Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences
E/CN.4/2006/61/Add.3 para 74 (b)
Full recommendation:
To prioritise the elimination of violence against women as a public policy issue and to prevent,
investigate and punish all acts of violence against women, whether perpetrated by private or
State actors, it is recommended that the Government: Establish and support more shelters for
women who have been subjected to violence and to ensure that women are able to access
information about these shelters through the police, judicial personnel and medical staff as well
as women’s non-governmental organisations;
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
The Islamic Republic of Iran does not have laws which specifically criminalise domestic
violence. According to Article 630 of the Islamic Penal Code (2013), if the husband catches his
wife committing a zina offence (adultery and fornication) with another man, he is excluded from
criminal liability if as a consequence he murders, assaults or commits battery against his wife.2
Article 1105 of the Iranian Civil Code recognises the husband as the head of the family, which
means that his orders must be respected by his wife and children.3 ‘Disobedience’ can be used as
a legal ground for battery.4 Article 1108 of the Civil Code stresses that if a wife refuses to have
sex with her husband without a reasonable excuse,5 she is not entitled to ‘spousal maintenance’.6
Although the legal minimum age for marriage is 13 under Iranian law,7 girls as young as 9 lunar
years can marry, subject to parental consent and court approval.8 Therefore, 9 lunar year old or
older married girls are also subject to the obligation present under Article 1108 of the Civil Code
which states that women need to fulfil the sexual needs of their husbands.

1

CCPR.3.1.S.1; ESCR.2.2.S.1; ESCR.3.2.S.1
CCPR.3.1.P.3; ESCR.2.2.P.1; ESCR.2.2.P.2
CCPR.3.1.O.4; ESCR.2.2.O.2
2
Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre https://iranhrdc.org/islamic-penal-code-of-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-book-five/
3
Amnesty International, 2015, https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1311112015ENGLISH.pdf
4
Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre https://iranhrdc.org/wpcontent/uploads/pdf_en/LegalCom/Womens_Rights_Commentary_389929723.pdf
5
A reasonable and valid excuse for a wife to refuse sexual relations is when the husband has contracted a venereal disease. Iran
Human Rights Documentation Centre, https://iranhrdc.org/wpcontent/uploads/pdf_en/LegalCom/Womens_Rights_Commentary_389929723.pdf
6
Amnesty International, 2015, https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1311112015ENGLISH.pdf
7
Article 1041 of the Civil Code as amended up until December 2000, NGO 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
8
Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre, https://iranhrdc.org/wpcontent/uploads/pdf_en/LegalCom/Womens_Rights_Commentary_389929723.pdf

1

Select target paragraph3