Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/HRC/40/67 para 73(c)
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur recommends that Parliament: Amend the Penal Code to increase the
age of criminal responsibility for qisas and hudud crimes to 18 years for all children, and ensure
that all children are treated equally and without discrimination within the criminal justice
system.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
A. The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran:
Amend the Penal Code to increase the age of criminal responsibility for qisas and hudud
crimes to 18 years for all children

The Islamic Penal Code (2013)2 establishes the age of criminal responsibility at 9 lunar years for
girls and 15 lunar years for boys.3 However, the age of responsibility for ta’zir crimes (crimes for
which fixed penalties are not provided under Islamic law)4 is 18 years. For these crimes,
convicted children are sentenced to correctional measures. In contrast, criminal responsibility for
crimes punishable by hudud (punishments fixed by God) or qisas (punishment or retribution in
kind), which carry mandatory punishments such as death, is maintained at the age of “maturity”
that is 9 lunar years for girls and 15 lunar years for boys. The law on the “Protection of Children
and Adolescents”,5 adopted in June 2020, provides alternative punishments for persons under the
age of 18, except for crimes under qisas and hudud. In such cases, sentences that are already
established under the Islamic Penal Code prevail.6
Reportedly, four convicted child offenders were executed in 2019 in the Islamic Republic of
Iran.7
In his January 2020 report, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic
Republic of Iran wrote that “he continues to monitor the situation of child offenders on death

1

CCPR.6.5.S.1; CCPR.2.1.S.1; CCPR.6.5.P.1; CCPR.2.1.P.1; CCPR.2.1.P.2; CCPR.6.5.O.1
Article 146 and 147, Islamic Penal Code (2013), English translation, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center,
https://iranhrdc.org/english-translation-of-books-i-ii-of-the-new-islamic-penal-code/
3
Article 1210, note 1
4
Ta’zir crimes are acts that are in violation of Shari’a laws and/or the Islamic Government’s regulations. While punishment of
crimes under hudud or qisas are provided under Shari’a law, taz’ir crimes do not have codified and fixed penalties under Shari’a
law and are determined at the discretion of the Islamic Government.
5
The law adopted on May 12, 2020 : https://shenasname.ir/laws/6788
6
Article 25 of the law of “Protection of Children and Adolescents”.
7
ECPM, Iran Human Rights: https://www.ecpm.org/wp-content/uploads/Rapport-iran-2020-gb-070420-WEB.pdf
2

1

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