Society

Children’s rights activist calls on Government to sign labor agreement with Arab countries

The chairman of National Federation of Associations Engaged in Children’s Welfare (FENADEB) appeals to Burundi Government to sign labor agreement with the Gulf states to combat the trafficking of Burundian women.

Jacques Nshimirimana, Chairman of FENADEB calls on Burundi authorities to identify and punish severely the traffickers so that Burundi can regain its rank (Tier2).

Jacques Nshimirimana, Chairman of FENADEB calls on Burundi authorities to identify and punish severely the traffickers so that Burundi can regain its rank (Tier2).

On the occasion of the week dedicated to the fight against human trafficking, FENADEB asks the Burundian Government to sign a convention with the Arab countries to protect women and girls who go to work there.

Since February 2016, Burundi human rights organizations have denounced the trafficking of young Burundian girls and women to some Middle East countries namely Oman, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. In a letter addressed to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 12 June 2016, the civil society organization Movement for the Future of Burundi (MCA) pointed out that over 2,500 girls have been victims of human trafficking since 2015.

The number of women and girls who have been victims of human trafficking in Arab countries has decreased significantly thanks to the collaboration between the administration and the Air and Border Police (PAFE), according to Jacques Nshimirimana, the representative of FENADEB.

“The US State department report, which ranks countries based on their efforts to fight forced labor and human trafficking, downgraded Burundi to the lowest level (Tier 3). If Burundi remains at this rank, these traffickers will know that Burundi authorities are not fully engaged in the fight against human trafficking, “says Nshimirimana.
He calls on Burundi authorities to identify and punish severely the traffickers so that Burundi can regain its rank (Tier2).

Burundi women and girls are still victims of human trafficking

Nshimirimana deplores the fact that women are still subject to trafficking in persons in other forms in Arab countries. They go through Rwanda, DRC and Tanzania under the pretext of visiting friends or family members and they join traffickers there, “Nshimirimana says.

He said FENADEB does not oppose the fact that Burundians should work in the Arab world. He rather demands that those who go there be protected. He calls on the Burundian government to sign a convention with these Arab countries so that Burundians should work legally and be protected by international labor standards. “This will allow these Burundians to have better treatment,” he says.

He regrets the fact that eight Burundian women who are incarcerated in Kuwait are not assisted. “The Kuwaiti Government would have paid the plane ticket for these Burundians currently detained in that country if Burundi had signed an agreement with Kuwait,” says Nshimirimana.

He says Burundi should sign an agreement with the country hosting its people in order to know the conditions in which they are being treated.

“Burundians should work legally in these Arab countries”, Nshimirimana says.

Ambassador Bernard Ntahiraja, Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the Government of Burundi is in favor of the protection and welfare of its people. “Signing an agreement with another country is a process that requires enough time, “says Ntahiraja.

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