Concluding Observation Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
E/C.12/IRN/CO/2 para 30
Full recommendation:
The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to ensure the full and unrestricted
enjoyment by ethnic minorities, including Kurds, Arabs, Azeris and Baluch, to their right to take
part in cultural life, including through the protection of publications and newspapers in minority
languages from imposed closure. The Committee also recommends that the State party take
measures to protect cultural diversity, promote awareness of the cultural heritage of national
and ethnic minorities, and ensure favourable conditions for members of those minorities to
preserve, develop, express and disseminate their identity, history, culture, language, traditions
and customs in line with the Committee’s general comment No. 21 (2009) on the right of
everyone to take part in cultural life.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
A. The Committee recommends that the Islamic Republic of Iran take steps to ensure
the full and unrestricted enjoyment by ethnic minorities, including Kurds, Arabs,
Azeris and Baluch, to their right to take part in cultural life, including through the
protection of publications and newspapers in minority languages from imposed
closure
Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees that all people enjoy equal rights, “whatever the ethnic
group or tribe to which they belong” and that “colour, race, language, and the like, do not bestow
any privilege”.2 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”.
While recognising Persian (Farsi) as the official language of the country, Article 15 of the
Iranian Constitution allows “the use of regional and tribal languages in the press and mass media,
as well as for the teaching of their literature in schools”. Currently, in addition to Persian (which
must be chosen), other languages can be selected when filling out an application form requesting
a publication license, including Kurdish, Azeri, Baluchi, Arabic, Turkish and "other languages".

1

ESCR.15.1.1.S.1 ; ESCR.15.1.1.S.3 ; ESCR.15.1.1.P.3 ; ESCR.15.1.1.O.6
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wpcontent/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf
2

1

Select target paragraph3