IRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF: Persistent violations of children's rights

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Summary: The violations highlighted are those issues raised with the State by more than one international mechanism. This is done with the intention of identifying children's rights which have been repeatedly violated, as well as gaps in the issues covered by NGOs in their alternative reports to the various human rights monitoring bodies. These violations are listed in no particular order.

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Death penalty for children

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, March 2005)

The Committee notes the various legislative measures undertaken by the State party and referred to in its response to the list of issues (CRC/C/RESP/71) and welcomes, in particular, the information provided by the delegation that the Bill on the Establishment of Juvenile Courts has been approved by the Council of Ministers and has been submitted to the Majlis, a bill which, inter alia, abolishes the death penalty for crimes committed by persons under 18. The Committee also notes that this Bill has yet to be approved by the Council of Guardians before it becomes law.

The Committee recommends that the State party take, as a matter of the highest priority, all possible measures to secure the final official approval of this new law and to ensure its full implementation. It further recommends that the State party continue to strengthen its legislative efforts by undertaking a comprehensive review of its domestic legislation so as to ensure its full conformity with the principles and provisions of the Convention. (Paragraphs 8 and 9)

The Committee notes the statement made by the delegation of the State party during the consideration of the second periodic report that in view of the Bill on the Establishment of Juvenile Courts currently pending before Parliament, executions of persons for having committed crimes before the age of 18 have been suspended. The Committee deplores the fact that such executions have continued since the consideration of the State party’s initial report, including one such execution on the day the second report was being considered.

The Committee urges the State party to take the necessary steps to immediately suspend the execution of all death penalties imposed on persons for having committed a crime before the age of 18, to take the appropriate legal measures to convert them into penalties in conformity with the provisions of the Convention and to abolish the death penalty as a sentence imposed on persons for having committed crimes before the age of 18, as required by article 37 of the Convention. (Paragraphs 29 and 30)

The Committee remains concerned at the existing poor quality of the rules and practices in the juvenile justice system, reflected, inter alia, in the lack of statistical data, the limited use of specialised juvenile courts and judges, the low age of criminal responsibility, the lack of adequate alternatives to custodial sentences, and the imposition of torture and other cruel or inhuman punishment and in particular of the death penalty.

In this respect, the Committee urges the State party, in particular:

(a) To suspend immediately, for an unlimited period of time, the imposition and execution of the death penalty for crimes committed by persons under 18, and to take all measures to implement paragraph 30 of the present concluding observations (Paragraphs72 and73)

UN Human Rights Committee

Last reported: 17 and 18 October 2011

Concluding Observations issued: 2 November 2011

The Committee is gravely concerned about the continued execution of minors and the imposition of the death penalty for persons who were found to have committed a crime while under 18 years of age, which is prohibited by article 6, paragraph 5, of the Covenant (art.6).

The State party should immediately end the execution of minors, and further amend the draft juvenile crimes investigation act and the Bill of Islamic Criminal Code with the aim of abolishing the death penalty for persons having committed a crime while under the age of 18. The State party should also commute all existing death sentences for offenders on death row who had committed a crime while under the age of 18. (Paragraphs 13)

UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women
Country visit: 29 January to 6 February 2005
Report published: 27 January 2006

The age of majority in the Islamic Republic of Iran is 9 for girls and 15 for boys. This is not only discriminatory, by setting the age lower for girls than boys, but it also subjects both girls and boys to the possibility of being tried as adults for criminal offences and is contrary to the definition of the child as contained in CRC. The Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern about this low age of criminal responsibility and in particular about reports that juveniles have been subjected to the death penalty and other punishments amounting to torture and ill-treatment such as amputation, flogging and stoning. (Paragraph 50)

Furthermore, the Special Rapporteur noted that in many cases the punishments imposed were disproportionate to the seriousness of the offences committed. These arbitrary punishment frequently discriminate against women, punishing them more harshly than men who commit the same crimes. For example, if a woman kills her child she will be punished with the death penalty. The father or paternal grandfather committing the same crime will only be required to pay diyah to the child's relatives and possibly also be sentenced to imprisonment, flogging or a fine. Furthermore, a husband has the right to kill his wife if he witnesses her in an act of adultery, but if a wife commits the same crime, she would face the death penalty or a long prison sentence.(Paragraph 57)

Universal Periodic Review (February 2009)

A - 39. Respect at least the minimum standards and the provisions of ICCPR and CRC concerning the death penalty, for as long as it is maintained (Belgium); (accepted)

91 P - 2. Bring its legislation in line with the international human rights conventions that Iran has ratified, including CRC, and abolish at least the death penalty for crimes committed by persons under the age of 18 (Netherlands); (pending)

P - 10. Fully comply with its obligations under ICCPR and CRC with regard to the use of inhumane and/or public execution and the use of the death penalty in the case of minors (Ireland); (pending)

P - 12. Cease all planned executions of juvenile offenders, and to prohibit the imposition of the death penalty for crimes committed by minors (Australia); (pending)

P - 13. Eliminate, juvenile executions and executions of persons for crimes that they committed when they were under the age of 18 (Czech Republic); (pending)

P - 14. Ban executions of juvenile offenders, in compliance with article 6 of ICCPR (Italy); (pending)

P - 15. Strengthen the moratorium on the death penalty against young people, established in October 2008; limit the crimes punishable by the death penalty; to commute death sentences to imprisonment; and withdraw its reservations to CRC and specifically prohibit the application of the death penalty to young people in all circumstances (Spain); (pending)

P - 16. Remove or define its blanket reservation to the CRC and to declare an immediate moratorium on juvenile executions, with the aim of abolishing the death penalty for of(pending)fences committed by minors (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland);

P - 17. Consider eliminating the death penalty for people who were under 18 at the time of the commission of the crime for which they were convicted, as stipulated by CRC, and withdraw its general reservation to the CRC (Chile); (pending)

R - 20. Abolish the death penalty (Luxembourg)/immediately stop executions and abolish the death penalty (Germany)/amend the relevant legislation to abolish capital punishment entirely, in keeping with General Assembly resolutions 62/149 and 63/168, as well as the Second Optional Protocol to ICCPR, and transfer the existing death sentences to imprisonment terms (Slovakia)/consider a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to abolishing it (Brazil)/ introduce a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to its abolition (Italy)/extend the moratorium on the death penalty and abolish the death penalty, especially for juveniles, in keeping with its international commitments (Estonia)/introduce a moratorium on executions as soon as possible (Belgium)/put an end to executions and adopt a moratorium on the death penalty (France)/commute all death sentences, in particular executions of political prisoners, and abolish, in practice, public executions by hanging and stoning (Israel); (rejected)

R - 21. Immediately halt the execution of juveniles and political prisoners and, furthermore, establish an official moratorium (Canada)/comply with its obligations under article 37 of CRC and article 6 of ICCPR and prohibit executions of persons who, at the time of their offences, were under the age of 18 (Israel)/cease immediately the use of the death penalty, especially for minors and those who committed offences while they were juveniles (New Zealand)/favourably consider alternative sentences for juvenile offenders, and immediately halt executions of all juvenile offenders on death row (Slovenia); (rejected)

R - 22. Consider the elimination of cruel punishment, including juvenile execution and stoning (Japan); (rejected)

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Inadequate and inappropriate juvenile justice system

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, March 2005)

The Committee welcomes the efforts of the State party to improve the laws with regard to persons below 18 in conflict with the law, in particular the Bill on the Establishment of Juvenile Courts mentioned in paragraph 8 above.However, it deplores the information referred to in paragraph 29 above that, despite the statement of the delegation made during the consideration of the second periodic report that, in view of that Bill, executions, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of persons for having committed crimes before the age of 18 have been suspended, such executions and ill-treatment have continued since the consideration by the Committee of the State party’s initial report.The Committee remains concerned at the existing poor quality of the rules and practices in the juvenile justice system, reflected, inter alia, in the lack of statistical data, the limited use of specialised juvenile courts and judges, the low age of criminal responsibility, the lack of adequate alternatives to custodial sentences, and the imposition of torture and other cruel or inhuman punishment and in particular of the death penalty.

The Committee reiterates its recommendation contained in paragraph 9 above that the State party take, as a matter of the highest priority, the necessary measures for the approval and implementation of the Bill on the Establishment of Juvenile Courts and ensure that it complies with the provisions of the Convention, in particular articles 37, 39 and 40, as well as with other relevant international standards in this area, such as theUnited Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules), the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines), the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty and the Vienna Guidelines for Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System,inthe light of the dayof generaldiscussionon the administrationof juvenilejustice,held by the Committee in 1995.In this respect, the Committee urges the State party, in particular:

(a) To suspend immediately, for an unlimited period of time, the imposition and execution of the death penalty for crimes committed by persons under 18, and to take all measures to implement paragraph 30 of the present concluding observations;

(b) To suspend immediately the imposition and execution of all forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, such as amputation, flogging or stoning, for crimes committed by persons under 18;

(c) To continue to improve the quality and availability of specialised juvenile courts and judges, police officers and prosecutors;

(d) To develop and implement alternatives to custodial sentences;

(e) To ensure that persons under 18 are provided with legal assistance of good quality throughout the process;

(f) To develop and implement adequate support, counselling and other services so as to promote integration into society of juveniles who have been in conflict with the law and in particular those who have been deprived of their liberty;

(g) To train judges and other professionals also in the area of social rehabilitation of children;

(h) To seek technical assistance from and cooperation with, among others, OHCHR and UNICEF. (Paragraphs 73 and 74)

UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
Country visit: 15 to 27 February2003
Report published: 11 September 2003

The judicial authorities recognise the need for reform and assert that reform is a central concern for them. The Working Group held a meeting with the Supreme Council for Judicial Reform, responsible for reform of the system of justice. The Council comprises judges and academics working on an ongoing basis to strengthen, according to our interlocutors, respect for human rights in the administration of justice and to bring the Iranian judicial system and legislation into line with international standards. Also according to our interlocutors, the legal and judicial systems of over 40 countries have been studied in preparing the proposed reforms. It is this council that formulates and has formulated draft legislation on reinstatement of the prosecution service, the system of juvenile justice and the application of alternative sentences instead of imprisonment. The Council is currently preparing a reform of criminal procedure. The Working Group has asked to be kept informed of this work and proposals for reform, but, to its great regret, has not always received the information promised. Information collected in situ nevertheless suggests that initiatives on some issues have begun, but, as one member of the Council emphasised, "it is not enough to reform laws, mentalities must change". Three examples will confirm this: Detention pending trial and visiting rights. In 2000 the Special Representative,

(1) Mr. Copithorne, expressed particular regret that a circular by the head of the judiciary concerning the right to family visits was rarely applied. The point came up with most of the prisoners met. It seems that while the situation has somewhat improved in some institutions – at least for ordinary law prisoners - significant difficulties remain in the case of political prisoners, particularly those held in solitary confinement wings such as sector 209 in Evin prison.

(2) Reform of the prosecution service. In receiving the Working Group, the head of the Tehran judiciary stated that the abolition of prosecutors seven years earlier had been a disaster for the administration of justice. An amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure, voted by Parliament and approved by the Council of Guardians on 11 November 2002, has recently reinstituted the prosecution service. The amendment also provided for a merger of the prosecution function in ordinary courts and in revolutionary tribunals with the aim of ending various inconsistencies. As it is, the reform has begun to be applied in only three jurisdictions, including Tehran.

(3) Reform of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Working Group regrets that the draft text being prepared was not submitted to it. Information from members of the Supreme Council suggests that the draft would require the presence of a lawyer immediately after arrest, the right for the accused to remain silent, assertion of the exceptional nature of detention pending trial, proportionality between bail and the seriousness of the offence, increased use of alternatives to imprisonment, introduction of the concept of compensatory justice, access to legal aid for accused and victims and codification of the rules for the protection of victims. (Paragraph 34)

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Corporal punishment

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, March 2005)

The Committee deeply regrets that, under existing laws, persons below the age of 18 who have committed a crime can be subjected to corporal punishment and sentenced to various types of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, such as amputation, flogging or stoning, which are systematically imposed by judicial authorities and which the Committee considers to be totally incompatible with article 37 (a) and other provisions of the Convention.

In the light of the consideration of the Bill on the Establishment of Juvenile Courts, the Committee urges the State party to take all the necessary measures to ensure that persons who committed crimes while under 18 are not subjected to any form of corporal punishment and to immediately suspend the imposition and the execution of sentences of amputation, flogging, stoning and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. (Paragraphs 45 and 46)

The Committee continues to be concerned about legislation that provides for corporal punishment within the family. While welcoming the new Law on the Protection of Children and Adolescents (2003), which includes the prohibition of all forms of molestation and abuse of children and the obligation to report cases of child abuse, the exceptions stated therein continue to legally allow various forms of violence against children. More particularly, several articles of the Civil and Penal Code have been excluded, including article 1179 of the Civil Law and article 59 of the Penal Code, which gives parents the right to physically discipline their children within non-defined “normal limits”. In the Committee’s view, such exceptions contribute to the abuse of children inside and outside the family and contravene the principles and provisions of the Convention, in particular article 19. The Committee also notes with concern, that certain forms of sexual abuse of children or grandchildren are not explicitly prohibited.

The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Continue and strengthen its efforts, including through legislative and other measures, to prohibit and prevent all forms of physical and mental violence against children, including corporal punishment and sexual abuse, in the family, in schools, and in other institutions, and take the necessary legislative measures to ensure that all those who sexually abuse children are punished without discrimination;
(b) Initiate public education campaigns against the use of all forms of violence against children and encourage alternative forms of discipline;
(c) Promote and support the effective operation of the child helpline, established in 2001, to allow children to seek advice and counselling in cases of, inter alia, abuse and neglect;
(d) Ensure the protection of victims of child abuse, including during investigation and court proceedings of child abuse cases. Such protection should include the provision of legal assistance, psychosocial assistance, child medical experts and the necessary facilities for hearing child abuse cases in court, such as video recording or closed circuit television. (Paragraphs 47 and 48)

UN Human Rights Committee
Last reported: 17 and 18 October 2011
Concluding Observations issued: 2 November 2011

The Committee is concerned about the continued imposition of corporal punishment by judicial and administrative authorities, in particular amputations and flogging for a range of crimes, including theft, enmity against God (mohareb) and certain sexual acts. It is also concerned that corporal punishment of children is lawful in the home, as a sentence of the courts and in alternative care settings (art. 7).

The State party should amend the Penal Code to abolish the imposition of corporal punishment by judicial and administrative authorities. The State party should also explicitly prohibit (all forms of) corporal punishment in childrearing and education, including by repealing the legal defences for its use in article 1179 of the Civil Code, articles 49 and 59 of the Penal Code and article 7 of the Law on the Protection of Children. (Paragraph 16)

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Violence against children, particularly girls

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, March 2005)

The Committee continues to be concerned about legislation that provides for corporal punishment within the family. While welcoming the new Law on the Protection of Children and Adolescents (2003), which includes the prohibition of all forms of molestation and abuse of children and the obligation to report cases of child abuse, the exceptions stated therein continue to legally allow various forms of violence against children. More particularly, several articles of the Civil and Penal Code have been excluded, including article 1179 of the Civil Law and article 59 of the Penal Code, which gives parents the right to physically discipline their children within non-defined “normal limits”. In the Committee’s view, such exceptions contribute to the abuse of children inside and outside the family and contravene the principles and provisions of the Convention, in particular article 19. The Committee also notes with concern, that certain forms of sexual abuse of children or grandchildren are not explicitly prohibited.

The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Continue and strengthen its efforts, including through legislative and other measures, to prohibit and prevent all forms of physical and mental violence against children, including corporal punishment and sexual abuse, in the family, in schools, and in other institutions, and take the necessary legislative measures to ensure that all those who sexually abuse children are punished without discrimination;
(b) Initiate public education campaigns against the use of all forms of violence against children and encourage alternative forms of discipline;
(c) Promote and support the effective operation of the child helpline, established in 2001, to allow children to seek advice and counselling in cases of, inter alia, abuse and neglect;
(d) Ensure the protection of victims of child abuse, including during investigation and court proceedings of child abuse cases. Such protection should include the provision of legal assistance, psychosocial assistance, child medical experts and the necessary facilities for hearing child abuse cases in court, such as video recording or closed circuit television. (Paragraphs 47 and 48)

UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing
Country visit: 19 to 31 July2005
Report published: 21 March 2006

Although noting the information received from the Government regarding the establishment of so called "social crisis management centres", the Special Rapporteur would also like to express particular concern in relation to the insufficiency of safe houses for runaway girls and street women, which may also lead to homelessness. Lack of essential official statistics concerning housing-related issues, including on the number of homeless people in the country and data on violence against women, constitutes an obstacle to a more complete assessment of the overall housing situation in the country. (Paragraph 101)

The Government should: Develop further policies to address discrimination against women in relation to equal access to housing, land, property and inheritance, including the urgent creation of safe houses for women subject to violence, runaway girls and street women; (Paragraph 105)

UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women
Country visit: 29 January to 6 February 2005
Report published: 27 January 2006

Early marriage is sanctioned by law as girls can be married as young as 13 and boys as young as 15. For girls, the age was only recently raised to 13 from the age of 9. Marriages may still be contracted for children under these ages with the consent of the parents. All girls and women must have the consent of the father (in his absence other male relatives) in order to enter into a marriage contract (art. 1041). Article 1105 of the Civil Code provides that the husband is the "head of the family". A husband is also permitted to take multiple wives, which is said to be a source of friction in the family and vulnerability for women. Thus, laws disempowering women in the area of marriage legitimise power imbalances in the marriage relationship, make women vulnerable to violence and make it difficult for them to escape violence. (Paragraph 45)

Given the ideological framework referred to above, violence against women in Iran is rarely acknowledged as a serious problem by the authorities and rarely reported by the victims. The 1999 Human Development Report of Iran indicates that domestic violence, in particular, is a hidden social phenomenon which is not discussed openly. The report concludes that no action has been taken to change prevailing attitudes or reform the pertinent laws and regulations. Although the report is outdated, the Special Rapporteur's interviews did not indicate fundamental changes. It was particularly clear in Ilam that women feel compelled to tolerate violence, inflicted not only by their husbands but also by other family members, for fear of shame, of being ostracised, or of being divorced and for lack of alternatives to the abusive environment. The Special Rapporteur found that some of the cases of self-immolation in the city are linked to the lack of legal protection for women victims of violence, lack of shelters, difficulty in obtaining a divorce, child custody laws that favour the father and pervasive gender discrimination throughout society. (Paragraph 34)

Discriminatory laws in both the Civil and Penal Codes in Iran play a major role in empowering men and aggravating women's vulnerability to violence. In particular, discriminatory provisions in the Civil Code relating to the areas of marriage, child custody, freedom of movement and inheritance may lead to, perpetuate or legitimise violence against women perpetrated by private actors. The provisions of the Penal Code relating to crimes specified in the sharia, namely, hudud, qisas and diyah, are of particular relevance in terms of gender justice. (Paragraph 44)

The Civil Code also restricts women's freedom of movement. For example, according to article 1005, as the exclusive head of the family the man has the right to control his wife's freedom of movement and behaviour in many situations. She must show the written and notarised approval of her husband in order to obtain a passport and to be allowed to travel abroad. A woman's freedom of movement is also seriously curtailed by the numerous rules upholding sex segregation in public space. Additionally, an unaccompanied woman must obtain permission from her husband or the local authorities in order to stay at a hotel. To be able to leave the house, women and girls must dress according to the mandatory dress code (hejab). Although the Deputy Minister of the Interior explained that there was no mandatory dress code, others the Special Rapporteur spoke to claimed the contrary and argued that failing to obey this rule may result in punishment of 10 days to 2 months' imprisonment and a fine. Such legal provisions empower men to use force on women, including diverse forms of violence, in order to ensure compliance. (Paragraph 48)

The law provides that women inherit only half of the share of property of their male counterparts. For example, daughters inherit only half of the share of sons. If a woman in a permanent marriage dies, her husband inherits all of her property if she has no other heirs and a fourth of the property if she has children. If a husband dies, his wife only inherits a fourth of his property if she is his sole relative and an eighth if he has children. A woman has no right to inherit land. Even if there is a written will contesting these rules, it is not legally binding. The links between the denial of women's property rights and the risk of violence have been well documented, in particular by the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing.33 In this regard, it should be noted that the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing visited the Islamic Republic of Iran from 19 to 30 July 2005 and we expect that his analysis and recommendations will guide the Government in addressing these problems, particularly in view of contemporary realities regarding women's status. (Paragraph 49)

These steps, while significant, have not been enough to fully address the wide spectrum of violence suffered by women. If the Iranian regime is sincere about restoring women's dignity then it must embark on a re-interpretation of its fundamental norms, including Islamic principles in line with the current needs and societal contributions of women as well as with universal human rights standards. Some recent amendments to the law concerning child custody and the minimum age of marriage as well as the moratorium on stoning are significant steps in this direction and show that it can be done. It is important to acknowledge that the majority of the female population in Iran is young and well educated. The current practices do not allow them to reach their full potential and aspirations. (Paragraph 65)

To prioritise the elimination of violence against women as a public policy issue and to prevent, investigate and punish all acts of violence against women, whether perpetrated by private or State actors, it is recommended that the Government:

Conduct a full investigation into suicides of young women and their relationship to diverse forms of violence against women, to design preventive and protective measures to address these suicides, and to prevent the development of prejudice in public opinion that would revictimise survivors of suicide attempts and/or their families; (Paragraph 74)

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Discrimination against women and girls in personal status laws (including the inheritance of nationality)

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, March 2005)

The Committee is deeply concerned at the persisting discrimination against girls and women, in particular in their role as parents, reflected in various legal provisions and practices (e.g. The requirement that a child’s father or paternal grandfather only may give his permission for the issuance of a passport for a child under 18 years. Consequently, in a case in which the parents are separated and the mother of the child resides in another country, the child may only leave Iran to visit his/her mother if the father permits the child to do so.). The Committee is equally concerned at discrimination on the grounds of religion and birth. As to the latter, it is concerned that insufficient information has been provided on children born out of wedlock, in particular, with respect to the discrimination against and stigmatisation of these children, who are particularly vulnerable.

The Committee recommends that the State party promptly review all its legislation to ensure that it is non-discriminatory and gender neutral and that it is enforced. Moreover, the State party should take effective measures, including enacting or rescinding, as appropriate, civil and criminal legislation to prevent and eliminate discrimination on the grounds of sex, religion and other grounds, in compliance with article 2 of the Convention. (Paragraphs 24 and 25)

The Committee is concerned about discrimination against children on account of their father’s nationality. It notes with concern that while a child whose father is an Iranian national is considered to have Iranian nationality, a child whose mother is Iranian and who has married a non-Iranian, without getting the official consent of the Government, will not be recognised as an Iranian national. The Committee is concerned that this situation currently affects a large number of children whose mothers are Iranian and fathers Afghan and who consequently have neither a birth certificate nor a nationality.

The Committee recommends that all children are registered at birth and acquire an irrevocable nationality without discrimination. (Paragraphs 35 and 36)

UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing
Country visit: 19 to 31 July 2005
Report published: 21 March 2006

This situation restricts women's possibility to acquire adequate housing through means of purchase and rental and is especially problematic in the event of the husband's death. Although some welfare programmes have been created targeting widow heads of household, the pensions provided are normally insufficient to allow for the maintenance of a home, especially if they have to assume the high costs of rent. In this context the legal provision that restricts a woman's inheritance rights with respect to land is of concern as it may lead, in extreme cases, to homelessness. According to national law, women are in general entitled to half of the inheritance of men and, when inheriting from her husband, a woman does not have the right to inherit land, having only rights over liquid assets. This also applies to land which she is occupying. In addition, a woman's share of her husband's inheritance is only one eighth if she has children or one quarter if she does not; in this last case, the remaining three fourths are transferred to the Government. (Paragraph 97)

In the light of the above, the difficulties faced by a woman attempting to rent or purchase a house and the absence of alternative accommodation, as well as discriminatory custody practices applying to children, may compel her to stay and put herself in severe danger. The links between violence against women and the right to adequate housing are unambiguous, given that the right to adequate housing also implies having access to a safe and secure house. (Paragraph 100)

UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women
Country visit: 29 January to 6 February2005
Report published: 27 January 2006

A husband is also permitted to take multiple wives, which is said to be a source of friction in the family and vulnerability for women. Thus, laws disempowering women in the area of marriage legitimise power imbalances in the marriage relationship, make women vulnerable to violence and make it difficult for them to escape violence. (Paragraph 45)

Given the ideological framework referred to above, violence against women in Iran is rarely acknowledged as a serious problem by the authorities and rarely reported by the victims. The 1999 Human Development Report of Iran indicates that domestic violence, in particular, is a hidden social phenomenon which is not discussed openly. The report concludes that no action has been taken to change prevailing attitudes or reform the pertinent laws and regulations. Although the report is outdated, the Special Rapporteur's interviews did not indicate fundamental changes. It was particularly clear in Ilam that women feel compelled to tolerate violence, inflicted not only by their husbands but also by other family members, for fear of shame, of being ostracised, or of being divorced and for lack of alternatives to the abusive environment. The Special Rapporteur found that some of the cases of self-immolation in the city are linked to the lack of legal protection for women victims of violence, lack of shelters, difficulty in obtaining a divorce, child custody laws that favour the father and pervasive gender discrimination throughout society. (Paragraph 34)

Discriminatory laws in both the Civil and Penal Codes in Iran play a major role in empowering men and aggravating women's vulnerability to violence. In particular, discriminatory provisions in the Civil Code relating to the areas of marriage, child custody, freedom of movement and inheritance may lead to, perpetuate or legitimise violence against women perpetrated by private actors. The provisions of the Penal Code relating to crimes specified in the sharia, namely, hudud, qisas and diyah, are of particular relevance in terms of gender justice. (Paragraph 44)

Child custody laws also favour men over women. In principle, both the physical custody (hezanat) and the legal guardianship (velayat) of the child belong to the father. While, under certain circumstances, women are granted physical custody, legal guardianship, which includes the authority over decisions regarding the child's well-being, is almost exclusively given to the father. Following a divorce, physical custody was until recently granted to the mother until age 7 for girls and age 2 for boys. In 2003, the law was changed to allow both children to remain with the mother till age 7, custody is then automatically transferred to the father, or if he is absent or incapable, to another male in his family. If the mother remarries, the physical custody then shifts to the father. Women who have been subjected to violence frequently do not want to risk losing their children and, when faced with such a possibility, they often feel they have no choice but to remain in a relationship with a violent partner. (Paragraph 47)

The Civil Code also restricts women's freedom of movement. For example, according to article 1005, as the exclusive head of the family the man has the right to control his wife's freedom of movement and behaviour in many situations. She must show the written and notarised approval of her husband in order to obtain a passport and to be allowed to travel abroad. A woman's freedom of movement is also seriously curtailed by the numerous rules upholding sex segregation in public space. Additionally, an unaccompanied woman must obtain permission from her husband or the local authorities in order to stay at a hotel. To be able to leave the house, women and girls must dress according to the mandatory dress code (hejab). Although the Deputy Minister of the Interior explained that there was no mandatory dress code, others the Special Rapporteur spoke to claimed the contrary and argued that failing to obey this rule may result in punishment of 10 days to 2 months' imprisonment and a fine. Such legal provisions empower men to use force on women, including diverse forms of violence, in order to ensure compliance. (Paragraph 48)

The law provides that women inherit only half of the share of property of their male counterparts. For example, daughters inherit only half of the share of sons. If a woman in a permanent marriage dies, her husband inherits all of her property if she has no other heirs and a fourth of the property if she has children. If a husband dies, his wife only inherits a fourth of his property if she is his sole relative and an eighth if he has children. A woman has no right to inherit land. Even if there is a written will contesting these rules, it is not legally binding. The links between the denial of women's property rights and the risk of violence have been well documented, in particular by the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing.33 In this regard, it should be noted that the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing visited the Islamic Republic of Iran from 19 to 30 July 2005 and we expect that his analysis and recommendations will guide the Government in addressing these problems, particularly in view of contemporary realities regarding women's status. (Paragraph 49)

These steps, while significant, have not been enough to fully address the wide spectrum of violence suffered by women. If the Iranian regime is sincere about restoring women's dignity then it must embark on a re-interpretation of its fundamental norms, including Islamic principles in line with the current needs and societal contributions of women as well as with universal human rights standards. Some recent amendments to the law concerning child custody and the minimum age of marriage as well as the moratorium on stoning are significant steps in this direction and show that it can be done. It is important to acknowledge that the majority of the female population in Iran is young and well educated. The current practices do not allow them to reach their full potential and aspirations. (Paragraph 65)

In order to enhance women's access to justice through a transparent legal and judiciary reform it is recommended that the Government:

  • Prevent early and forced marriages;
  • Remove obstacles to women's rights with regard to child custody, divorce, inheritance and freedom of movement;
  • Raise the age of majority for girls and boys to 18 in conformity with the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  • Establish procedures whereby custody rights are determined by a judicial process in accordance with the principle of the best interests of the child; (Paragraph 73)
  • To prioritise the elimination of violence against women as a public policy issue and to prevent, investigate and punish all acts of violence against women, whether perpetrated by private or State actors, it is recommended that the Government:
  • Conduct a full investigation into suicides of young women and their relationship to diverse forms of violence against women, to design preventive and protective measures to address these suicides, and to prevent the development of prejudice in public opinion that would revictimise survivors of suicide attempts and/or their families; (Paragraph 74)

The age of majority in the Islamic Republic of Iran is 9 for girls and 15 for boys. This is not only discriminatory, by setting the age lower for girls than boys, but it also subjects both girls and boys to the possibility of being tried as adults for criminal offences and is contrary to the definition of the child as contained in CRC. The Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern about this low age of criminal responsibility and in particular about reports that juveniles have been subjected to the death penalty and other punishments amounting to torture and ill-treatment such as amputation, flogging and stoning. (Paragraph 50)

UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrant
Country visit: 22 to 29 February 2004
Report published: 23 December 2004

If an Afghan marries an Iranian woman, their children have no legal status because the presence of the Afghan man is irregular and the marriage is not recognised officially. The Special Rapporteur was told that in Khourastan Province, over 10,000 children are facing this situation. At the same time, other groups, after 10-15 years' stay in Iran, have now integrated into Iranian society to the extent that they are reluctant to uproot themselves and their children born in Iran and face an uncertain future in Afghanistan. (Paragraph 27)

The Special Rapporteur considers that the strengthening of control systems should not disproportionately affect previously existing measures, in particular those relating to family reunification and integration of migrants who have been in Iran for several years. The Special Rapporteur is of the view that it is necessary to pay particular attention to Iranian women who have married Afghans as well as to their children. Particular attention should also be devoted to those Afghans who were born in Iran and have been living there since birth. The Government should consider providing a legal status to Afghan children born in Iran as well as to Afghans married to Iranian women as well as to their children. Measures to ensure the full and effective implementation of legislation relating to unaccompanied minors in relation to reunification and documentation should also be foreseen and implemented. (Paragraph 74)

Universal Periodic Review (February 2009)

A - 34. Ensure the equal treatment of women and girls in law and practice (Austria); (accepted)

A - 35. Facilitate for all children born to Iranian mothers access to a birth certificate and Iranian nationality, regardless of the nationality of the father (Mexico); (accepted)

A - 36. Continue to improve its policies and programmes to advance the status of women and girls, and protect children, including those with disabilities (Indonesia); (accepted)

92. R - 12. Repeal or amend all discriminatory provisions against women and girls in national legislation (Israel); (rejected)

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Discrimination against women and girls in access to education

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, March 2005)

The Committee is also concerned about the disparity that continues to exist between boys and girls; the high dropout rates of girls in rural schools upon reaching puberty; the lack of female teachers in rural areas; long distances between homes and schools, which keep girls at home, particularly after primary school and the lack of mobile schools for nomadic children, as well as the remarkable differences in the personal and material equipment between schools in urban and rural areas and between the most and least developed provinces, resulting in unequal educational opportunities. In addition, it regrets that the decision to expand compulsory education beyond the five years of primary school has been delayed for many years. (Paragraph 60)

Universal Periodic Review (February 2009)

A - 64. Continue to make progress in education and health care, with a particular focus on women and girl children (Bangladesh); (accepted)

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Discrimination against children from religious minority backgrounds

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, March 2005)

The Committee is concerned that little progress has been made in the area of freedom of religion and notes that members of unrecognised religions continue to be discriminated against and do not have the same rights as those of recognised religions, for example with regard to access to social services. In addition, it continues to be concerned at reports that these minorities, in particular the Baha’i minority, are subjected to harassment, intimidation and imprisonment on account of their religious beliefs.

The Committee recommends that the State party take effective measures, including enacting or rescinding legislation, to prevent and eliminate discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief and ensure that members of minority religions are not imprisoned or otherwise ill-treated on account of their religion and that access to education for their children is provided on an equal footing with others. (Paragraphs 41 and 42)

Universal Periodic Review (February 2009)

R - 14. Ensure that all minorities, and particularly the Baha'i community, can exercise all of their rights free from discrimination and persecution, in conformity with the recommendations of the Human Rights Committee, the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing (Mexico); (rejected)

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Inadequate provision of education for children from minority backgrounds
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, March 2005)

The Committee is concerned that little progress has been made in the area of freedom of religion and notes that members of unrecognised religions continue to be discriminated against and do not have the same rights as those of recognised religions, for example with regard to access to social services. In addition, it continues to be concerned at reports that these minorities, in particular the Baha’i minority, are subjected to harassment, intimidation and imprisonment on account of their religious beliefs.

The Committee recommends that the State party take effective measures, including enacting or rescinding legislation, to prevent and eliminate discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief and ensure that members of minority religions are not imprisoned or otherwise ill-treated on account of their religion and that access to education for their children is provided on an equal footing with others. (Paragraphs 41 and 42)

UN Human Rights Committee
Last reported: 17 and 18 October 2011
Concluding Observations issued: 2 November 2011

The Committee is concerned about the restrictions and conditions placed on the enjoyment of cultural, linguistic and religious freedoms of minorities in the State party, such as the Kurds, Arabs, Azeris and Baluch, including the use of minority languages in schools, and publication of journals and newspapers in minority languages (art.27).

The State party should ensure that all members of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities enjoy effective protection against discrimination and are able to enjoy their own culture and use their own language in media and schools, participate in public affairs and are provided with effective remedies against discrimination.(Paragraph 30)

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Last reported: 18 and 19 May 1993
Concluding Observations: 9 June 1993

The Committee draws again the attention to the following concerns expressed at its fifth session in 1990 about the situation of certain minority groups, which have not been satisfactorily answered in the course of the present session:

(c) Discrimination on religious grounds in the educational system;

(d) Insufficiency of the education offered to the children belonging to the Kurdish minority;

(g) The situation of the Kurds and the disparities that exist between the different ethnic and economic groups in the enjoyment of their rights to education, to work, to travel, to housing and to the enjoyment of cultural activities. (Paragraph 5).

UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Last reported: 4 and 5 August 2010
Concluding Observations issued: 27 August 2010

While the Committee notes that, according to the State party, measures are being taken to promote minority languages, and the teaching of minority languages and literature in schools is permitted, it expresses concern over the lack of sufficient measures to enable persons belonging to minorities to have adequate opportunities to learn their mother tongue and to have it used as a medium of instruction. It would have appreciated more information on the literacy levels of ethnic minorities. (Art. 5).

The Committee recommends the State party continue its efforts to implement measures to enable persons belonging to minorities to have adequate opportunities to learn their mother tongue and to have it used as a medium of instruction. It requests the State party to provide more information on the literacy levels of ethnic minorities. (Paragraph 12).

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Inadequate provision of social services for children with disabilities

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, March 2005)

While welcoming the programmes undertaken by the State party on the causes and prevention of disabilities, the Committee is concerned at the low number of disabled children attending school and the lack of information provided by the State party on attempts to integrate disabled children into the mainstream school system since the consideration of the initial report. It is also concerned at the low level of financial support received by these children and their families.

In the light of the Standard Rules on the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (General Assembly resolution 48/96 of 20 December 1993, annex) and of the Committee’s recommendations adopted at its day of general discussion on the rights of children with disabilities (see CRC/C/69, paras. 310-339), the Committee recommends that the State party adopt measures to integrate children with disabilities into mainstream education, including adopting the necessary measures to adapt schools to receiving children with different kinds of disability. The Committee recommends that the State party undertake at the same time public campaigns with a view to raising the level of awareness of the general public of the rights of the child. (Paragraphs 53 and 54)

Universal Periodic Review (February 2009)

A - 36. Continue to improve its policies and programmes to advance the status of women and girls, and protect children, including those with disabilities (Indonesia);

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Early marriage

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, March 2005)

The Committee notes the increase in the age of marriage for girls from 9 to 13 years (while that of boys remains at 15) and is seriously concerned at the very low minimum ages and the related practice of forced, early and temporary marriages.

The Committee urges the State party to review its legislation so that the age of majority is set at 18 years of age and that minimum age requirements conform with all the principles and provisions of the Convention and with internationally accepted standards, and in particular that they are gender neutral, in the best interests of the child, and ensure that they are enforced. It should also take the necessary steps to prevent and combat forced, early and temporary marriages. (Paragraphs 22 and 23)

[The Committee] is concerned at about reports that a certain number of girls from [alternative care] institutions are married off upon reaching the marriageable age (13 years). (Paragraph 49)

UN Human Rights Committee
Last reported: 17 and 18 October 2011
Concluding Observations issued: 2 November 2011

The Committee is concerned that the minimum age for marriage is too low and that it differentiates on the basis of sex. It is also concerned about the practice of forced, early and temporary marriages of young girls (articles 23, 24).

The State party should eliminate discrimination on the basis of sex in the minimum age of marriage. It should also ensure that the minimum age complies with international standards and should adopt active measures preventing forced, early and temporary marriage of girls. (Paragraph 28)

UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women
Country visit: 29 January to 6 February 2005
Report published: 27 January 2006

Prior to the 1979 Revolution, the modernisation process, initiated under the Pehlevi rule, led to certain legal reforms intended to benefit women in Iran. Particularly noteworthy are: the 1932 Civil Code that increased the minimum age of marriage to 15 for girls and 18 for boys; the introduction of co-education in Tehran University in 1936; the 1937 decree for compulsory unveiling; the 1940 Criminal Code (although it retained a man's right to murder an adulterous spouse and other female relatives); the right to vote instituted in 1963; and the 1967 and 1975 Family Protection Law that curtailed polygamy and the unilateral right to divorce for men. These reforms, however, impacted only a small minority of elite women, remaining irrelevant for masses of rural and working-class women. On the other hand, the encroachment of central policies eroded the power of the clergy, threatened the autonomy of tribal groups and undermined the interests of the provincial merchants. While curtailing the power of the traditional entities, it also failed to open democratic space for new and progressive voices to flourish. (Paragraph 7)

Early marriage is sanctioned by law as girls can be married as young as 13 and boys as young as 15. For girls, the age was only recently raised to 13 from the age of 9. Marriages may still be contracted for children under these ages with the consent of the parents. All girls and women must have the consent of the father (in his absence other male relatives) in order to enter into a marriage contract (art. 1041). Article 1105 of the Civil Code provides that the husband is the "head of the family". A husband is also permitted to take multiple wives, which is said to be a source of friction in the family and vulnerability for women. Thus, laws disempowering women in the area of marriage legitimise power imbalances in the marriage relationship, make women vulnerable to violence and make it difficult for them to escape violence. (Paragraph 45)

In order to enhance women's access to justice through a transparent legal and judiciary reform it is recommended that the Government:

  • Prevent early and forced marriages;
  • Remove obstacles to women's rights with regard to child custody, divorce, inheritance and freedom of movement;
  • Raise the age of majority for girls and boys to 18 in conformity with the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  • Establish procedures whereby custody rights are determined by a judicial process in accordance with the principle of the best interests of the child; (Paragraph 73)
  • To prioritise the elimination of violence against women as a public policy issue and to prevent, investigate and punish all acts of violence against women, whether perpetrated by private or State actors, it is recommended that the Government:
  • Conduct a full investigation into suicides of young women and their relationship to diverse forms of violence against women, to design preventive and protective measures to address these suicides, and to prevent the development of prejudice in public opinion that would revictimise survivors of suicide attempts and/or their families; (Paragraph 74)

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Child labour

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, March 2005)

While welcoming the ratification on 8 June 2002 by the State party of ILO Convention No. 182 concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, the Committee remains concerned at the large number of children below the age of 15, particularly in rural areas, who are involved in child labour, especially in the informal sector, including carpet weaving and other traditional family businesses. The Committee also notes that although article 79 of the Labour Code sets the minimum age of access to employment at 15, other legislation, including the Agricultural Code, sets that age at 12.

The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Review its legislation on the minimum age of access to employment so that the minimum age of 15 applies in all situations of labour;

(b) Reconsider the existing list of prohibited forms of worst labour with a view to reducing and eliminating existing exceptions;

(c) Vigorously pursue enforcement of minimum-age standards, including requiring employers to have, and produce on demand, proof of age of all children working on their premises;

(d) Provide the labour inspectors with all the necessary support, including child labour expertise, with a view to enabling them to monitor effectively at the State and local level the implementation of labour law standards and to receive and address complaints of violations;

(e) Consider ratifying ILO Convention No. 138 concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment and adopting accordingly explicit legislation and measures to protect children from economic exploitation through labour in the informal sector, including family enterprises, agricultural activities and as domestic labour, and that technical inspections be extended to these areas;

(f) Seek technical assistance from ILO in order to establish an IPEC programme in Iran. (Paragraphs 68 and 69)

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Last reported: 18 and 19 May 1993
Concluding Observations issued: 9 June 1993

The Committee notes that the rate of unemployment, which had risen to 15 per cent as a result of the war with Iraq has, in the four years since the end of the war, fallen to 10 per cent; that under new labour legislation annual leave has been increased from 12 to 30 days and that the minimum age for employment has been raised from 12 to 15 years; that the Ministry of Labour has established a countrywide network of labour inspectors whose task is to ensure compliance with Labour regulations and who have the authority to shut down part or whole of an enterprise in which safety measures are considered inadequate. (Paragraph 3).

UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants
Country visit: 22 to 29 February 2004
Report published: 23 December 2004

Restrictions on refugees' access to employment were tightened so that all refugees except those with old work permits were classified as illegal workers and thereby subject to expulsion. A new policy of fining and imprisoning the employers of undocumented workers was also introduced, causing in some instances loss of jobs and more restricted access to social services. Many refugees were immediately fired from their jobs, and thereby also lost their homes and all entitlement to medical care. They had absolutely no access to State social security or any other safety net. Little or no compensation is paid when workers in the construction sector are killed or disabled in accidents. Informed reports have suggested that there has been an increased use of drugs to sustain long and hard working days as well as increased use of child labour in informal sectors. Iranian entrepreneurs will also be heavily penalised for employing illegal Afghan workers. (Paragraph 24)

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Trafficking of children

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, March 2005)

The Committee is concerned about reports of trafficking and sale of persons under 18 years of age, particularly young girls from rural areas, facilitated by “temporary marriages” or “siqeh” - marriages which last from 1 hour to 99 years. It is also concerned at reports of the trafficking of such persons from Afghanistan to Iran, who are apparently sold or sent by their families in Afghanistan for exploitation, including cheap labour.

Consideringthatthesale and trafficking of children is a criminal offence, the Committee recommends that the State party take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures to prevent and eliminate this phenomenon and to ensure that traffickers are prosecuted, convicted and punished. (Paragraphs 70 and 71)

UN Human Rights Committee
Last reported: 17 and 18 October 2011
Concluding Observations issued: 2 November 2011

The Committee is concerned about the persistent trafficking in women and children, particularly young girls from rural areas, often facilitated by temporary marriages ("siqeh")(art.8).A - 45. Conduct a policy of zero tolerance towards the trafficking in women and girl children, child prostitution and the production of pornography involving children (Germany);

The State party should take steps to combat and prevent the trafficking and sale of persons under 18 years of age. The State party is also requested to provide the Committee in its next periodic report with statistics, on an annual basis, on the number of arrests and convictions under the 2004 law to combat trafficking. (Paragraph 20)

UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women
Country visit: 29 January to 6 February 2005
Report published: 27 January 2006

Reports also indicate that there is a worrying increase in the trafficking of girls and women. Most of the trafficking is said to occur in the eastern provinces and mainly in border towns with Pakistan and Afghanistan where women are kidnapped, bought or entered into temporary marriage in order to be sold into sexual slavery in other countries.28 The officials with whom the Special Rapporteur spoke informed her that measures were being taken to combat trafficking. Since 1999 about 28 "health houses" have been set up by the State-run Welfare Association to provide assistance to unmarried girls who have run away from their homes and are at risk of being trafficked. These institutions provide temporary housing, professional counselling and skills development for runaway girls. However, reports indicate that girls may be trapped in abusive situations even in these shelters. For instance, in February 2001, senior State officials were charged with trafficking girls living at the Jasmine Centre. A judge of the Revolutionary Court was among those accused. (Paragraph 36)

Universal Periodic Review (February 2009)

A - 45. Conduct a policy of zero tolerance towards the trafficking in women and girl children, child prostitution and the production of pornography involving children (Germany); (accepted)

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Children living on the streets

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, March 2005)

The Committee continues to be concerned about the large number of children living and/or working in the streets, particularly in urban centres such as Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad, and Shiraz. It regrets that the State party could not present studies on the extent and nature of the problem and is concerned that the centres known as “Khaneh Sabz”, “Khaneh Shoush” and “Khaneh Reyhane” homes, which were established to assist these children, albeit in a limited capacity, have been closed down. It is equally concerned at reports of the round-up and arrest of Afghan children in the streets despite the fact that they were registered with the authorities, and that as a “condition” for their release the authorities request that their parents register for repatriation. The Committee welcomes the policy of the State party to reunite children with their families, whenever possible, and notes the State party’s assurances that these children are assembled in centres for further assistance and not arrested with police methods.

The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) Take measures to address the large and increasing number of street children, with the aim of protecting these children, especially girls, and of preventing and reducing this phenomenon, in particular through assistance to families and the provision of adequate housing and access to education;

(b) Ensure that street children are provided with adequate nutrition, clothing, housing, health care and educational opportunities, including vocational and life-skills
training, in order to support their full development, providing official documents when necessary;(c) Ensure that child victims of physical, sexual and substance abuse are provided with recovery and reintegration services, protection from arbitrary and/or unlawful arrest and maltreatment by the police, and effective services for reconciliation with their families and community;
(d) Ensure that all Afghan children rounded up on the streets are released and are not used to push their parents to repatriate;
(e) Collaborate with NGOs working with street children in the State party and seek technical assistance from relevant United Nations and other international organisations. (Paragraphs 64 and 65)

UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing
Country visit: 19 to 31 July 2005
Report published: 21 March 2006

Although noting the information received from the Government regarding the establishment of so called "social crisis management centres", the Special Rapporteur would also like to express particular concern in relation to the insufficiency of safe houses for runaway girls and street women, which may also lead to homelessness. Lack of essential official statistics concerning housing-related issues, including on the number of homeless people in the country and data on violence against women, constitutes an obstacle to a more complete assessment of the overall housing situation in the country. (Paragraph 101)

The Government should: Develop further policies to address discrimination against women in relation to equal access to housing, land, property and inheritance, including the urgent creation of safe houses for women subject to violence, runaway girls and street women; (Paragraph 105)

UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants
Country visit: 22 to 29 February 2004
Report published: 23 December 2004

Street children and unaccompanied children are sent to juvenile centres while their relatives are located. (Paragraph 35)

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