Concluding Observation Human Rights Committee CCPR/C/IRN/CO/3 para 10
Full recommendation:
The State party should repeal or amend all legislation which provides for or could result in
discrimination against, and prosecution and punishment of, people because of their sexual
orientation or gender identity. It should ensure that anyone held solely on account of freely and
mutually agreed sexual activities or sexual orientation should be released immediately and
unconditionally. The State party should also take all necessary legislative, administrative and
other measures to eliminate and prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,
including with respect to access to employment, housing, education and health care, and to
ensure that individuals of different sexual orientation or gender identity are protected from
violence and social exclusion within the community. The Committee reaffirms that all of these
matters fall entirely within the purview of the rights contained in the Covenant, and therefore
within the Committee’s mandate. It urges the State party to include detailed information on the
enjoyment of Covenant rights by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
community in its next periodic report.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
A. The Islamic Republic of Iran should repeal or amend all legislation which provides
for or could result in discrimination against, and prosecution and punishment of,
people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity
Article 19 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran guarantees that all people enjoy
equal rights, “whatever the ethnic group or tribe to which they belong” and that “color, race,
language, and the like, do not bestow any privilege”.2 However, the Constitution lacks an explicit
provision recognizing sexual orientation and/or gender identity as protected characteristics.
Article 20 of the 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”.3 The stipulation of “Islamic criteria”
excludes lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals from this legal guarantee as same sex relations are
penalized under the Iranian ‘Islamic Penal Code’.4

1
CCPR.2.1.S.1; CCPR.2.1.S.2; ESCR.2.2.S.1; ESCR.12.2.4.S.1; ESCR.13.1.S.1
CCPR.2.1.P.1; CCPR.2.1.P.1; ESCR.2.2.P.1; ESCR.2.2.P.2; ESCR.2.2.P.3
CCPR.2.1.O.1; ESCR.2.2.O.2; ESCR.6.1.O.3; ESCR.9.1.O.7; ESCR.12.1.O.9; ESCR.12.2.4.O.1; ESCR.13.2.O.3; ESCR.13.1.S.1;
ESCR.13.2.O.6
2
Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, http://www.iranchamber.com/government/laws/constitution_ch03.php
3
Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, http://www.iranchamber.com/government/laws/constitution_ch03.php
4
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, https://iranhrdc.org/denied-identity-human-rights-abuses-against-irans-lgbtcommunity/#2

1

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