The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a founding member of the United Nations and a party to the major International Human Rights Instruments based on principles enshrined in its Constitution and in full compliance with its international commitments, has continuously put the great efforts into safeguarding the status and inherent dignity of human person as well as promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. These target-oriented efforts and policies entail, inter-alia, measures designed to overcome obstacles and difficulties hindering the full and effective enjoyment of all human rights at national and international levels.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is therefore firmly determined and prepared to maximally utilize its potentials and capacities for achieving the noble and common objectives of international community in this domain.
1) International Commitments
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
- International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;
- Convention on the Rights of the Child;
-Convention on the Prevention and punishment of the Crime of Genocide;
- International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment the Crime of Apartheid;
- International Convention against Apartheid in Sport;
- Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of, Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery;
- Convention relating to the Status of Refugees;
- Protocol relating to the status of Refugees;
- ILO DO.182 Convention Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor;
- Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
1.1. Cooperation with Human Rights Council's Special Procedures and Mechanism:
A) Cooperation with Special procedures:
Islamic Republic of Iran has extended continuous and full cooperation to the then Center for Human Rights and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). To this end a "General Standing Invitation" has been forwarded to all thematic Rapporteurs, Working Groups as well as' Independent Experts of the Human Rights Council. Accordingly, the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women and the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context all undertook visits to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In addition, thorough and timely response to communications, which have been delivered by mandate-holders and …, is one of the main practical approaches of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the mentioned field.
B) Cooperation with the UPR:
Islamic Republic of Iran is fully determined to cooperate with the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism in a constructive and transparent manner. National report of Islamic Republic of Iran under UPR has been submitted and approved.
1.2. Cooperation with monitoring treaty bodies:
The Islamic Republic of Iran's general as well as periodical reports to the Committees on Rights of the Child and Elimination of Racial Discrimination have been submitted in a timely manner and presented and elaborated successfully. Consequently the concluding observations of the respective monitoring treaty bodies were communicated to relevant national institutions and governmental entities.
Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that the second periodic report of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the third periodic report on International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights have been submitted to respective bodies in November 2009.
1.3. Contribution to International Initiatives:
A) Contribution of Iranian experts to Human Rights Mechanism:
The Islamic Republic of Iran has introduced a number of its outstanding experts for assuming different posts within the Human Rights Council mechanism such as Working Group on Involuntary Disappearances and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The Islamic Republic of Iran has also supported strengthening and promoting of the monitoring treaty bodies’ efforts and activities.
B) Hosting Regional and International Conferences such as:
-The first International Conference on Human Rights in 1968;
-The Sixth Asia and Pacific Regional Arrangements for Human Rights in 1988;
-Final Meeting of OIC Senior Experts for Drafting the Declaration on Human Rights in Islam in 1990;
-The Asia Regional Preparatory Meeting for the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related intolerances in 2001;
C) Participating in regional and international conferences:
Islamic Republic of Iran has had active participation in and significant contribution to all the UN-sponsored Human Rights International Conferences, including in particular: the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993, Social Summit in Copenhagen in 1995, the Fourth World Conference on women and Development in Beijing in 1995, and the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in 2001 in Durban and Durban-2 in Geneva in 2009 (Review Conference) as well as all preparatory processes and follow-up measures of the above-mentioned conferences. The Islamic Republic of Iran has also played an outstanding and active role in the process of standard setting for the promotion and protection of human rights within the Organization of the Islamic Conference's framework.
1.4. Cooperation with OHCHR and support for its activities:
After the establishment of OHCHR and after the official commencement of its activities, the Islamic Republic of Iran started its full cooperation with OHCHR, on the basis of its 23-year experience of membership in the Human Rights Commission, to the OHCHR in the context of implementation of human rights joint projects. The said process of cooperation has been further enhanced and promoted during the recent years, particularly in the following areas:
A) Submission of Comprehensive proposal for the enjoyment of technical assistance and advisory services of OHCHR;
B) Launching of a joint national project in the field of Human Rights Education in collaboration with OHCHR and Iran's Ministry of Education as the respective national entity.
C) Successful implementation of a five-year national joint project with a 'view to enabling and promoting human rights national capacity, which is being carried out with the collaboration of UNDP office in Tehran, different executive bodies and universities.
D) Convening of different human rights seminars throughout the Country
E) Strengthening of human rights departments, faculties at various universities,
F) Conducting human rights research and studies as well as other educational programs.
G) Extension of full cooperation with the OHCHR in successful convening of the Sixth Meeting of Human Rights Regional Arrangements in Asia and Pacific as well as the Asian preparatory meeting for the World Conference against Racism.
An invitation was extended to the previous High Commissioner for Human Rights on the occasion of the Sixth Regional Arrangements for Human Rights in Asia and Pacific in 1998 and the Asian Preparatory Meeting for the World Conference against Racism in 2001, at the side line of which different ways of enhancement of bilateral cooperation were discussed in meetings with respective officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is to be reiterated that the said Regional Meeting successfully managed to adopt an important document, namely "Tehran Framework" constituting the four pillars framework in Asia and Pacific for promotion and protection of Human Rights in the region. Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that, all respective communications of the Special Rapporteurs have been positively responded to and their recommendations also have been followed up in a timely manner.
1.5. Contribution to the Deliberations of International Human Rights Fora:
The Islamic Republic of Iran has played a significant role in all UN sponsored Human Rights International Conferences and meetings, which led to Iran's qualitative and conceptual contribution to the international processes of human rights standard setting and literature. The human right's policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has continuously emphasized the significance of interactive and cooperative approach in the promotion and protection of human rights as stipulated in purposes and principles of the UN Charter as well as avoidance of confrontation, double standard and politicizing. The Islamic Republic of Iran's firm commitment in the promotion and protection of human rights includes inter-alia, undertaking of measures leading to further convergence of values and principles held by various countries with different cultural, social and historical backgrounds, on human rights question. To this end, while enjoying a rich and ancient cultural heritage and civilization, inspired by values and standards arising from its Islamic beliefs and perceptions, Iran attaches paramount importance to human dignity. Accordingly, it has undertaken the following measures with a view to facilitating cooperation amongst different countries in the field of human rights:
Islamic Republic of Iran is fully convinced that politicization, selective approach and application of double standards, significantly impede the genuine promotion of human rights, as stipulated in Vienna Declaration and Program of Action (VDPA 1993). To this end, the Islamic Republic of Iran's important and practical contribution was realized in the context of two resolutions entitled "Enhancement of International Cooperation in the field of Human Rights" and "Human Rights and Coercive & Unilateral measures", which were adopted by the General Assembly in 1996. Ever since, the said resolution has been adopted by consensus as a common initiative of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in UNGA.
Islamic Republic of Iran has presented the resolution entitled "Human Rights and Cultural Diversity" in the year 2000. Ever since, it has been adopted by consensus at consecutive sessions of UNGA. The said resolution effectively contributed to the elaboration and follow-up of the concept of cultural diversity, with a view to the fact that the promotion of mutual recognition and understanding in cultural and social fields through exchange of views and discourse is a prerequisite to interaction and continuous cooperation for achieving the common objective of genuine promotion and protection of human rights. The Islamic Republic of Iran has presented the said resolution in order to help provide a conceptual framework within the United Nations system to serve as a basis for convergence of different perceptions in the field of human rights at the international level. In this regard, the initiative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to hold a Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity, held in Tehran, September 2007 and the decision by the NAM ministers to establish the NAM Center for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity in Tehran was intended to present a unique opportunity for exchanges of Ideas and views on the sensitive issues relating to human rights and cultural diversity and to establish a framework for promoting respect for cultural diversity and institutionalizing intercultural dialogue in the field of human rights.
With a view to bringing closer different human rights cultures and Ideologies, Islamic Republic of Iran has embarked upon some important initiatives. These efforts were initiated with the aim of identification of the common grounds of various entities, and facilitating fraternal, respectable and peaceful interaction amongst the nations. A few significant examples of these efforts- include:
- Convening of different seminars in this respect;
- Assisting OHCHR in establishing of a High Level Expert group as well as convening of two meetings of the said group in Geneva where the participants had an ample opportunity to exchange views and identify common grounds as well as areas of differences.
1.6. Full support and engagement in deliberations of the HRC:
Islamic Republic of Iran has had significant contribution to and an active role in the discussions leading to the creation of Human Rights Council and is determined to enhance, strengthen and continue extending its full cooperation with the human rights council, its subsidiary bodies and mechanisms including the special procedures.
1.7. Meaningful engagement of human rights’ NGO's:
For the purpose of further promotion and enhancement of the civil society status and the NGO's participation in different civil, political, economic social and cultural spheres and particularly international human rights fora, the Islamic Republic of Iran has had outstanding and comprehensive activities, the essence of which can be described as follows:
A) The Islamic Republic of Iran's active participation in and valuable contribution to the realization of the mandate of the open-ended Working Group on rationalization and updating of UNGA resolution containing principles and guidelines regulating NGO's interaction with the UN and their participation in the UN sponsored international conferences;
B) Successful assumption of the chairmanship of the NGO's Committee of ECOSOC from 2004 to 2006; Iran has continuously maintained the view that the constructive contribution of NGO's to the deliberations on economic, cultural , social, civil and political as well as international humanitarian and human rights issues is complementary to the efforts and measures undertaken by the Governments and they can play an effective role in achieving peaceful humanitarian goals, reiterated in the Charter of the United Nations.
1.8. Bilateral dialogue and other initiatives for the promotion and protection of human rights:
Islamic Republic of Iran has held 20 rounds of human rights dialogues with the interested countries on bilateral bases with a view to enhancing mutual understanding and communicating and exchanging of national experiences.
This human rights discourse has already born fruit and led to enhanced mutual understanding and increased cooperation in the field of human rights.
2) High Council for Human Rights
The High Council for Human Rights (previously known as "Human Rights Headquarter") of Islamic Republic of Iran started its consistent activities as a semi-national institution, a decade ago. According to the provisions of the Iranian Constitution, the judiciary is “the protector of the rights of the individual and society and responsible for the implementation of justice” and is entrusted with the duty of “restoring public rights and promoting justice and legitimate freedoms”. Moreover, the Constitution has called for the establishment of a judicial system on the basis of Islamic justice, composed by just judges. Therefore, in order to coordinate the relevant organizations to better discharge the duties of the Judiciary, the Head of this branch approved the 7-article statute of a body called Human Rights High Council in 2001 and obliged all the judicial units and subsidiary organizations of the Judiciary to cooperate with it.
It is amongst the duties of this High council to investigate and monitor the claims of violations of human rights of Iranian citizens in and out of the Iran and to offer practical solutions in accordance with the laws of the country.
The High Council reviewed and updated its statute in 2005 and experienced a promotion in status and terms of reference and consequently turned into a national body referred to as the "High Council for Human Rights" of Islamic Republic of Iran. Having adopted the role of a coordinator and policymaker in the field of human rights, the Council is entrusted with the task of planning, guiding and pursuing all the matters related to human rights at national and international levels with the cooperation other relevant organizations.
It is the duty and responsibility of the Council to plan, guide and pursue all the human rights issues at the domestic level in cooperation with the relevant organizations. The council is duty-bound to send regular monthly reports on its activities to these organizations.
3) National Contribution, Pledges and Commitments
3.1: Human Rights National Policy to accomplish the goals of the Fourth National Development Plan(FNDP), development of different approaches for national capacity building, strengthening of national institutions, human rights education and further attention to the economic, social and cultural rights particularly right to development has been foreseen in FNDP. To this end strengthening of civil society, fostering of a favorable environment and enhancement of national human rights mechanisms such as high Council for Human Rights, Article 90 commission within the Parliament, organization of National Ombudsman, Bar Association, and Department of Administrative Justice as well as drafting and implementation of Citizen Rights bill has been paramount instrument in effective monitoring and safeguarding of human rights and fundamental freedoms those leading to the promotion and protection.
The Islamic Republic of Iran's national human rights policy is based on the Constitution, which is inspired by the Islamic principles and is in full compliance with its commitments arising from international instruments and duly respects the internationally accepted human rights, values and standards.
The principles prevailing the human rights policy enshrined in the FNDP, clearly represent vigorous attempt aimed at human rights mainstreaming and stipulate full respect for the status and the inherent dignity of human beings as well as full respect for the citizens' rights. These programs have been designed in a manner to adequately address all economic, social, cultural and civil and political rights of citizens including the right to development and provide to the full extent possible, the effective enjoyment of the said rights and their promotion and protection. To this end, the Islamic Republic of Iran while reviewing, amending and updating the existing regulations has taken measures for adoption of new and additional regulations. Effective and concrete measures for creation of national human rights institutions and bodies has been pursued.
3.2. Identification of principal human rights challenges as well as elaboration of measures to be taken to meet those challenges:
Although the Islamic Republic of Iran, based on its Constitutional principles and international obligations has had outstanding achievements in the promotion and safeguarding of human rights and fundamental freedoms, nevertheless, bearing in mind that there is no country which is immune from human rights challenges and that obstacles on the way of full realization of human rights persist in different countries in varying degrees, the Islamic Republic of Iran also is faced with certain shortcomings and difficulties, the roots of which are generally developmental questions and due to the imposition of economic sanctions and application of unilateral policies and coercive measures by certain countries during the past three decades. In spite of the said obstacles, the Islamic Republic of Iran within the context of FNDP is committed to take the necessary measures to uphold the highest standards of living and ensuring of promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of all citizens, accomplishment of which is not only dependent on the national endeavors, it is also interlinked with the international support and cooperation particularly with regard to realization of the right to development, as stipulated in the "Declaration on the Right to development".
3.3. Approach to civil society contribution in elaboration and implementation of human rights policy:
The importance of role and contribution of civil society in different fields particularly issues pertaining to human rights policy through provision of their consultative views has precisely and completely been recognized and reiterated in the FNDP. Furthermore the necessity of continuation of empowerment policy of NGO's has also been underlined in the said plan. The vigorous pursuance of enabling policy has led to establishment or enhancing of scope of activities of more than 3000 NGO's throughout the country as well as facilitating the acquiring of consultative status of the ECOSOC for Iranian NGO’s. Furthermore, convening of different seminars and workshops relating to different aspects of NGO's activities in collaboration with OHCHR at local, national and regional levels and in particular hosting of NGO's regional preparatory meetings for the World Conference against Racism is yet another tangible result of above-mentioned policies.
3.4. Protect against and prevention of discrimination in law and practice:
Considering the Islamic Basis of existing laws and regulations in the Islamic Republic of Iran which has accorded the highest priority and attention to the elimination of all forms of discrimination against its citizens and with due regard to the fact that Iran is a party to the International Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, therefore, with respect to standards and measures pertinent to this question, Iran has undertaken considerable number of initiatives aimed at elimination of this phenomenon both in legislation and in practice.
3.5. Pledge to uphold the highest standards in promotion and protection of human rights:
As elaborated earlier, since its inception, the Islamic Republic of Iran, has in line with its national law and international commitments exerted maximum endeavors for promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms at national and international levels and feels duty bound to intensify and double its continuous and target-oriented efforts in this field." The above-mentioned pledges and commitments vividly testifies that the Islamic Republic of Iran as a responsible and effective member of international community has continuously exerted its maximum efforts and extended its full and comprehensive cooperation with the respective UN bodies and organs for the promotion and protection of human rights. Furthermore, in the context of implementation of principles reiterated in the FNDP Islamic Republic of Iran is firmly determined to overcome the challenges through strengthening and increasing the national monitoring institutions as well as paving the ground for further promotion of respect for human rights values and standards, as reiterated earlier.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to continue its interactive and cooperative approach and double its efforts for genuine promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.