Concluding Observations Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights
E/C.12/IRN/CO/2 para 18
Full recommendation
The Committee calls on the State party to raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 years for
both boys and girls, and to ensure that marriage can be entered into only with the free
consent of the intending spouses.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
A. The State party should raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 years for both
boys and girls
Child marriage continues to be permitted under Iranian law. The legal minimum age for
marriage is 13 years old for girls and 15 years old for boys.2 However, children who have
reached puberty can marry with parental consent and court approval.3 The predefined age of
puberty under the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the age of legal majority, is 9 lunar years for
girls and 15 lunar years for boys.4 Marriage before puberty is criminalized in accordance with
Article 50 of the Family Protection Act5 and is punished under Article 646 of the Islamic
Penal Code (2013).6
In 2018, a proposed amendment to Article 1041 of the Civil Code that would raise the age of
marriage for girls from 13 to 16, while allowing earlier marriage with legal and medical
approval, was rejected by the Parliament’s Committee for Judicial and Legal Affairs.7 In
February 2019, the chair of the Committee stated that a “new plan” would be introduced for
parliament’s approval and the Guardian Council.8
During its last Universal Periodic Review (November 2019) the Government of the Islamic
Republic of Iran stated that the Act on Protection, Dignity and Security of Women against
Violence, will be “aimed at criminalizing new forms of assault, harassment and violations of
the rights of women and adopting preventive and support measures to stop violence against
women.”9 Reportedly, the bill would also include the prohibition of forced and early marriage
1

ESCR.3.S.1; ESCR.2.2.P.1; ESCR.2.2.P.2; ESCR.2.2.O.2
Article 1041 of the Civil Code as amended up until December 2000, NGO Impact Iran Coalition, 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
3
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, https://iranhrdc.org/wpcontent/uploads/pdf_en/LegalCom/Womens_Rights_Commentary_389929723.pdf
4
Committee on the Rights of the Child, 2016, CRC/C/IRN/CO/3-4, paras. 27–28 https://undocs.org/en/CRC/C/IRN/CO/3-4
5
Universal Periodic Review, Iran, 2019, https://undocs.org/A/HRC/43/12
6
Islamic Penal Code (2013), Islamic Republic of Iran, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center,
https://iranhrdc.org/islamic-penal-code-of-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-book-five/
7
Amnesty International, UPR submission 2019,
https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1305732019ENGLISH.PDF
8
Information from Impact Iran; see www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1397/11/17/1941311/
9
Universal Periodic Review, Iran, 2019, https://undocs.org/A/HRC/43/12
2

1

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