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The United States welcomes Minister Julie Prudence Somda-Nigna and the delegation of Burkina Faso.
We commend Burkina Faso for the tremendous hospitality provided to nearly 50,000 refugees fleeing the conflict in northern Mali. Further, we also commend the establishment of the Ministry of Human Rights and the Promotion of Civic Responsibility, and its adoption of the National Action Plan to Combat the Worst Forms of Child Labor in February 2012.
However, we remain concerned that children continue to be employed in the worst forms of child labor, and that some children are subjected to labor trafficking, notably in hazardous activities in agriculture, livestock herding and mining. Limited staffing, training, and resources contribute to an overall lack of effective enforcement of labor inspection laws and regulations.
We are also concerned by arbitrary arrests and detentions, the lack of fair trials and increased reports of physical abuse and mistreatment of detainees, including juveniles, by security forces.
The United States makes the following recommendations:
1. Hire and train additional labor inspectors and equip them with necessary resources to adequately enforce relevant labor and trafficking laws;
2. Lobby for and enact adequate legal penalties for violations of the laws prohibiting the worst forms of child labor and forced labor and provide sufficient resources and training to enforce the law;
3. Undertake an in-depth assessment of the justice sector, prioritizing the juvenile justice system, to identify and address deficiencies under Burkinabe and international law.