Iran urged to increase age of criminal responsibility for children

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Iran has been urged by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility for young people.

Currently, girls aged nine and boys aged 15 can be held criminally responsible.

Iran has recently revised its Islamic Penal Code with new provisions to protect children from the death sentence, a move welcomed by UNICEF.

Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, UNICEF's Nicolette Moodie called on the Iranian authorities to further review the penal code.

"UNICEF urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to review the current very low minimal age of criminal responsibility which is nine years for girls and 15 years for boys. UNICEF also urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to offer a special review of the cases of those children who have been sentenced to capital punishment prior to the ratification of the new Islamic penal code and to allow these children the opportunity to avail themselves of the new provisions under this code."

Capital punishment for children is prohibited by the convention on the rights of the child, which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’06″

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