Concluding observation Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
E/C.12/IRN/CO/2 para 16
Full recommendation:
The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to ensure universal access to health
insurance, providing for coverage for a minimum essential level of benefits to all individuals and
families, including access to health facilities, goods and services on a non-discriminatory basis;
provision of essential drugs; access to reproductive, maternal (prenatal as well as post-natal)
and child health care; and immunization against the major infectious diseases occurring in the
community.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
According to the Iranian Constitution, all persons should be seen as equal, and their right to
health care should be respected evenly. However, this protection is only extended to ‘citizens of
the nation’ and only grants rights to women in so far as they are consistent with the principles of
Islam. Article 3 states: “(...)the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has the duty of
directing all its resources to the following goals: […] the planning of a correct and just economic
system, in accordance with Islamic criteria in order to create welfare, eliminate poverty, and
abolish all forms of deprivation with respect to food, housing, work, health care, and the
provision of social insurance for all”. Likewise, Article 29 establishes that “Every person is
entitled to the enjoyment of Social Security. This covers retirement, unemployment, old age,
being laid off, being without a guardian, casual misfortune, accidents, and occurrences giving
rise to the need for health services and medical care and treatment, through insurance, etc.”2
To improve the health system, Iran’s government has been carrying out the Health Sector
Evolution Plan (HSEP) or Health Reform Plan (HRP) since 2014.3 HSEP programs have been
implemented in part through an expansion of health insurance coverage to provide free basic
health insurance to all Iranian uninsured individuals.4
Article 148 of the Labour Code compels employers to provide insurance for their workers under
the Social Security Act to cover physical damages including medical expenses and compensation
for lost wages. Family members of insured workers are also eligible to receive health insurance
from the social security organization. However, because Iranian law considers the man the head

1

ESCR.9.1.S.3; ESCR.9.1.P.1; ESCR.9.1.O.1, ESCR.9.1.O.2, ESCR.9.1.O.4
Iran Chamber
Art. 29, Ch III http://www.iranchamber.com/government/laws/constitution_ch03.php
3
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5971176/
4
https://www.ijhpm.com/article_3089_1d34bb997a3eff9edd74ae857015e550.pdf
2

1

Select target paragraph3