| 22-07-2016

Burkina Faso and Sweden singled out by CESCR Committee

Following intensive advocacy efforts, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) addresses the key legal and policy issues that lead these countries to continue to neglect the realization of the right to food and nutrition.

The Committee expressed its concern about the lack of control by the Swedish State regarding the investments made abroad by enterprises domiciled under its jurisdiction, especially the Swedish National Pension Funds. Whilst additionally expressing concern over the level of effectiveness of existing monitoring and remedial mechanisms, the Committee recommends Sweden to fully exercise its regulatory powers in overseeing investment decisions made by the Swedish National Pension Funds and other investors abroad, in order to ensure that these respect and protect human rights. 

The State should ensure that these investors undertake systematic and independent human rights impact assessments prior to investments, establish effective monitoring mechanisms and guarantee accessible complaint mechanisms for violations of ESCR linked to investment projects. 

As for Burkina Faso, the Committee points to the absence of recognition of the right to food in the constitution and national legislation and recommends that the State of Burkina Faso guarantees this right and its justiciability. Along these lines, the Committee also requests the State of Burkina Faso to train public servants, including judges, lawyers and police, about ESCR and put in place accessible and affordable judicial recourse mechanisms for these rights. 

In addition to underlining issues related to women and girl’s rights as well as education,  the Committee has voiced concerns over the cases of Essakane (displacement due to mining activities) and Kounkoufouanou (forced eviction) and urges the State of Burkina Faso to guarantee all violated rights. In the view of the Committee, the State should adopt measures and ensure the no-reoccurrence of forced eviction and recourse mechanisms for the victims.  In parallel, the State needs to protect small producers and regulate agro-investors in a way that does not affect the access to resources by local communities. 

FIAN International and its sections in Sweden and Burkina Faso welcome the concluding observations and will monitor the implementation of the recommendations.

You can read the concluding observations on Sweden     here.
You can read the concluding observations on Burkina Faso     here.
You can read the parallel report on Sweden´s Extraterritorial State Obligations on ESCR         here.
You can read the parallel report on Burkina Faso’s on the right to food and nutrition     here.
For more information, please contact     Suarez-Franco[at]fian.org