One of the issues noted by observers, thinkers and public opinion is the issue of human rights, specially in Iran. Therefore some international bodies supervise observance of human rights in different countries.
So, the UN Human Rights Committee UNHRC every four years reviews the situation of human rights in the committee members and calls on the member states to take serious actions. UNHRC as the committee observing International Covenant on Civil and Political rights ICCPR consists of 18 experts from different countries of the world whose main duty is to study the implementation of the treaty by the committee members and present advice for its better implementation. It is to be noted that the optional protocol of ICCPR was ratified on December 16, 1966. For access to the goals of the treaty, the protocol authorizes the member states to receive the complaints of the persons who claim to be victims of human rights violation and looks into it as it is explicated in the protocol.Human rights committee assigns its reporters to gather the information and news related to the situation of human rights in a specific country and put them at its disposal. Sometimes improper and unreal information are presented to reporters by biased and irresponsible individuals. Undoubtedly since the Islamic Republic of Iran, due to being religious and anti-hegemonic, has many enemies in the world and might be exposed to such charges. For instance, in this round of the UN Human rights committee’s meeting, the file of the Islamic Republic of Iran was discussed. The UN Human Rights special rapporteur Ahmad Shahid acknowledged that the report he had released on Iran’s human rights was superficial and had been prepared on the basis of the claims made by some opponents. He also acknowledged the report had been issued without visiting Iran and he just had reviewed the allegations which were made against Tehran.
It is interesting that the Islamic Republic of Iran took part in 103rd meeting of human rights committee at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on October 17, 2011. As usual during the 2-day meeting, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s rotational report on implementation of ICCPR was discussed by expert members of the committee and they asked their questions from the Iranian delegation. What drew the attention of the participants were the illusive charges raised by the enemies of the Islamic Republic which could not be so documented and concrete. Most of the questions were deliberate attempts to damage the climate against Iran and to present a bleak picture of the Islamic Republic. The atmosphere of the meeting was politicized and some of the questions were actually prejudgments against Iran.
Fortunately the high-ranking Iranian delegation which consisted of credible researchers, experts and jurists and some MPs managed to answer the questions in the fields related to women, children and citizenship rights with reliable evidence and documents and made many members of the committee aware of the facts going on in Iran.
The deputy secretary of Iran human rights headquarters Dr. Khosrow Hakimi who had taken part at the UN human rights committee pointed out to the formation of the headquarters in Iran and considered it a serious sign of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s attention to the subject.
In response to questions on the coordination between constitutions and ICCPR, Dr. Hakimi said, “Iran as a founding member of the United Nations supports development of international principles, laws and covenant in the constitution and has found a real and long term solution for protecting human rights through legal reforms to upgrade human rights.”
He further explained the measures carried out in law reform in Iran and referred to measures including reforming bills on supporting family, computer felonies, prevention of crimes, Islamic punishment law, juvenile delinquency and so on.
Dr. Hakimi elaborated on the international measures by the Islamic Republic system to upgrade the level of Iran’s human rights and mentioned cases such as inviting reporters to visit Iran, holding a specialized human rights meeting with the technical cooperation of the UN High Commissioner office, holding human rights talks with other countries, cooperation with human rights council and dispatching different delegations to Geneva to take part in the rotational meeting of human rights council.
In response to the question on the condition of religious and ethnic minorities, Hakimi stated, “Iranian society is one of the successful examples of co-existence among different groups each of which enjoys different traditions, customs and a distinct dialect or language.
The head of Iran’s Majlis National Security Commission Mrs. Zohreh Elahiyan, in reply to the question on the situation of women’s rights and equality between man and woman in the Islamic Republic of Iran said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s policy and the views of Muslim thinkers are based on equality of rights between a man and a woman at high level and this does not mean similarity in details. But we believe that the difference between a man and a woman in creation has been taken into consideration for the formation of family and bringing up generation.
That’s why in Islam special rights have been assigned for women as mothers and wives.” Elahiyan added, “According to some Islamic narrations, a woman is the head of family and the woman’s status in family has been completely observed.” She added, “We witness the speedy progress of women to gain access to their rights in political, social and family fields. Now, over 70 percent of university students are female. 70 percent of specialists in medical fields are also female. Over the past 30 years women have had spectacular growth in social activities one of which being presence in the NGOs.
Mrs. Ibrahimi, the official in charge of the center for the affairs of women and family affiliated to the presidential palace, was another member of the Iranian delegation who answered the questions of the committee members regarding working of women in Iran. She said,
Iran presence at UN Human Rights Committee
“One of the Islamic Republic’s basic measures regarding women is their presence in decision-making positions. Appointment of women for managerial posts is one of the Islamic Republic’s measures. Another measure is the ratification of laws which urge all organs to employ capable women and pave the ground for their upgrading.” Mrs. Ibrahimi pointed out to the jobs which are administered by women and said, “Now key posts and high-ranking posts like vice-presidency have all been predicted for women. Presently women are active in positions like advisors of women’s affairs for all ministries, educational deputies, research management etc. Now there are eight female MPs in the Iranian Islamic Majlis (parliament). For the first time in Iran, 4 women have been elected as the cabinet members.”
The head of the UN Human Rights Committee thanked the Islamic Republic of Iran’s high-ranking delegation for its presence and logical and reasonable answers in this meeting; and considered the measure as an indication of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s determination for more upgrading of human rights.
It is to be noted that in addition to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s official delegation, a number of Iranian NGOs especially those engaged in women’s rights had attended the meeting of Iran’s human rights committee. One of them was the center of peace advocates representing 20 NGOs of women and families. The secretary general of this non-governmental organization, Dr. Susan Safaverdi, on the sidelines of the meeting embarked on negotiation and exchange of views and explained the progress of women in the Islamic Republic of Iran in various fields. She presented to the human rights committee a statement on upgrading women in different scientific, social, political and social arenas representing 20 Iranian NGOs working on women and families.