Source: Child Rights International Network (CRIN), London
The Islamic Republic of Iran has been ranked as 182nd in the world on how effectively children can use the courts to defend their rights according to new research from Child Rights International Network (CRIN).
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The new report, ‘Rights, Remedies and Representation’, takes into account whether children can bring lawsuits when their rights are violated, the legal resources available to them, the practical considerations for taking legal action and whether international law on children’s rights is applied in national courts.
The Islamic Republic of Iran ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and incorporated it into its domestic law in 1994. The CRC is binding, but if its provisions contradict either domestic law or Islamic standards, the latter two prevail.
Children under the age of 15 require representatives to bring legal proceedings, with the exception of cases where they can prove their maturity to the court. Juvenile courts are available, and follow the same procedures for appealing to higher courts, as any other case would.
Legal aid is available for applicants in criminal cases who prove that they cannot afford a lawyer, but children are not given priority. Children’s rights organisations may act as plaintiffs on behalf of children if they can obtain authorisation from the Ministry of Justice.Achieving access to justice for children is a work in progress and the report represents a snapshot of the ways children’s rights are protected across the world. The report condenses findings from 197 country reports, researched with the support of hundreds of lawyers and NGOs and is intended to help countries improve access to justice for children nationally.
Director of CRIN, Veronica Yates, said: “While the report highlights many examples of systems poorly suited to protecting children’s rights there are also plenty of people using the courts to effectively advance children’s rights.
“Our ranking represents how well States allow children access to justice rather than how well their rights are enshrined. However, it is hard to ignore how many countries with deplorable human rights records are on the lower end of the ranking for children’s access to justice.”
In the foreword of the report the chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child Benyam Dawit Mezmur said: “The Committee welcomes this research and already envisages its concrete contribution to its various engagements with State Parties.
“Child rights standards in international instruments do not mean much for the lived reality of children if they are not implemented. In particular, if the fundamental rights of children are violated, it is critical that children or those acting on their behalf have the recourse, both in law and in practice, to obtain a remedy to cease, prohibit and/or compensate for the violation.
“I hope this study is only the beginning of a new shift in making access to justice for children a priority that will enable other rights to be fulfilled.”
Our goal: A world where children's rights are recognised, respected and enforced, and where every rights violation has a remedy.
Our organisation: Child Rights International Network - CRIN is a global research, policy and advocacy organisation. Our work is grounded in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
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