Practice Relating to Rule 132. Return of Displaced Persons
In 2008, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Burundi stated:
41. Protocol IV [to the 2000 Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi], chapter I, article 3, on activities in preparation for return, resettlement and reintegration, stipulates that the Government must undertake preparatory measures by requesting international organizations and the host countries concerned to conduct a gender and age disaggregated census of the refugees, including the old caseload refugees (1972), and a multidimensional census of the disaster victims.
42. Pursuant to chapter I, article 4, on guidelines governing resettlement and integration, the National Commission for the Rehabilitation of Disaster Victims must strive to achieve the following aims and objectives:
- To grant all returning families, including female- and child-headed families, food aid, material support and assistance with health, education, agriculture and reconstruction until they become self-sufficient
- To provide communes, villages and collines (hills) with assistance in the reconstruction of community infrastructures and with support for income-generating activities, paying special attention to women and enhancing their roles in building and sustaining families and communities
- To offer intensive language courses for returnees to mitigate the language problems
- To help returnees in other areas such as medical services, psychosocial support, social security and retirement, education of children and the equivalency of diplomas awarded outside Burundi.
65. As to social questions, the Government has signed a joint programme with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the reception and resettlement of repatriated persons in dignity and with respect for human rights, in particular the human rights of the most vulnerable groups, such as women and children who are heads of families. The programme aims to provide human rights training to staff working with repatriated persons at the borders and in the host communities.
285. In addressing this situation, the main objective of the Ministry of Reintegration and Resettlement of Displaced and Repatriated Persons is to rehabilitate Burundians who have been victims of the war (domestically displaced, repatriated and dispersed persons). This takes place in the form of humanitarian aid, resettlement and reintegration, in which the focus must be on reconciliation and peaceful coexistence, income-generating activities and access to basic social services. A large part of this effort is devoted to helping children, who, like women and the elderly, are particularly vulnerable.
286. The Ministry conducts activities in three areas:
- Medical assistance
- Food supplies and other basic necessities
- School assistance
287. UNHCR has built homes and primary schools in areas with large numbers of repatriated persons.