Concluding Observations Committee on the Rights of the Child CRC/C/IRN/CO/3-4 para
50
Full recommendation:
The Committee urges the State party to take measures to prevent and eliminate discrimination on
the grounds of religion or belief and to ensure that members of religious minority groups, in
particular persons of the Baha’i faith, are not persecuted, imprisoned or ill-treated on account of
their religion. The Committee also recommends that the State party review its hijab laws and
regulations and ensure that the right of girls to wear or not to wear the hijab is fully respected.
Assessment using Impact Iran indicators1
A. Prevent and eliminate discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief and to
ensure that members of religious minority groups, in particular persons of the
Baha’i faith are not persecuted
Article 20 of the Iranian Constitution states that “All citizens of the country, both men and
women, equally enjoy the protection of the law and enjoy all human, political, economic, social,
and cultural rights, in conformity with Islamic criteria”. Additionally, Article 23 of the
Constitution stipulates that “the investigation of individuals’ beliefs is forbidden, and no one may
be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief.” 2 However, religion or belief is
not a protected characteristic against discrimination in Iranian law.3
The lack of legal safeguards results in the instituting of discriminatory policies and practices,
particularly targeting Baha’is. In 1991, the Government institutionalised a policy against Baha’í
citizens in a memorandum entitled ‘The Baha’í Question’, produced by Iran’s Supreme
Revolutionary Cultural Council and approved by the Supreme Leader. The document outlines a
series of measures aiming to restrict Iranian Baha’ís access to education, economic and cultural
life. Although the Government affirmed that the Baha’is had not been singled out for
discrimination,4 the document remains intact today. On 26 March 2018, the Supreme Leader Ali
Khamenei issued, via his website, a new religious decree (fatwa) concerning “association and

1

CCPR.18.1.S.1; CCPR.18.1.P.1; CCPR.18.O.4; CCPR.19.2.S.1; CCPR18.1.P.6.
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation,
http://www.iranchamber.com/government/laws/constitution_ch03.php
3
Article 19 The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran English translation
http://www.iranchamber.com/government/laws/constitution_ch03.php
4
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 18 July 2019,
https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N19/222/62/PDF/N1922262.pdf?OpenElement
2

1

Select target paragraph3