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May 28, 2021

COVID-19 Travel Guidance for U.S. Citizens

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July 21, 2021

Update on U.S. Passport Operations

International Parental Child Abduction

English

Country Information

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso
Do not travel to Burkina Faso due to terrorism, crime, and kidnapping.

Do not travel to Burkina Faso due to terrorism, crime, and kidnapping.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 1 Travel Health Notice for Burkina Faso due to COVID-19, indicating a low level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC's specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in Burkina Faso.

Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Burkina Faso. Terrorists may conduct attacks anywhere with little or no warning. Targets could include hotels, restaurants, police stations, customs offices, areas at or near mining sites, places of worship, military posts, and schools.

Kidnapping and hostage taking is a threat throughout the country. On May 10, 2019 a hostage rescue operation freed four international hostages that had been kidnapped in Burkina Faso and in neighboring Benin.

The Government of Burkina Faso has maintained a state of emergency in the entire East and Sahel regions, the provinces of Kossi and Sourou in the Boucle de Mouhoun region, the province of Kenedougou in the Hauts Bassins region, the province of Loroum in the North region, and the province of Koulpelogo in the Center-East region.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens throughout most of the country, as U.S. government personnel are restricted from travelling to regions outside the capital due to security concerns. The U.S. Embassy prohibits U.S. government personnel from personal travel to the Karpala, Balkiui and Rayongo (also known as Dayongo) neighborhoods of Ouagadougou’s Arrondissement 11 due to the potential for security operations.

Family members under the age of 21 cannot accompany U.S. government employees who work in Burkina Faso.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Burkina Faso:

  • See the U.S. Embassy's web page regarding COVID-19.
  • Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Take steps to mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of violence, including limiting trips to locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Review your personal security plans.
  • Remain aware of your surroundings and local events.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Burkina Faso.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

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Hague Convention Participation

Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes

What You Can Do

Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Ouagadougou
Secteur 53, Ouaga 2000
Avenue Sembène Ousmane, Rue 15.873
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Telephone:
+(226) 25-49-53-00
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(226) 25-49-53-00
U.S. Telephone: 1-301-985-8724
Consular Fax: (226) 25-49-56-23
Consular e-mail: consularouaga@state.gov

General Information

Burkina Faso and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since November 1, 1992.

For information concerning travel to Burkina Faso, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Burkina Faso.   

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Child Abduction. The report is located here

Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention. In this capacity, the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Burkina Faso. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

U.S. Department of State 
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
CA/OCS/CI 
SA-17, 9th Floor 
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone: 1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website: childabduction.state.gov
Email: AfricaIPCA@state.gov

The Burkina Faso Central Authority (BFCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Social Action and National Solidarity. The BFCA plays the role of facilitator in Hague Abduction Convention cases, taking measures to locate the child and taking parent, to visit the home and interview the taking parent, and to seek a voluntary return. If the taking parent does not agree to a voluntary return, the BFCA will forward the Hague application to the public prosecutor and act as the formal applicant in return proceedings before the court.  

Contact the BFCA at:

Ministère de l'Action Sociale et de la Solidarité Nationale
01 BP 515
OUAGADOUGOU 01
Burkina Faso
Telephone numbers: +226 5030-6880 /5031-0055
Fax: +226 5031-8530

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Burkina Faso, the USCA encourages parents to review the eligibility criteria and instructions for completing the Hague application form located on the Department of State website and contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process with the foreign Central Authority. All documents written in English must be translated into French. Please note, however, that certified translations are not necessary. However, all relevant legal decisions or agreements must be authenticated. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the BFCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the U.S. or Burkina Faso central authorities. Attorney fees, if necessary, are the responsibility of the applicant.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Burkina Faso.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Burkina Faso.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

Retaining an Attorney

The BFCA does not provide an attorney to left-behind parents, but it provides a list of attorneys.  Retaining a private attorney is not required in order to submit a Hague Abduction Convention application to a court in Burkina Faso, because the BFCA acts as the formal applicant in court proceedings. Parents or legal guardians have the option to hire a private attorney to represent them, but all attorney fees will be the applicant's responsibility. If retained by the parent, a privately hired attorney should contact the BFCA as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed with the BFCA. 

The U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

Mediation

Mediation may be available for abduction and access cases. The BFCA will contact Burkina Faso Social Services officials and attempt to initiate mediation services in all Hague Abduction Convention cases. Mediation is voluntary.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Last Updated: February 3, 2021

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Ouagadougou
Secteur 53, Ouaga 2000
Avenue Sembène Ousmane, Rue 15.873
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Telephone
+(226) 25-49-53-00
Emergency
+(226) 25-49-53-00
Fax
(226) 25-49-56-23

Burkina Faso Map