Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 August 2014, 14:57 GMT

State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2010 - Burundi

Publisher Minority Rights Group International
Publication Date 1 July 2010
Cite as Minority Rights Group International, State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2010 - Burundi, 1 July 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c33311d45.html [accessed 28 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

It is noteworthy that Burundi's current Constitution uses the terms 'minority groups' quite explicitly to include ethnic, cultural and religious minorities, and recognizes that their substantive inclusion is a prerequisite to good governance and national security. By linking minority rights protection with good governance and safety of the state, the Constitution places such rights on the same level as other major national concerns and pursuits.

The Constitution further provides, in Articles 143, 164 and 180 respectively, for proportionate ethnic representation in public enterprises, the National Assembly and the Senate. The explicit mention of Batwa as beneficiaries of this ethnic quota constitutes the highest level of identification for this ancient hunting and gathering community in central Africa. With three seats in the National Assembly and in the Senate, as well as a representative in the National Commission for Land and Other Assets, Batwa visibility in public processes has marginally improved, IWGIA reported in 2009. But despite such recognition, stereotyping and the marginalization of Batwa people continues, resulting in their weak involvement in public life. According to the 2009 report of the NGO Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), Batwa rarely attend political or religious gatherings. Most land traditionally held by Batwa has been annexed by dominant communities with state concurrence, leaving most Batwa as squatters and consigning many to a life of bonded labour.

Discrimination against Albinos is prevalent in Burundi. At least 12 Albinos in the eastern Burundian provinces of Cankuzo, Kirundo, Muyinga and Ruyigi, on or near the border with Tanzania, were killed in 2009 according to a November Red Cross report.

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