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23/06/2023 English, HRC 53, Human Rights Council

Iran, Human Rights, and the 53rd Session of the Human Rights Council

On June 19, High Commissioner Volker Türk opened the 53rd regular session of the Human Rights Council with a global update on human rights, and touched on Iran’s limited engagement with human rights bodies: “substantive implementation of the State’s obligations under international human rights law remains very limited, and I am concerned by the massive recent increase in executions, as well as continuing discrimination against women and girls. Iran does not cooperate with the Special Procedures country mandate, and has received only one Special Procedures mandate holder in the past 17 years ”.

The 53rd session will be held until the 14th of July, and features several meetings and dialogues addressing the human rights situation in Iran, including:

June 21: Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada al-Nashif presented UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ interim report (A/HRC/53/23) on the Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran during the session’s 6th meeting. The report’s many recommendations include requests for increased cooperation with OHCHR, halting all executions, and eliminating all forms of gender-based discrimination. Find the report presentation here, via UN Web TV.

According to al-Nashif, “the report shows a worsening human rights landscape in Iran coupled with the chronic lack of meaningful and effective avenues for the population to voice grievances or indeed to seek remedy. In this context I call on the government to cooperate with the fact-finding mission…”. The Deputy High Commissioner also noted that “substantive engagement on the State’s obligations under international law remained limited, as was the implementation of recommendations from international human rights mechanisms.

For more information on recommendations to Iran from UN mechanisms, see Impact Iran’s Iran Rights Index, which assesses the implementation of hundreds of said recommendations, dating back to 1993.

June 28: UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association and Assembly Clément Voule will present his latest report (A/HRC/53/38) to the Human Rights Council, which examines “the practical gaps in accountability for serious crimes committed against activists and protesters”, and touches on recent violations of this right in Iran.

July 5: The Fact-Finding Mission on Iran’s three experts (Shaheen Sardar Ali, Sara Hossain [chair], and Viviana Krsticevic) will provide an oral update from and hold an interactive dialogue with the Human Rights Council, discussing the operationalization and activity of the investigative mechanism thus far.


June 30: UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association and Assembly Clément Voule will host a side event at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights with speakers “from civil society organisations, including from Iran, Sudan, Myanmar and Chile”.

Livestreams of all HRC dialogues will be available via UN Web TV.

An up-to-date calendar of all HRC53 meetings is also available here.

Follow Impact Iran on Twitter for coverage of all Iran-related UN meetings and developments.