Girl teaches child rights to village children
How are Burkina Faso’s children?

Burkina Faso has ratified (pledged to follow) the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This means that Burkina Faso must respect the rights of the child and listen to what children have to say. Are the rights of the child respected in Burkina Faso?

10,7 million children

20.9 million people live in Burkina Faso. 10.7 million are children, and 3.5 million of the children are under five years old.

Name and nationality

From the day you are born you have the right to have a name and to be registered as a citizen in your country. 775,000 children are born every year in Burkina Faso. 2 out of 10 of them are never registered. There is no documented proof that they exist, which could make it difficult for them to get health care and education.

Survive and grow

You have the right to life. Burkina Faso must do all it can to allow children to survive and develop. In Burkina Faso 1 out of 11 children (63,900 every year) dies before the age of 5, usually due to causes that could have been prevented.

Health and well-being

You have the right to clean water, nourishment, healthcare and to privacy when consulting an adult about any health issue. 5 out of 10 children in Burkina Faso have access to drinking water, and only 2 out of 10 have access to sanitation facilities.

Life at home

You have the right to a decent living standard, a good home, food, clothing, and security. Many children in Burkina Faso live in poverty. That does not just mean their family has little money. To live in poverty can mean that a child lacks all or any basic needs such as shelter, education, nutrition, water or health services.


You have the right to go to school. Primary and secondary schools should be free for everyone. 5 out of 10 children in Burkina Faso go to school. Many of them leave school early, especially girls.

Protection against violence

You have the right to protection against all forms of violence, including neglect, maltreatment and abuse. Many children in Burkina Faso are victims of violence both at home and in school. Girls are especially vulnerable to domestic violence. In Burkina Faso more than 1 out of 10 girls (0-14 years) are victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Some children are also exposed to false information, hate crimes and sexual abuse on the Internet. Only 63 countries have forbidden all forms of corporal punishment for children. Burkina Faso has not.

Hazardous child labour

More than 4 out of 10 children aged 5-17 in Burkina Faso have to work. You have the right to be protected against both economic exploitation and work that is hazardous to your health or which prevents you from going to school. All work is prohibited for children under 12. Some children are forced into the worst forms of child labour, such as being debt slaves, child soldiers or used for commercial sexual exploitation.

Your voice must be heard

You have the right to say what you think about any issue that affects you. The adults should listen to the child’s opinion before they make decisions, which must always be made in the best interest of the child! Today, many children make their voices heard online but far from everyone. The digital divide is shrinking faster than before but still, less than 1 out of 10 children and young people in low-income countries have internet access compared to circa 9 out of 10 in high-income countries. In Burkina Faso only 1 out of 100 school-age children have access to the Internet.

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