How to seek asylum in Burkina Faso

How to seek asylum in Burkina Faso?

When you arrive in Burkina Faso, you can ask the local authorities or go to a UNHCR office to request asylum.

Burkina Faso is a signatory to several international agreements, including the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol (ratified in 1980). The 2000 United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, which includes its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and its Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea, and Air (ratified in 2002), and the United Nations.

How to seek asylum in Burkina Faso?

Burkina Faso’s government can receive 100 refugee families annually for an initial two-year duration, which can be renewable.

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Documentation for application

The dossier of the case includes the following:

  • a duly filled-in UNHCR “Resettlement Registration Form” (RRF)
  • a letter covers the transmission of the individual case (IC), listing in detail the criteria which made the person eligible for refugee status and resettlement.

Submission of application

The dossier is sent to the National Commission for Refugees (CONAREF) for consideration by the Committee on Eligibility, either through the Resettlement Section in Geneva, the UNHCR Field Office or through Burkina Faso’s diplomatic embassies around the world.

When a group of refugees applies for resettlement, CONAREF, in agreement with UNHCR, may send one or two of its members on a trip to the first country of asylum to interview the applicants.

Through delegation, the President or Vice President of CONAREF and the Coordinator notify UNHCR of the decision.

What happens if my case gets rejected?

If a case is rejected, there is no recourse. However, the dossier may be submitted a second time if the candidate can provide additional relevant material. After two rejections, the same dossier cannot be re-examined.

How much time does it take to get asylum? 

All applications are processed during the regular sessions of the Committee on Eligibility.

Criteria for Refugee Status Eligibility and Asylum

Candidates for resettlement must be refugees as defined by the ZATU (Law) ANV No 28/FP/PRES of 3 August 1988 on the status of refugees in Burkina Faso, the Convention of the Organization of African Unity of 10 September 1969 governing the status of refugees in Africa, and the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 on refugee status and its 1967 Protocol. They might qualify as refugees under UNHCR authority.

 Routing of Submission

The Resettlement Section in Geneva, the UNHCR Field Office, or one of Burkina Faso’s diplomatic offices abroad forward the file to the National Commission for Refugees (CONAREF) for review by the Committee on Eligibility.
After consulting with UNHCR, CONAREF may assign one or two members to a mission to the first country of asylum to conduct interviews with the applicants when a group of refugees is applying for resettlement.

Integration Activities / Employment

Burkina Faso treats resettled refugees on the same footing as nationals regarding agricultural or commercial activities.
As for employment in the public sector, the resettled refugees are only allowed to exercise jobs with contracts limited in time according to article 5 of ZATU N028/FP/PRES of 3 August 1988 on the status of refugees.

Sources: Burkina Faso resettlement policy

The above cover image is a photo by Henk Veldkamp on Unsplash


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