The human rights situation in Burundi has been critical since April 2015 and is now deteriorating. There are credible concerns that the country may be descending into a genocide.
A number of reputable international organisations have called for action. UNICEF has recently warned that the country is ‘on the brink of a major crisis’. Last December the International Federation of Human Rights urged the UN Security Council to ‘take action to address the deteriorating human rights crisis’.
Our firm is currently making an effort to raise awareness about the situation in Burundi, in the hope that the international community will take action. A video that formed part of this initiative has had thousands of views and we have subsequently been contacted by a number of Burundians, including lawyers currently living in exile who want to set up a legal response network.
The situation has created another refugee crisis, with 240,000 Burundian refugees currently seeking refuge in the neighbouring countries of Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
We would like to encourage other firms and the Law Society to join us in our effort to highlight this serious and underreported human rights crisis.
Wesley Gryk, senior partner, Wesley Gryk Solicitors, London SE1