Human Rights Watch Report, children were tortured to extract confessions and locked up along with adults in prisons.4

  • 3. "Burundi; Annan Calls On Country to Make Children a Post-War Priority," Africa News, November 2, 2006.
  • 4. "Burundi; Children Behind Bars Suffer Abuse," Africa News, March 14, 2007.
2007

Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2008

Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2009

Intermediate Implementation

In 2009, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon suggested impunity for violations of children’s rights persisted in Burundi even though children involved in conflict were released and returned to their families.5

  • 5. "Burundi;Tackling Impunity for Violators of Child Rights Next Step for Burundi,Says Ban," Africa News, September 18, 2009.
2010

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2011

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2012

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.