Pregnant teens and expectant fathers barred from school in Burundi


Campaigners have condemned a ban that will prevent pregnant teenage girls and young expectant fathers from attending formal schooling in Burundi, warning the country is violating its human rights obligations.

Burundi’s minister of education, Dr Janvière Ndirahisha, announced last week that pregnant teens and young mums, as well as the boys who made them pregnant, no longer had the right to be allowed into public or private schools. In a letter to the country’s provincial education directors, he added that such students could instead attend vocational or professional training. According to the UN population fund (UNFPA), 7% of girls aged 15-19 in Burundi have at least one child.The move has been called a “double punishment” for girls, and campaigners say it is unclear how schools will identify fathers for exclusion. “More often than not the boy will deny it,” said Naitore Nyamu-Mathenge, a human rights lawyer and programme officer for the organisation Equality Now. “Unless they have a way of proving it – I am sure they will not get into those details – this ban is definitely skewed towards violating the rights of girls accessing education.”(theguardian)…[+]