Canada and international community call on Iran to improve its human rights record

December 18, 2015 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today welcomed the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran.

The resolution, presented by Canada and 44 other co-sponsors to the UN General Assembly, reiterates international concern that Iran continues to ignore its commitments and to disregard its obligations under international human rights law and its own domestic law.

Working in concert with a cross-regional group of countries, Canada has played a leading role on the United Nations General Assembly resolution on the human rights situation in Iran since 2003. Action at the UN, including through this resolution, has helped maintain international attention on the human rights situation in Iran.

Through this resolution, the international community continues to encourage meaningful and lasting human rights reform in Iran. This includes calling for concrete action to address the most serious human rights violations in Iran.

The text of the resolution acknowledges the steps that Iran has begun to take to lessen human rights violations in specific areas, such as increasing access to minority-language education and strengthening services for victims of domestic violence. However, the human rights situation remains grave and has even worsened in some respects, with violations outweighing these modest reforms.


“The adoption of this resolution, presented to the UN General Assembly by Canada and 44 other co-sponsors, demonstrates that Canada and the international community remain deeply concerned about Iran’s human rights record. We call on the Government of Iran to implement its human rights obligations to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights for all people in Iran.

“The text of the resolution reflects both the areas where human rights violations continue and those areas where Iran is taking steps to improve the human rights situation. The resolution serves as a powerful signal to human rights defenders and the Iranian people that Canada and the international community stand with them.”

- The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • Iran continues to execute more individuals per capita than any other country in the world.
  • Between January 1 and September 15, 2015, at least 694 individuals were reportedly executed. Iran continues to impose the death penalty to juvenile offenders, and does so without recourse to adequate fair trial standards.
  • Persecution of religious and ethnic minorities persists in law and in practice.
  • Freedom of expression, assembly and association are restricted through the use of harassment, intimidation, prosecution and detention.
  • Gender-based discrimination in matters of civil, political, social, cultural and economic rights continues to overshadow the advances Iran has achieved in women’s education and health.

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