Concluding Observation Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights E/C.12/IRN/CO/2 para 6 Full recommendation: The Committee urges that the State party take steps to ensure that people with beliefs other than the religions recognized by the State party can fully enjoy all aspects of economic, social and cultural rights, without any discrimination. Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1 Discrimination on the basis of religion is not expressly prohibited by the Iranian Constitution. This leads to situations in which members of certain religious minorities can see the exercise of their economic, social and cultural rights being restricted. The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran names the Twelver Ja’fari School of Shia Islam as the state religion and stipulates that “other Islamic schools are to be accorded full respect, and their followers are free to act in accordance with their own jurisprudence in performing their religious rites” (Article 12).2 Article 13 of the Constitution provides that the Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian Iranians “are the only recognised religious minorities” under Iranian law. Given that there are no laws safeguarding the right of religious minorities to worship, maintain places of worship or assembly, the structural exclusion of other religious minorities leaves them without legal protection to manifest and practice their religion or belief. 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”. 3 However, the Constitution omits an explicit provision recognising 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”.4 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 1 ESCR.6.1.S.3; ESCR.15.1.1.S.1; ESCR.13.1.S.1 ESCR.6.2.P.2; ESCR.14.1.P.1; ESCR.15.1.1.P.2; ESCR.13.1.P.2 ESCR.6.1.O.3; ESCR.15.1.1.O.1; ESCR.13.1.O.4 2 The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid. 1

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