The Embassy’s Political Section aims to advance U.S. goals with respect to the internal political situation and its political relations with other countries through its work with government officials, NGOs, local organizations, and the diplomatic community. The section is responsible for keeping the Ambassador and leadership in Washington informed about a wide range of political issues, including domestic politics, foreign relations, human rights, counter-terrorism, refugee issues, religious freedom, and women’s issues.
The Political Officer is responsible for promoting democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights in Burkina Faso. The Embassy’s Democracy and Human Rights Fund (DHRF) has recently been used to fund local NGO projects that promote Constitutional Rights, fund election monitoring groups, advocate religious tolerance and support the re-integration of street children and prisoners into society. The section is uses its contacts within the Government of Burkina Faso, NGOs and civil society to complete Congressionally-mandated annual reports including: the Human Rights Report, the Trafficking in Persons Report (PDF 184 KB), the International Religious Freedom Report.
The United States is the largest donor to the Malian refugee community in Burkina Faso, and the section monitors and reports on refugee issues in close cooperation with the UN High Commission for Refugees, the Government of Burkina Faso, and humanitarian NGOs.
The political section also manages programs that raise awareness of and combat female genital mutilation through the Secretary’s Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) Fund, and assist with the reintegration of women accused of witchcraft in rural communities.