In 2016, with the technical support of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Services for Human Rights (ISHR), civil society organizations suggested amendments to the draft bill on the protection of human rights defenders, which was initiated by the government of former President Blaise Compaoré. The draft bill was voted upon by the National Assembly on 27 June 2017.
The law sets the rules for the protection of human rights defenders in Burkina Faso and determines the State responsibilities. Against the wishes of civil society, the law does not provide specific protection for women human rights defenders.
There has been a temporary suspension of the pre-existing constitutional order due to the democratically elected government being overthrown by a military junta in January 2022. After the coup, Burkina Faso was suspended from ECOWAS and the African Union’s decision-making bodies. On 1 March 2022, in the capital of Ouagadougou, a national conference authorised the ruling junta to hold power for three years to organise elections. A more accurate analysis of HRDs protection policies in Burkina Faso will be updated when more reliable information is available.