Banjul, 7 September 2022: IHRDA, on behalf N.J (minor), 5 September 2022, filed case against Burundi before the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), alleging Burundi’s failure to protect her brights.
According to the facts of the case, during the separation of the Plaintiff’s parents, Burundian courts assigned some land property to her mother as alimony for their needs, including education. In a bid to ensure financial stability for her family, the Plaintiff’s mother built apartments which she put on rent. In 2015, taking advantage of the political unrest in Burundi, the Plaintiff’s father intimidated them into exile in Kenya, while he chased away the tenants and sold the property. Upon returning to Burundi in 2021, the Plaintiff and her mother succeeded in obtaining favourable Supreme Court order for restoration of their property; yet, government has failed to act accordingly, whereas the Plaintiff and her mother live in deplorable conditions, amidst intimidation and death threats from the Plaintiff’s paternal family.
The suit alleges that, due to lack of implementation of judgements passed by Burundian courts, Burundi has failed to protect the Plaintiff’s best interests, as well as her right to education, survival and development. These are obligations and rights recognised by the Constitution of Burundi and enshrined in the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child to which Burundi is party.
The Applicant requests the ACERWC to hold Burundi responsible for the said violations, and to urge Burundi to assist the Plaintiff resume studies. The Applicant equally requests Burundi to compensate the Plaintiff for damages suffered, and provide her psychosocial support, amongst other measures to ensure the enjoyment of children’s rights in Burundi.