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UN Authority Figures

U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Board Vice-President: Iran

According to data released by Iran's Association of Children's Rights, the number of girls married in Iran under the age of 15 went from 33,383 in 2006 to 43,459 in 2009, a 30 percent increase in three years. In addition, while 449 girls were married in 2009 before reaching the age of 10, as many as 716 girls were married under the age of 10 in 2010, a 59 percent spike in one year."

Mission of the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF): "UNICEF is mandated by the UN General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children's rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children. UNICEF mobilizes political will and material resources to help countries, particularly developing countries, ensure a "first call for children" and to build their capacity to form appropriate policies and deliver services for children and their families. UNICEF is committed to ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children - victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation and those with disabilities. UNICEF responds in emergencies to protect the rights of children. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority." (U.N. Children's Fund web-site, "UNICEF's Mission Statement")

Term of office: 2013-2014; Vice-President: 2013

Iran's Record on Children:
"Child Abuse... Abuse was largely regarded as a private family matter... A prominent attorney noted that the government did little to address the problem...it was reportedly not unusual in rural areas for parents to have their children marry before they became teenagers, often for economic reasons. The age of criminal responsibility for girls is nine years, while the law does not consider boys criminally responsible until age 15. For example, if a 12-year-old girl accused a 14-year-old boy of rape, the 12-year-old girl would face any criminal penalties alone. Sex outside of marriage is illegal and is punishable by death, although the media reported that the common punishment was imprisonment and lashing...there had been five marriages of girls under age 10...The government did not investigate these cases or begin any prevention campaigns, as these marriages were not considered illegal...Children were trafficked within the country for commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes through forced marriages in which girls' new "husbands" forced them into prostitution and involuntary servitude as beggars or laborers to pay debts, provide income, or support drug addiction of their families. The government did not report any law enforcement efforts during the year to punish trafficking offenders and continued to lack any victim protection measures." (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2011, Iran)