LONDON: Human rights group Save the Children has called for a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council to address growing reports of serious abuses committed against minors by the ruling regime in Iran.
The organization said the UN needed to demand the government release “hundreds of children detained during protests,” adding that many more had been killed or injured following the outbreak of demonstrations throughout the country in September.
The UN revealed that at least 40 children had died in violence following the killing of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini at the hands of the country’s morality police on Sept. 16.
It also said that as many as 1,000 children had been detained by the Iranian authorities, including some arrested at their schools. More than 14,000 Iranians have been taken into custody during the unrest, including lawyers, journalists, and students.
Save the Children, which has set a target of 2030 by which to “ensure that violence against children is no longer tolerated,” also called on the UN to establish an independent investigative mechanism into human rights violations against children by the Iranian authorities at a special meeting of the Human Rights Council on Nov. 24.
Inger Ashing, chief executive officer of Save the Children International, said: “Children should never be targeted for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly. They should not be subjected to this kind of violence and fear or be locked up away from their families for just simply speaking up.
“This violence must stop immediately, and children must be released from detention.
“Iran ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that states that the arrest, detention, or imprisonment of children shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.
“It also states that children must also be treated with respect and care and be able to keep in contact with their family. This is one of the core UN human rights treaties and must be upheld,” she added.