Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic
of Iran A/HRC/40/67 para 73(b)
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur recommends that Parliament: Withdraw the general reservation to the
Convention on the Rights of the Child given that such a general reservation is not compatible
with the object and purpose of the Convention.
Assessment
According to Article 19 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which entered into
force on 27 January 1980, “A State may, when signing, ratifying, accepting, approving or
acceding to a treaty, formulate a reservation unless: […] the reservation is incompatible with the
object and purpose of the treaty.”
According to Article 9 of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Civil Code, any ratified international
instrument, which includes the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), should have the
force of law and thus should be enforceable in the national courts and impact the larger legal
framework.1 The Islamic Republic of Iran has, however, included a reservation to the
Convention, which states that: “The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the
right not to apply any provisions or articles of the Convention that are incompatible with Islamic
Laws and the internal legislation in effect.”2
The legislation passed by Iran’s Parliament in order to ratify the CRC echoes this reservation and
only adopts the Convention into Iran’s legal framework “provided that if at any time
or for any reason its content should contradict domestic laws or Islamic standards, the Islamic
Republic of Iran is not obligated to adhere to it.”3
In other words, the Convention is limited by uncodified interpretive Islamic law and is also
subservient to and superseded by other national laws.4
In 2005, the Committee of the Rights of the Child found that Iran’s broad and imprecise
reservation does not meet the necessary requirements for reservations, as it in effect negates
many provisions of the Convention and undermines the object and purpose of the treaty.5

1
Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran (“Civil Code”), art. 9 (1981, amended 1991, 2006) available at:
http://www.alaviandassociates.com/documents/civilcode.pdf
2
Reservation of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, issued upon ratification (13 July 1994)
available at: http://treaties.un.org/doc/publication/unts/volume%201788/volume-1788-a-27531-english.pdf
3
The Law Allowing Accession of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (“NBCRC Law”),
(20 February 1994) available at: http://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/92374
4
See more: NGO Joint submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 2016,
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CRC/Shared%20Documents/IRN/INT_CRC_NGO_IRN_19809_E.pdf
5
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of the Report submitted, (31 March 2005), CRC/C/15/Add.254, paras.
6-7, available at: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC%2fC%2f15%2fAdd.254&Lang=en

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