The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20th November 1989. It came into force on 2nd September 1990 at the World Summit for Children where the Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children, together with a Plan of Action was launched and adopted. The CRC became the most ratified UN Convention and sets the standard for the global welfare of children.
IRAN ADOPTED THE Convention on the Rights of the Child
IRAN ATTENDED THE WORLD SUMMIT FOR CHILDREN
The CRC recognises that all children have the right to be treated with dignity and fairness regardless of who they are, or where they are from.
Four key points:
Every child has the right to develop their potential. For example, equal access to education regardless of the gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, disability, parentage, sexual orientation or other status.
The primary consideration principle
In all decisions where a child is involved, the best interests of the child must be the primary consideration. One example is that a government making budget cuts, must consider the impact on children and shape policy primarily in their best interests. The voice of the child must be heard and respected in all matters concerning their rights.
The right to survival and development
This includes access to basic services such as water, sanitation, healthcare and their parents’ and caregivers’ right to knowledge about health and nutrition. And of course ‘all children’ means the rights of disabled children to access education and health care.
Definition of a child
A child means every human being under 18 years of age.
The law allows girls to be wed at the age of 13. If she’s 9, it’s still allowed if a judge or the father approves.
Thousands of children are sent to conflict zones.
Death and paralysis are the inevitable consequences.
Children suffer physical and psychological damage.
In Iran, young girls are able to legally marry at the age of thirteen. However, this can be overridden by th judges and parents to allow girls to marry as young as the age of nine. According to the latest figures, 31,379 of the registered marriages in Iran in 2020 were with girls between the ages of 10 – 14. there can often be extreme psychological risks in marrying young. A study conducted and reported in the Journal of Pediatrics found that those who marry younger than the age of eighteen are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. The risk for mental health disorders increases by 41% when marrying under the age of 18.
Iran has laws that condone the marriage of children at the age of thirteen and make it more difficult for wives to divorce their husbands. This combination of laws forces women to feel inferior to men and out of control in their personal lives; however, the laws are still in existence because the regime suppresses the society through such laws.
Many girls are unable to talk about their experiences because they are afraid of their husbands and what they might do to them. Here is the account of report where one investigator was able to encourage one girl to speak.
Here is the account of report where one investigator was able to encourage a girl to speak.
(interviewer) “I get close to here gradually and ask how she is. She does not respond and keeps her head down. I introduce myself and tell her that I am collecting information about the difficulties of child marriage hoping to bring an end to this awful calamity. When I hugged her she began to cry. She eventually calmed down and asked, ‘auntie, do you think there is hope?’ I said sure, there is hope.”
She is 12 years old and carrying the pain and suffering of years of injustice. She has been married for three years, of course if you could call it a marriage.
Her first sentence was, ‘I wish I was dead and forgotten’.
She told me she had nightmares every night.
“My husband would either hit me or force me to do heavy work. I don’t know anything about a married life. I wake up many times during the night because of the nightmares. I am very lonely.
“My only dream is that no other girl is subjected to what I have been to. This is very hard, do you know what I mean?”
It is estimated that there are at least 4 million child labourers in Iran. This year (2021) two million children have dropped out of school because of Covid19, poverty, and a lack of educational facilities.
Thousands of children are trafficked by the Iran Revolutionary Guards into Arab countries. They face exploitation and sexual abuse and are enslaved.
“I was a top student at school. I liked studying and wanted to become an engineer. My father was killed with a direct bullet at his head during the 2019 fuel protests. My mother does not have the ability to pay for school expenses, and more importantly we didn’t have anything to eat.
“I was forced to work to help my mother for earning the meagre money we needed to have at least some bread for eating.
“At work, I feel shame and want to keep my head down when I come across my former classmates. I don’t like them to see me like this. That’s why I always keep my head down and look at the ground. I regret that I am not in their place and envy them. Everything looks so dark for me.
“I am proud of my father who stood up against this injustice.”
Thousands of children in Iran are coerced into military service. Many are maimed or killed, some are sexually abused and many survivors take their own lives. These children are brainwashed into believing they are sinners and that martyrdom in war will purge them of their sins.
They are made to wear green headbands imprinted with the words, “Khameni is the leader”
To glorify this treatment of children, the Iranian authorities have allocated a day (30th October) to commemorate the death of Hossein Fahmideh, a much-publicised child soldier, killed in the war.
During the 1980s at least half a million children were sent to the Iran-Iraq war front. According to regime’s official figures at least 36,000 children were killed in that war. The actual figure is believed to be much higher.