Jul 20, 2015

Joint Public Statement on the 21st Anniversary of Iran’s Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

On 20 July 2015, UNPO and nine other human rights groups released a joint public statement entitled Iran: 20 years of unfulfilled promises: It is time to put children first. Acknowledging that 21 years have passed since Tehran ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the statement strongly condemns Iran’s continued disregard for the basic human rights of children, especially those belonging to the Azeri Turkish, Baloch, Ahwazi Arab and Kurdish communities. Two decades after the ratification, not only successive Iranian governments and parliaments have failed to comply and implement the articles of the Convention, but also the consequences of its systematic discrimination on children from ethnic minorities have intensified.   

The Islamic Republic of Iran is now under periodic review by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which will decide on the country’s implementation of the treaty in its 71st session, in January 2016. During the pre-Session, which took place in June 2015, the Committee adopted a list of issues that will form the basis for the periodic review of Iran. The key concerns addressed are in regard to: Age of majority and adult criminal responsibility; Juvenile executions; Minimum age of marriage; Age of majority and adult criminal responsibility; Children belonging to religious minorities; Children belonging to ethnic minorities; Torture and other ill-treatment; and Abuse and violence. The Iranian government has been asked to respond to the concerns raised in the list of issues ahead of the session, preferably before 15 October 2015.

UNPO, as well as the other organisations releasing this appeal have been involved in this periodic review since the kick-off. Last February 2015, UNPO submitted its Alternative Report to the Committee, on the occasion of the 71st Pre-Sessional Working Group. The report focused on the children of the minority groups and examined the articles of the Convention it considered to have been violated by the Iranian government, highlighting the outrageous cases of arbitrary arrests, detention, use of torture and death penalty. Aimed at raising awareness of the institutionalized discrimination towards the ethnic communities, the report included UNPO’s recommendations on how to address the violations it highlighted.

The ten organizations also submitted a joint NGO report summarizing their various observations and highlighting the most urgent issues, available on the website of Amnesty International.

The other organizations that released the appeal are Amnesty International, Association for Human Rights of the Azerbaijani people in Iran, Justice for Iran, Iran Human Rights, Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network, The Advocates for Human Rights, Insight Iran, Kashaneh and The Baha'i International Community's United Nations Office.

You can download the joint statement issued today here.

Photo courtesy of Beluchistan@flickr