Burundi adheres to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons

The Burundi deputies of the National Assembly unanimously adopted on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018, a draft law on the country’s accession to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.

 

The Convention, formally establishing the legal status of a stateless person, aims to regulate and improve the status of stateless persons and ensure that they can “enjoy their freedoms and fundamental rights” without distinction, according to local observers.

In Burundi, we can not say that we have already identified stateless people. However, we have people who claim to be of Omani origin who have been identified and who are at risk of statelessness because the Sultanate of Oman does not recognize them as Omani citizens. Moreover, these people do not have Burundian nationality, “Pascal Barandagiye, Burundian Minister of Home Affairs and Patriotic Training, and Local Development, told MPs to defend the bill.

Mr. Barandagiye recalled that in view of this particular situation, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in collaboration with the Government of Burundi through the National Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (ONPRA), undertook a “registration and profiling” operation for the population concerned in 2012, resulting in 1,302 people claiming to be of Omani origin.

UNHCR has put in place a global action plan 2014-2024 to end statelessness, which sets out a framework of ten actions to be implemented by states to ensure respect for human rights.

“In the area of asylum management, Burundi is considered a model in the subregion and, with the accession to the Conventions on the Protection of Stateless Persons, it will once again be considered by the international community as a country which is committed to the respect of human rights, “said Minister Barandagiye in response to a question asked how Burundi will benefit from joining these conventions.

It should be noted that the Burundian deputies subsequently adopted another complementary bill, on the accession of Burundi, to the 1961 Convention on the “Reduction” of Statelessness.

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