Concluding observation Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
E/C.12/IRN/CO/2 paragraph 8
Full Recommendation:
The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to ensure that members of the Baha’i
community are protected against discrimination and exclusion in every field, including denial of
employment and benefits of the pension system. The Committee also recommends that the State
party take steps to guarantee, in law and practice, the unhindered access of Baha’i students to
universities and vocational training institutions, and to prevent refusals of access and expulsions
of students from such institutions based on their belonging to the Baha’i community.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators.1
A. The Committee recommends that the Islamic Republic of Iran take steps to ensure
that members of the Baha’i community are protected against discrimination and
exclusion in every field, including denial of employment and benefits of the pension
system
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran names the Twelver Ja’fari School of Shia Islam
as the state religion (Article 12).2 Article 13 of the Constitution provides that the Zoroastrian,
Jewish, and Christian Iranians “are the only recognized religious minorities” under Iranian law.
Additionally, 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”.3 However, the Constitution omits an explicit provision
recognizing religion or belief as a protected characteristic. As a consequence, because the
Baha’is are not recognized under Iranian law, they have no legal safeguards to protect the
practice of their religion. Article 14 of the Constitution sets out that the government and Muslims
in Iran are “duty-bound to treat non-Muslims in conformity with ethical norms and the principles
of Islamic justice and equity, and to respect their citizen rights”.4 Articles 23 to 27 of the
Constitution provide for freedom of expression, assembly and association. However, this duty
applies only to those “who refrain from engaging in conspiracy or activity against Islam and the
Islamic Republic of Iran”, a charge that is regularly held against certain religious minorities,
especially the Baha’is. 5

1

ESCR 2.2.S.1; ESCR 2.2.S.2; ESCR 2.2.P.1; ESCR 2.2.P.2; ESCR 2.2.P.3; ESCR 2.2.O.1; ESCR 2.2.O.2; ESCR 2.2.O.3
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation,
http://www.iranchamber.com/government/laws/constitution_ch01.php
3
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation,
http://www.iranchamber.com/government/laws/constitution_ch03.php
4
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran http://www.iranchamber.com/government/laws/constitution_ch01.php
5
See more: Baha’i International Community, https://www.bic.org/focus-areas/situation-iranian-bahais/current-situation
2

1

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