Concluding observations Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights
E/C.12/IRN/CO/2 para 12
Full recommendation
The Committee recommends that the State party ensure full compliance of the gozinesh
process with the standards under the Covenant, and thus ensure that employment is not made
conditional upon political opinion, previous political affiliation or support, or religious
affiliation.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1

Article 19 of the Constitution 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 omits an explicit provision recognizing
religion or belief as a protected characteristic. 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 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”. 4 As a result, as freedom of religion or belief is not legally protected
under Iranian legislation and as the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights “in
conformity with Islamic criteria” is a conditional guarantee, religious and ethnic minorities’
rights are not adequately protected under the Iranian legal framework. Notably, members of
minorities face serious hurdles in accessing public sector employment due to the gozinesh
process.5
Employment in the public sector is based on the practice of gozinesh, a mandatory screening
process set forth in the Selection Law based on Religious and Ethical Standard of 1995.6 As
described by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic
of Iran, the process “involves investigations conducted by the Supreme Selection Council and
the Ministry of Intelligence into the acceptability of an applicant’s beliefs, previous political
opinions and affiliations” and is intended to ensure that applicants “adhere to and have
knowledge of Islam, follow the theory of Velayat-e-faqih (rule of an Islamic jurist under
Shi’ite Islam) and are loyal to the Islamic Republic of Iran.”7 Not only is gozinesh in
1

ESCR.6.1.S.2; ESCR.6.1.P.1; ESCR.6.1.O.3;
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wpcontent/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf
3
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wpcontent/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf
4
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wpcontent/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf
5
See http://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/92541 (in Persian).
6
Amnesty International, 2012, https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/
7
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

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