Burkina Faso - OPCAT Situation

OPCAT Status

OPCAT ratification date
UNCAT ratification Date
NPM Type

National Human Rights Commission

NPM Designated

Commission nationale des droits humains

Burkina Faso ratified the OPCAT in July 2010. The Government expressed its intention to ratify the OPCAT during its December 2008 Universal Periodic Review examination, following advocacy from national and international stakeholders. An OPCAT ratification bill was examined and adopted by Cabinet in 2009 and finally adopted by Parliament in December 2009. Burkina Faso deposited its instrument of ratification with the United Nations on 7 July 2010.

Following OPCAT ratification in 2010, different NPM options were considered, including designating the National Human Rights Commission as the NPM. However, as the NHRI was not fully compliant with the Paris Principles and the requirements of the OPCAT, the authorities eventually decided to set-up a new specialised institution as the NPM. In this regard, on the 27th of May 2014, Parliament adopted Law N. 022-2014/AN criminalising torture and creating a new institution – the National Observer for the Prevention of Torture (Observatoire national de prévention de la torture et autres pratiques assimilées) – as the NPM (see Articles 20-39 of the law). However, an implementing decree determining the structure, composition and functioning of the NPM never materialised and the institution remained on paper only.

In June 2014, during a meeting organised by the OIF, OHCHR and the SPT, the government of Burkina Faso stated that the delay in NPM establishment is due to the challenge of conducting consultations among all relevant stakeholders and determining both NPM composition and budget.

Following years of deadlock, the government eventually decided to abandon plans for a new institution and, instead, adopted a new law in 2021 reforming the National Human Rights Commission and giving it the NPM mandate and powers at the same time.

The SPT visited Burkina Faso in December 2017.

The SPT member who is the SPT Focal Point for Burkina Faso is available here.