Concluding Observations, CRC/C/IRN/CO/3-4, 29 January 2016: Iran
IV. Main areas of concern and recommendations
C. General principles (arts. 2, 3, 6 and 12)
31. The Committee is also concerned about the continued discrimination against children belonging to religious minorities, especially Baha’i children and Sunni children, as well as children who belong to minority ethnic and linguistic groups, children born out of wedlock, and to a certain extent, asylum-seeking and refugee children. Furthermore, it is concerned that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) children continue to face discrimination because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or identity and that the same-sex sexual behaviour of adolescents above the current age of criminal responsibility is criminalized and punished with penalties ranging from flogging to the death penalty.
32. The Committee recommends that the State party take effective measures, including accountability, to put an end to discrimination against religious, ethnic and linguistic minorities, children born out of wedlock and asylum-seeking and refugee children, and that it ensure that those responsible for any forms of discrimination against such groups are held accountable. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party decriminalize same-sex relations and take measures to eliminate discrimination against LGBTI children.
E. Violence against children (arts. 19, 24 (3), 28 (2), 34, 37 (a) and 39)
Torture and other cruel or degrading treatment or punishment
53. While welcoming the Islamic Penal Code of 2013 abolishing corporal punishment and the flogging of children under the age of 18 years for crimes under the ta’zir category, the Committee remains seriously concerned that this Code retains punishment for children who have reached the legal age of criminal responsibility (9 lunar years for girls and 15 lunar years for boys) for crimes under the hudud and qisas categories, with sentences involving torture or cruel or degrading treatment or punishment, which have been and continue to be applied to children. While recognizing the decree of the Supreme Leader not to have children witness public executions, the Committee is concerned about the negative impact of still-ongoing public executions witnessed by children, on their mental health and well-being. Furthermore, it is concerned at the reports that LGBTI children are subjected to electric shocks and the administration of hormones and strong psychoactive medications for the purpose of “curing” them.
54. In light of its general comment No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence, and taking note of Sustainable Development Goal 16.2 to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children, the Committee strongly urges the State party to immediately repeal all provisions which authorize or condone cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of children. It also recommends that the State party put an end to public executions, which have an irreversible negative effect on the mental health of children who witness them, by implementing the above-mentioned decree. Furthermore, the Committee urges the State party to ensure that LGBTI children are not subjected to cruel and degrading treatment such as electric shocks and the administration of hormones and strong psychoactive medications, and that those responsible for these acts are held accountable.
G. Disability, basic health and welfare (arts. 6, 18 (3), 23, 24, 26, 27 (1-3) and 33)
71. The Committee notes that the State party advised, during the dialogue, that sexual and reproductive health information was included in school curricula in some parts of the country, but it is concerned that this information is not sufficient. The Committee is also concerned that LGBTI children have no access to information about gender identity or sexual orientation and that transgender persons are forced to undergo surgical treatment.
72. In the light of its general comment No. 4 (2003) on adolescent health and development, the Committee recommends that the State party adopt a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health policy for adolescents throughout the country and ensure that sexual and reproductive health education is part of the mandatory school curriculum and is targeted at adolescent girls and boys, with special attention to preventing early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. It also urges the State party to take measures to provide LGBTI children with access to information on gender identity and sexual orientation. Furthermore, it urges the State party to put an end to forcible surgical treatment of transgender persons.
H. Education, leisure and cultural activities (arts. 28-31)
Education, including vocational training and guidance
77. The Committee welcomes the progress in the area of education, including the high rate of enrolment of children in primary and secondary schools. However, the Committee is concerned about:
(e) Harassment, bullying and expulsion of LGBTI children from schools for failing to observe social expectations of femininity or masculinity;
78. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(d) Prohibit, prevent and punish the harassment, bullying, and expulsion from schools of LGBTI children;
Link to full text of the report: Concluding Observations-CRC-Iran-2016-eng