Concluding Observations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
E/C.12/IRN/CO/2 para 19
Full recommendation
The Committee recommends that the State party take urgent and effective steps to address the
very high number of children living and/or working in the street, address the root causes of
the phenomenon, and provide all street children with access to health services and education.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators
A. The State Party should take urgent and effective steps to address the very high
number of children and/or working in the street
The Iranian legal framework contains discriminatory provisions against “vagrant” individuals,
which may include children living and/or working in the street. 1 Under the Criminal Code of
Procedure (2015), a crime can be considered “evident” -meaning that no warrant is required
to arrest the accused of such crime- notably when “the accused is a vagrant and has a negative
reputation in the area in question”.2 Such provision may put street children at risk of arbitrary
arrests. In its 2019 National Report to the Universal Periodic Review, the Government of the
Islamic Republic of Iran stated that “on the basis of the 6th Development Plan Act, the
Government is obliged to increase protection of […] street children (Article 78), and to
organize and reduce street children and child laborers. »3 In June 2020 the Iranian Guardian
Council passed a legislation that, among other provisions aimed at protecting children,
requires social workers from the State Welfare Organization to promptly investigate the
children in situation of “extreme danger” from abuse, exploitation, or being out of school,4 5
situations in which most of street children are. However, the law does not specifically address
children in street situations. In its General Comment No.21 on children in street situations, the
Committee on the Rights of the Child stipulates that States should “abolish where appropriate
offences that criminalize and disproportionately affect children in street situations, such as
[…] vagrancy” and should “introduce or review an act on child protection or children based
on a child rights approach and that specifically addresses children in street situations.” 6
According to official estimates, there are about 60,000 children living in the streets in the
Islamic Republic of Iran, 7 although non-governmental organizations estimated the number to
1

For instance, under Article 177 of the Islamic Penal Code, a vagrant cannot be considered as a witness. Islamic Penal Code
(2013), English translation, Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre, https://iranhrdc.org/english-translation-of-books-i-iiof-the-new-islamic-penal-code/
2
Criminal Code of Procedure (2015), as referenced by Amnesty International in
https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1327082016ENGLISH.PDF
3
National Report, UPR 2019, Islamic Republic of Iran, https://undocs.org/A/HRC/WG.6/34/IRN/1
4
Human Rights Watch, https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/06/23/iran-child-protection-law-positive-insufficient
5
https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/legal_draft/state/1055680
6
General Comment No.21 on children in street situations, Committee on the Rights of the Child, CRC/C/GC/21,
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC/C/GC/21&Lang=en
7
U.S. State Department Human Rights Report 2019, Iran, https://www.state.gov/reports/2019-country-reports-on-human-rightspractices/iran/

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