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Iran - Second periodic report submitted by States parties under articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant [2011] UNCESCRSPR 9; E/C.12/IRN/2 (16 May 2011)




United Nations
E/C.12/IRN/2
G114289001.jpg
Economic and Social Council
Distr.: General
16 May 2011
Original: English

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Second periodic report submitted by States parties under articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant

Islamic Republic of Iran[*]

[3 November 2009]

Introduction

1. The Islamic Republic of Iran is a State party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Iran acceded to this Covenant in 1975. The provisions of the Covenant have been enshrined in different articles of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Besides, one of the major goals of the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran since its inception has been to improve the living standards of the people of the country.

1.1. Since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in February 1979, several institutions were established to help improve the living standards of the people of Iran particularly in the remote and deprived areas of the country. Of such institutions mention can be made of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee, the Islamic Revolution Housing Foundation, the Center for Deprived Regions of the Presidential Office, Construction Jihad (which was later merged with the Ministry of Agriculture), Literacy Movement and Islamic Revolution Janbazan and Mostazafan Foundation, which were created to alleviate poverty and improve living conditions particularly in the disadvantaged areas of the country.

1.2. Among the duties of the said institutions to ensure better living conditions for the disadvantaged sections of the society mention can be made of the provision of sufficient and appropriate housing, literacy facilities, support for family unit and job opportunities for rural people and also to contribute to rural development.

Establishment of the national committee

2. To prepare the country report of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the National Committee for Drafting the Country Report was established in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the participation of the representatives of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, Ministry of Agricultural Jihad, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Cooperatives, Islamic Human Rights Commission, Imam Khomeini Relief Committee, Literacy Movement, Social Security Organization, State Welfare Organization, the Center for Family and Women’s Affairs of the Presidential Office, the Judiciary, the Parliament, the State Statistics Center, the Directorate for Strategic Planning and Supervision of the Presidential Office (former State Management and Planning Organization), Islamic Revolution Housing Foundation, the Center for Deprived Regions of the Presidential Office, Maskan (Housing) Bank.

2.1. The sessions of this committee were also attended by some university professors and human rights activities. This committee held a number of sessions in which the representatives of the participating ministries and institutions presented the reports of the activities of their organizations in the related fields, which were then discussed in length on the floor.

Preparation of the national country report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

3. To prepare the country report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Reports, the United Nations guidelines have been used. Therefore, following the UN model, each section of the report is allocated to a specific article of the Covenant. Each section begins with a short introduction, explaining the contents of the section coupled with the related articles of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as the rules and regulations provided in the 3rd development plan of the country with regard to each article or subject matter. Then, the activities undertaken and carried out by each ministry or local organization for the materialization of the provisions of the related articles are presented.

3.1. The present report, which contains the activities and measures conducted to materialize the rights enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights, mostly relates to the past decade, particularly the last five years.

3.2. What is specially important about the said years is that, during this period, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran not only continued the previous plans for the reconstruction of the ravages of the eight-year imposed war but it also executed the projected programs for the socio-economic and cultural development envisaged in the 4th 5-year Economic, Social and Cultural Development of the country. Besides, during the said period, Iran’s Twenty-Year Vision for 2025 was drafted and passed and served on the Government for implementation.

3.3. Also, to this should be added the reconstruction of and the compensation made for the damages resulting from natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods which occurred during the same period and absorbed a considerable amount of the national budget.

3.4. The rapid population growth in the first decade of the Islamic Revolution has led to an increase in the share of the youth in the population pyramid of the country. This population explosion compelled the Government to allocate huge amounts of the national capital to meet the basic needs of the society.

3.5. It is worth mentioning that, in only one decade, the population of the country increased from 61 million in 1996 to over 70 million in 2006. As for the gender structure of the population, it should be noted that the numbers of males and females are very akin by a narrow margin (males 36 million and females 34.5 million).

3.1. In 2006, a total of 88.74% of the population above the age of 6 were literate.

3.2. The active population of the country, which was about 16 million in 1996 increased to 25 million in 2006.

3.3. In 2006, 88.18% of the active population above the age of 10 was employed. These figures demonstrate a growth in the number of the labor force entering the national economy.

3.4. Though the development of secondary and tertiary education as well as technical and vocational training has slowed the pace of the entry of the labor force into the labor market, the annual entry of 800,000 people into the labor market can well demonstrate the pressure that the national economy is experiencing to generate jobs and absorb this huge number of new job applicants.

Economic, social and cultural rights in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran

4. The nature and also duties of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran with regard to the rights of the people which fall in the category of the economic, social and cultural rights have been stipulated in the 3rd chapter of the Constitution recognized as the “rights of people”. Of such rights mention can be made of the right to work (Article 28), support for mothers and protection of family (Article 21), the right to social security (Article 29), the right to free education up to the completion of secondary education (Article 30) and the right to appropriate housing (Article 31).

4.1. Besides, Article 43 (chapter 4 on economic and financial affairs) refers to the satisfaction of such basic needs as housing, food, clothing, sanitation, health, education, formation of family and also “the use of science and technology as well as the training of sufficient skilled manpower to meet the needs for the economic development of the country” which can be seen in the category of economic, social and cultural rights. All the aforementioned articles clearly underline the duties of the Government to satisfy the needs and provide the necessary support for each and all citizens of the country.

The rules and regulations provided in national development plans

5. In the 1990s, three national economic, social and cultural development plans were approved by the parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which was carried out in the course of the said decade. The first, second and third development plans were executed respectively during 1989–1993, 1995–1999 and 1999–2004. The execution of the fourth national development of the country started in 2005 and has continued to date.

5.1. The economic, social and cultural development plans of the country have been drafted and executed in view of the past experience and the realities and potentials existing in the economic, social and cultural sectors of the country with an aim to develop the country and improve the living conditions and standards of the citizens.

5.2. The 3rd economic, social and cultural development plan of the country is a set of rules and regulations drafted in 26 chapters for different sectors of the economy and different sections of the society which have provided the legal framework for the administration of the State as well as the required platform for planning and execution of strategic policies in economic, social and cultural sectors.

5.3. The 3rd national development plan contains the policies as well as the rules and regulations required to improve the living standards of people. Some of these rules and regulations relate to housing, education, culture and arts, physical education, judicial affairs, health and medical treatment as well as urban and rural development.

The achievements of the 4th development plan (2005–2009)

6. The execution of the development plans brought about substantial changes in the country. The 4th economic, social and cultural development plan contains a set of rules and regulations drafted in seven sections, fifteen chapters and 275 articles for different sectors. This plan which constitutes the pillars of the development vision envisaged for a modern Iran seeks to lay down and consolidate the required grounds for the development, management and integration of the different sectors of the economy within the overall context of the Iranian society.

6.1. In view of the requirements of the Twenty-Year Vision and the present situation of the economic growth and development of the country, the missions of the planning authorities of the country for the next two decades can be envisaged as follows:

6.2. 4th 5-year development plan: a stable knowledge-based economic growth.

6.3. 5th 5-year development plan: consolidation and stabilization of the basics of economic growth and social welfare.

6.4. 6th and 7th 5-year development plans: continuous and stable knowledge-based economic growth and social justice.

6.5. The 4th 5-year development plan has projected and followed four major goals.

6.6. Knowledge and justice-based economy capable of interacting with the world economy.

6.7. Reliable and fully deterrent national security.

6.8. Protection of the Iranian Islamic culture and identity.

6.9. Effective sovereignty and good governance.

The achievements of the first two years of the 4th development plan

7. In its article 157, the law of the 4th development plan has obliged the President of the State to present a “supervisory and evaluation report” to the parliament on the progress of the plan at the end of each year to ensure its proper implementation. So far, the “supervisory and evaluation reports” of the first (2005) and second (2006) years of the implementation of the plan have been presented respectively in 44 chapters and 47 chapters (each in three volumes) to the parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

7.1. What follows are a summary of the report on the economy of the country in 2006 and an overview of the performance of the first two years of the 4th development plan.

Population

8. Based on the last census held in the country in 2006, the population of the country has reached 70,496,000 people showing an increase of 10.5 million people as compared to the previous census held in 1996.

8.1. A survey of the registered births and deaths during this period indicates that the average annual crude birth rate has been 18 per 1,000 and the average annual crude death rate has been 6 per 1,000; the discrepancy between these two rates shows the average natural growth rate of the population which has been 1.2% during the said period.

8.2. In recent years, with the huge number of children born in the 1970s joining the youth population and a decline in the ratio of young people to the whole population, the share of the 15–64 age-group has considerably increased. This population explosion has particularly manifested itself in the 15–29 age group, which increased from 17 million in 1996 to 25 million in 2006. The sharp rise in the youth population and how to satisfy the basic needs of this age group will continue to be one of the major concerns of the Government in the coming years.

Labor market

9. Based on the statistics released by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, some 166,000 job schemes had become operational by the end of the first quarter of 2006 generating about 426,000 new jobs of which 36.8%, 35.9%, 22.7% and 4.7% went respectively to the agricultural, industrial, service and housing sectors.

9.1. Based on the census held in 2006, the unemployment rate and the labor force participation rate in the same year have been respectively 12.75% and 39.4%. The employed population and unemployed job hunting population of the country have been respectively 20,476,000 and 2,992,000. The fresh labor force coming to the labor market in the same year increased to 810,000 people. Of course, the change in the number has been partly due to the change in the definitions of employment and unemployment in 2006.

9.2. The unemployment rate decreased slightly from 13.09% in 2005 to 12.75% in 2006.

9.3. The other results of the survey of the key indicators of the labor market are as follows:

9.4. The unemployment rate of the youth population in age groups 15–19 and 20–24 is considerably higher and by far graver than the unemployment rate of the adult population.

9.5. The unemployment rate of the female population is about 2.2 times that of the male population indicating a sharp gender imbalance in the labor market.

9.6. The participation rate of the elderly labor force (55-year-olds and above) decreased from 37.1% in 1996 to 27.8% in 2006, which points to the improvement of the social security system.

9.7. In the decade preceding 2006, the increase in the range of changes in the unemployment rate in the provinces of the country had been around 0.3% to the extent that the distance between the highest and the lowest unemployment rates among the provinces of the country rose from 13.3% to 13.6%. This rate dropped slightly in 2006 to reach 12.75% from 13.09% in 2005. Therefore, the regional imbalances at the provincial levels have been conspicuous.

9.8. The share of the employed in the private and public sectors in recent decades has been on the decline. This downward trend continued in the first two years of the 4th development plan.

9.9. During these two years, the shares of employed people with specialties and employed people with higher education as two indicators of development of modern and knowledge-based economic activities have increased respectively by 0.1% and 1.3%.

9.10. The indicator of the labor force productivity has risen by 2.1% on average per year during the first two years of the plan showing a decline in the hidden unemployment rate in the overall economy.

Human development indicator

9.11. The human development indicator increased from 0.729 in 2001 to 0.741 in 2002, 0.761 in 2003 and 0.77 in 2004. In 2004, GDP, education and life expectancy indicators were respectively 0.722, 0.846 and 0.741.

9.12. The national revenue indicator rose to 0.729 due to the rise in per capita income in 2005. Life expectancy indicator rose from 0.841 in 2004 to 0.849 in 2005. The improvement of the said indicators raised the human development indicator from 0.77 in 2004 to 0.777 in 2005. The growth rate of human development indicator was 1% in 2005.

9.13. At present, Islamic Republic of Iran lies in the category of countries with an average human development rate (the rate of human development of countries with a high human development rate is over 0.80).

9.14. At the provincial level, human development indicators in Tehran, Isfahan, Qazvin, Gilan, Fars and Yazd provinces stand above those of other provinces due to higher income, higher education level and higher life expectancy in such provinces. Adult literacy rate and access to healthy potable water are among other major indicators pointing to human development. In 2002, access to healthy potable water in urban and rural areas was respectively 98.8% and 87.45. These figures rose to respectively 99.1 and 88.9% in 2006. The adult literacy rate increased from 80.8% in 2002 to 82% in 2006.

Economic growth

10. Economic growth was rather good and experienced an upward trend in 2006. In the same year, GDP registered a 6.2% growth to rise from 420,928 billion Iranian rials in 2005 to around 446,880 billion rials in 2007. In the achievement of the 6.2% economic growth registered in 2006, oil, industrial, mining and some service sectors played a significant role as compared to the previous year.

10.1. With the support that the agricultural sector has received in recent years by giving priority to farmers in the use and extension of banking facilities and forgiving their debts to the banking system, and also the allocation of more subsidies to agricultural products and the improvement of the mean precipitation rate, this sector posted a growth of 9.3% in 2005 and 47% in 2006.

10.2. The oil sector continues to play the role of the driving force behind the whole economy. This sector showed a growth rate of 3% and its share of GDP reached 10.7% in 2006.

10.3. The endorsement and execution of the scheme for the expansion of fast return and job-generating small-sized economic enterprises, the approval of the statute of the investment guarantee fund for small enterprises, supporting domestic production, increasing the support for and allocation of more banking facilities to modern industries which has resulted in a surge in the activities of the industrial and mining sectors to the point that the added value of the mining sector rose to 13.4% and that of the industrial sector to 9.5% in 2006.

10.4. In the building and construction sector, Government’s support for the completion of the unfinished infrastructural projects and allocation of more banking facilities to the building and housing sector and also the provision of housing facilities for poor and low-income families and renovation of rural houses caused the added value of the building and construction sector to experience an average growth rate of 4.1% during the first two years of the 4th development plan (2005 and 2006).

Budget and financial position of the Government

11. A survey of the performance of financial sources and their use in 2006 and a comparison between the shares of the sale of crude oil, tax revenues and other sources of revenue and also their use including expense (current) credits and acquisition of capital assets in the second year of the 4th development plan indicates the following:

11.1. The general budget of the country experienced a 22.1% growth in 2006 as compared to the previous years which led to a rise in the volume of the general budget from 470,990.1 billion rials in 2005 to 574,984.2 billion rials in 2006.

11.2. The ratio of tax revenues in the general budget dropped from 28.6% in 2005 to 26.4% in 2006.

11.3. The growth rate of tax revenues decreased from 59.4% in 2005 to 12.7% in 2006.

11.4. The ratio of tax revenues to expense (current) credits fell from 40.6% in 2005 to 36.4% in 2006.

11.5. The performance of credits allocated to national plans and projects improved by 21.5%.

11.6. The total credits allocated to the provinces of the country registered a growth of 31.5% in 2006 as compared to the previous years.

11.7. The 112.5% rise projected for provincial revenues was materialized in 2006.

Price and inflation trend

12. The general price level rose by 11.9% in 2006 based on the of the new base year and basket (2004 = 100), which was 4% higher than the rate projected in the 4th development plan. (The inflation rate was 13.6% in 2006 based on the indicators of the old base year and basket (1997 = 100), which was 2.1% higher than the projected rate in the plan.

12.1. The continuation of the high liquidity rate in 2006 (39.4%), adoption of inflationary fiscal policies (Government submitted four budget amendments to the parliament which were financed by oil revenues drawn from the foreign currency reserve fund), the rise in housing prices and rentals leading to the subsequent rise in the price index of the group of housing, fuel and lighting, and also mounting inflationary expectations are among the important reasons for the rise in the price index of consumer goods and services.

12.2. On the other hand, some deflationary policies were also adopted including stabilization of prices, regulation of markets by increasing imports (registering a 5% growth in dollar value of imports), a slight change in import tariffs, offering to the public of participation bonds by the central bank and increasing production through allocation of banking facilities to fast-return, job-generating schemes.

Financial markets and tools of financial policies

Stock market

13. Generally speaking, the performance of the stock market shows that following the early fluctuations in 2005 and the disappearance of price bubbles and also adoption and implementation of the new securities act, the stock market experienced a stable situation and registered a promising performance in 2006. The general price index, the general value of the market and also the number and value of the stocks traded on the stock market in 2006 registered a growth rate of respectively 3.8%, 21.3% and 8.8%.

13.1. Besides, the number and value of Government stocks traded on the market in 2006 rose respectively by 1,114.9% and 548% in 2006. This demonstrated the determination of the stock market to collaborate with the related institutions and organizations to ensure the successful implementation of Article 44 of the Constitution by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

13.2. It is to be noted that, during the past two years, the general index of the stock market, which is a price index, has declined due to the preference of investors to divide profits and increase capitals. Therefore, the general index (TEPIX) has declined during this period from 12,417 to 9,294.

Participation bonds

14. In 2006, the offered Government budget bonds were worth 5,040.3 billion rials showing a decline of 40.7% as compared to 2005. The non-budget bonds offered by the Government in 2006 registered a growth of 85.4% in 2006 as compared to 2005 to reach 5,934.8 billion rials. In general, the Government budget bonds falling due in 2006 were worth about 38.04 billion rials, showing a growth of 183% as compared to the previous year. This points to the heavy burden of the participation bonds offered in the previous years which had not been used in profit-making projects. Also, the Government budget bonds falling due in the same year amounted to 3,277.3 billion rials, which posted a rise of 134% as compared to the previous year.

Divesture of State-run companies, privatization and regulation of monopolies

15. The program for privatization and divesture of State-run companies had been under consideration since the beginning of the first development plan. In 2006, as part of the first section of the general policies pertaining to Article 44 of the Constitution proclaimed by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, paragraph (c) of the said policies entitled “the general policies relating to the development of the private sector through the divesture of the State-run enterprises and concerns” was served on the Government for implementation:

15.1. To help materialize the purposes of the general policies of Article 44 of the Constitution, over 1,919 million shares worth over 4,126.2 billion rials were divested in 2006 within the framework of the existing rules and regulations (Law of the 4th development plan).

15.2. In line with the Government scheme to offer justice shares to poor and low-income families, with the formation of the related institutions and authorities for the distribution of justice shares, the shares of 14 companies worth 21,793 billion rials were distributed to 4,981,507 people from the lowest income group of the society.

The situation of national plans and projects

Performance of development plans

16. In 2006, some 83,199 billion rials were allocated from public revenues and some 87,101 billion rials from other sources for the execution of 1,500 national plans (including 4,834 projects). The number of national plans and projects declined by 14.7 and 25.4 respectively in 2006 as compared to 2005.

Study and research

17. In 2006, 296 study and research projects were undertaken with a total credit of 4,471 billion rials. Energy as well as urban and rural housing and development accounted for 24.45 and 12.8% respectively of the said credit; 62.8% of the credit was also allocated to other areas. The amount of credit allocated to study and research projects in 2006 registered a decline of 55% as compared to the previous year.

Commencement of new projects

18. In 2006, the execution of 709 new projects started with a credit of 54,410 billion rials. The new projects accounted for 14.7% of the total number and about 29.1% of the whole credit allocated to the projects of the same year showing a decline of respectively 13.3% and 2% on the corresponding figures in the previous year.

Completion of projects

19. In the agreements concluded for the execution of the said projects, the year 2006 was determined as the date for the completion of 1,509 projects, accounting for 31.2% of the total number of the projects with a credit of 67,073 billion rials (accounting for 35.9% of the whole credit allocated to the projects of the same years). The results of the supervisory visits to the projects revealed that 51.8% of the projects were completed during the same year. In other words, 591 out of 1,142 projects had been completed in time. The index of the completion of projects in 2006 posted a 1% decline as compared to 2005.

Environmental policies

20. Inclusion of environmental concerns in the long and mid-term macro plans and policies of the country has been specially emphasized in recent years as reflected in the different documents related to the Twenty-Year Vision and its related policies. In this regard, reference can be made to paragraph 4 of the Twenty-Year Vision, which stipulates enjoyment of health, welfare, food security, social security, equal opportunities, suitable income distribution, family unit consolidation, poverty alleviation, clean environment and also the need to fight against corruption and discrimination. Also, subparagraph 5 of paragraph 19 (on social, political, defense and security affairs) stresses the need for the protection of environment as well as the conservation and revival of natural resources and paragraph 40 (on economic affairs) refers to the importance of extraction, recovery, supply, conservation and consumption of water and its economic, security, political and environmental value.

20.1. Environment protection, spatial planning and regional balance are among the 12 concepts underpinning the law of the 4th development plan which are reflected in articles 51 to 71 of this law. A review of the performance of the key indexes of each sector as judged by the results of their related programs shows that the protection of land habitats and species, promotion of environmental culture and ethics, management of pollutants and refuse, and protection of sea and inland water species have achieved their projected objectives respectively by 93.75%, 92.91, 116.7 and 133.3%. In general, over 70% of the environmental objectives have been materialized in 2006. The lowest percentage of the achievement of environmental objectives relates to the performance of the index of designing and execution of new regional management.

Productivity

21. A glance at the past development plans shows that productivity became one of the major concerns of development for the first time in the 4th development plan. This plan defines the objectives of the indexes of productivity of labor force, capital and production factors. The performance of the said indicators during the first two years of the plan is as follows.

Productivity of labor force

22. The productivity of the labor force posted a growth rate of 2.1% in 2006, which was at the same level as the growth rate of 2005. The growth of the productivity rate in 2006 resulted mostly from the growth in per capita capital and partly from the rise in efficiency of the labor force. It is important to note that the target of this variable was achieved by 69.8% in the second year of the 4th development plan.

Productivity of capital

23. Productivity of capital registered a growth rate of 41% in 2006, showing a rise as compared to the previous year. The growth of per capita capital in 2006 declined as compared to 2005, resulting in the positive growth of the productivity of capital in the same year. Therefore, around 41% of the projected target of this indicator was realized in the second year of the 4th development plan.

General productivity of production factors

24. The general productivity of production factors as the outcome of productivity of labor force and capital posted a growth rate of around 1% in 2006 showing a rise (0.59%) as compared to the previous year. Thus, the share of the general productivity in the growth of production factors in 2006 rose to 16.7% showing that the projected target of 55.7% in the plan was achieved in the same year.

Development of women’s participation

25. In view of the general policies of the Government as reflected in the Twenty-Year Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran, women’s affairs have received special attention in the economic, social, cultural and political development plans of the country. Article 158 of the law of the 3rd development plan was the point of departure for the inclusion of gender sensitivity in the macro plans of the country. This sensitivity appeared even more seriously in the law of the 4th development plan including in article 111, which has set down the duties of the Government with regard to gender issues of which mention can be made of its stipulation about “the drafting, ratification and enforcement of a comprehensive program for development of women’s participation which includes the revision of the existing rules and regulations particularly the civil law with a view to improving the quality of women’s living conditions, enhancement of women’s skills commensurate with social needs and technological developments and also raising public awareness on women’s qualifications.

25.1. The comprehensive program for development of women’s participation was drafted and approved through the continuous efforts of the Center for Family and Women’s Affairs of the Presidential Office. Since issues relating to women break down to different sectors, the related executive measures were entrusted by the Government to the said center for formulation and implementation within the framework of 14 different sub-programs.

25.2. To formulate the 14 sub-programs, some measures have been taken in coordination with the relevant executive authorities to prepare the related documents. Besides, the Center for Family and Women’s Affairs has taken effective measures through the relevant executive authorities for the fulfillment of the duties entrusted to it. Yet, there are certain problems to be overcome in this regard before such measures can show any meaningful results. Of such problems mention can be made of the absence of appropriate indicators for supervision and collection of the related data and also the absence of an effective relationship between the comprehensive plan for the development of women’s participation as an upstream cross-sector document and the documents of the related sectors. Also, since women’s issues have a cross-sector nature, the mechanism for collection of financial information in this regard is lacking. Moreover, most of the executive organs in charge of the executive affairs of the country do not prepare their statistical reports on a gender basis. Thus, though considerable effective measures have so far been adopted by the related organs and bodies of the country with regard to women’s issues, we are still facing some statistical problems in the presentation of performance reports.

25.3. It seems that with the further concentration of policy-makers on women’s affairs with an aim to reorient their policies towards the attainment of the objectives of the comprehensive plan and consequently those of the 20-Year Vision, and also by paying special attention to the importance of study and research on family and women’s issues and reconsidering the overall performance of different sectors of the society and economy on a gender basis as a priority, particularly in the preparation of yearly reports and also by amending the related rules and regulations for that purpose, we can make considerable progress in this regard in the near future.

Preparation of a framework for youth affairs

26. With the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, particularly with the end of the war imposed on Iran, the issue of regulating youth affairs came into the focus of the decision-makers of the country. In 1992, with the decision of the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council, the High Youth Council was established to define a desirable status for youth worthy of the system of Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, explore the existing capacities and resources in the country and utilize the possibilities of the related executive organs for that purpose.

26.1. Adoption of a scientific approach towards the issues and problems of the youth, the existing potentials and capacities as well as procedural, organizational and managerial problems of concern to youth were the most important achievements of the early years of the activities of the High Youth Council (1992–1999).

26.2. In 1999, the secretariat of the High Youth Council was promoted and renamed “National Youth Center”.

26.3. In 1999, the Islamic Consultative Assembly (parliament) of Iran, in article 157 of the law of the 3rd development plan, decreed that the “National Youth Center” be renamed “National Youth Organization” and specified its duties.

26.4. The national document (cross-sector) on the regulation of youth affairs as a strategic document for the development of youth affairs was drafted and adopted to lay down the ground work for the formulation and execution of uniform and coordinated policies with regard to youth in different sectors. This document comprises 13 executive programs, seven of which have so far been formulated and approved by the High Youth Council after receiving the blessing of the related experts. The remaining six documents are going through the final touches for approval.

Transportation

27. In its articles 28 and 29, the law of the 4th development plan has described the objectives of the transportation sector in 2006 as improving the economy, safety and convenience of cargo and passenger transportation, studying and properly utilizing the territorial advantages of the country, development and completion of the network of regional and international roads, freeways, highways, major, minor and rural roads, elimination and correction of some of the accident-prone points and areas of roads, improving the safety of roads, commencement of the development of the phase I of Shahid Rajayi port aimed at increasing the capacity of the country for the transit and trade of goods and the powerful presence of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Persian Gulf region and also developing, equipping and modernizing the transnational road, rail, air and sea transportation fleet of the country by utilizing mechanisms such as the use of managed funds in the form of credit and technical assistance, the employment of the local capacities of each sector and utilizing the resources of the private sector and banks.

27.1. A review of the performance of the transportation sector in 2006 and its comparison to the first year of the 4th development plan yields the following results:

27.2. Building 497 kilometers of highway, 1,071 kilometers of major road and 811 kilometers of minor road and their connection to the national road network, which increased the lengths of the highways of the country to 5,468 kilometers, the major roads to 262,610 kilometers, minor roads to 41,129 and rural roads to over 103,500 kilometers.

27.3. Building 152 kilometers of major railroad which increased the length of the railroad of the country from 8,348 kilometers in 2005 to 8,500 kilometers in 2006; Also, in 2006, around 160.3 kilometers of minor railroad were built and about 126 kilometers and 132 kilometers of the rail network were respectively renovated and reconstructed.

27.4. In 2006, the total cargo transportation via the rail network amounted to 20.5 kilometers (32 million tons of goods) showing a rise of 7.3% as compared to the previous year.

27.5. The number of transported passengers (man-per-kilometer) in 2006 totaled 12.5 billion men-per-kilometer (21.3 million people), posting an increase of 12.6%.

27.6. Increasing the nominal capacity of the ports of the country by 122.5 million tons through developmental activities, which is 2.5 million tons higher than the projected target of the 4th development plan.

27.7. Increasing the number of passengers transported by air from 26.3 million people in 2005 to 30.5 million people in 2006, showing a growth of 15.5%.

Information and communications technology

28. The ICT sector consists of such major sub-sectors as post, telecommunications and information technology. The foremost achievement of the post sub-sector in 2006 was the transportation of 938 million parcels, raising the total volume of per capita parcels transported in the country in the same year (by the State post company) to 13.5 parcels per person. Also, the per capita parcel for each post office was about 89,900 parcels and for each post officer around 57,352 parcels.

28.1. In the telecommunications sub-sector, some 2,213,000 new fixed telephone lines were extended, raising the total number of the fixed telephone lines of the country to 22.6 million and the penetration rate of fixed telephone lines (the number of lines per one hundred people) to 32.5%. Besides, some 6,849,000 (State-operated) mobile phone lines were established, raising the total number of mobile phone subscribers to 15.35 million and the penetration rate of mobile phone lines to 22.22% by the end of 2006. This increased the total penetration rate of telephone (both fixed and mobile lines) to over 54.7%. Also, in 2006, 3,103 new villages joined the telecommunications network, raising the number of villages connected to the national network to 51,000.

28.2. In the information technology sector, the user penetration rate rose from 11% in 2005 to 16.1% in 2006. Also, the ratio of the local input traffic to the total traffic increased to 52%.

Urban development

29. Under the Twenty-Year Vision of the country, the objectives of urban development are viewed as the “enjoyment of health, security, welfare and favorable environment along with sustainable and balanced development commensurate with cultural, geographical and natural features of each urban community”.

Performance of indicators

30. The population with access to an urban water network increased from 98.3% in 2005 to 98.4% in 2006, meeting 99% of the projected target of the 4th development plan.

30.1. Increasing the capacity of urban water reserve tanks from 420,000 cubic meters in 2005 to 570,000 cubic meters in 2006, meeting the projected target of the 4th development plan by 125%. The population with access to an urban sewage network increased from 25.5% in 2005 to 26.5% in 2006, meeting the projected target of the 4th development plan by 92%.

30.2. Building 2,044 kilometers of new sewage pipes in 2005 and 2,337 kilometers in 2006, meeting the projected target of the 4th development plan by 60%.

30.3. The number of new urban sewage extensions increased from 199,000 in 2005 to 265,000 in 2006, meeting the projected target by 75%.

30.4. The share of public transportation of total city travel increased from 47.1% in 2005 to 50.2% in 2006, meeting the projected target by 94.7%.

30.5. The share of rail transportation of all inter-city travel increased from 62% in 2004 to 70%, meeting the target of the plan by 70%.

30.6. The rate of intra-city travel for each person has risen from 1.7 in 2005 to 1.65 in 2006, meeting the target of the plan by 100%.

30.7. Per capita public parking spaces increased from 3.5 square meters in 2005 to 5.35% square meters, which met the projected target of the 4th development plan by 152.8%.

30.8. The population with access to safety and fire-fighting services increased from 76% in 2005 to 76.7% in 2006, meeting the projected target by 98%.

30.9. The per capita urban green space increased from 9.7 square meters in 2005 to 10.34 square meters in 2006, meeting the projected target of the 4th development plan by 94%.

Development of rural and nomadic communities

31. The Twenty-Year Vision has projected plans and programs for development of Iranian society, particularly rural and nomadic communities of which mention can be made of the following:

31.1. Formulating and implementing development plans and supporting the establishment of bodies to provide facilities for creation of jobs in rural areas and also provide infrastructural services such as potable water and electricity, to launch waste water collection and disposal network, to prepare maps and issue title deeds for properties and real estate located in residential rural areas and to boost non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations in order to raise the level of the participation of rural people in the execution of development plans in rural areas.

31.2. Performance of the most important indicators used for the evaluation of the activities carried out in different sectors in 2005 and 2006:

31.3. Implementation of the rural guidance plan in villages with over 50 families, which increased the number of such villages from 61.7% in 2005 to 80.6% in 2006, meeting the projected target of the 4th development plan by 224%.

31.4. Implementation of the rural guidance plan in villages with over 100 families which increased the number of such villages from 57.6% in 2005 to 70% in 2006, meeting the projected target of the 4th development plan by 149%.

31.5. Providing the required facilities for the issuance of title deeds for properties and real estate in villages with Islamic councils, which increased the number of such villages from 46.4% in 2005 to 60.8% in 2006, meeting the projected target by 174%.

31.6. Provision of healthy potable water in rural areas increased from 65% in 2005 to 68% in 2006, meeting the projected target by 98%.

31.7. Launching waste water collection and disposal networks in villages with over 200 families, which increased the number of such villages from 0.4% in 2005 to 0.67% in 2006, meeting the projected target by 22%.

31.8. Creation of village governance systems in villages with over 20 families, which increased the number of such villages from 45% in 2005 to 52% in 2006 meeting the projected target by 80%. The most important activities covered by the budget allocated for rural development are as follows:

31.9. Implementation of the rural guidance plan in villages with over 50 families with the allocation of 176,932 million rials in 2006, showing an increase of 52.3% as compared to 2005.

31.10. Implementation of the rural guidance plan in villages with over 100 families with the allocation of 1,733,787 million rials in 2006, registering a rise of 22% as compared to 2005.

31.11. Improving the solid structures of rural areas with the allocation of 10,050 million rials, posting a 16.2% decline as compared to 2005.

31.12. Provision of potable water in villages with the allocation of 3,745,582 million rials in 2006; (it cannot be compared to the previous year owing to the absence of the performance report in 2005).

Cooperatives

32. Meeting the objectives of the 4th development plan regarding the rise in the exports of the cooperative sector in 2006 by 83% (the exports amounted to 1,163 million US dollars out of the projected target of 1,400 million US dollars).

32.1. Increasing the admission of new members by cooperatives from 104,000 people in 2005 to 1,120,000 in 2006, which increased the percentage of the achievement of the projected target of the 4th development plan from 15.3% to 35.5%.

32.2. Increasing job opportunities from 29,000 in 2005 to 163,000 in 2006.

32.3. Increasing the number of new cooperatives from 5,148 in 2005 to 18,205 in 2006, meeting the projected target of the development plan by 88.1%.

Statistics

33. To achieve the objectives of the Twenty-Year Vision of the country, it is important to pay attention to “the major quantitative indicators in the formulation and implementation of development plans and annual budgets”. The responsibility for the collection of the required statistics and production of the indicators to achieve the said objectives lies with institutions which produce statistics, including Iran’s Statistics Center.

33.1. To facilitate the implementation of article 56 of the 4th development plan, the national statistics program was prepared by Iran’s Statistics Center in cooperation with some executive bodies and was approved by the High Statistic Council in June, 2005 which was submitted to Iran’s Statistics Center for implementation during the period of the 4th development plan including 2006.

33.2. To collect the general statistics, 27 targeted statistical projects were fully implemented in 2006. To collect economic statistics, four activities were targeted and assessed in 30 provinces of the country in 2006. Besides, a population and housing census was held in 30 provinces of the country in 2006.

II. Article 6: Right of occupation, freedom to change job

Introduction

34. Here, we first review the articles of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran dealing with the right to work, the duties of the Government to provide the necessary conditions for all citizens to have their own jobs, freedom to choose job and provision of technical and vocational training and then, refer to the rules and regulations provided for in the 4th development plan concerning the creation of job opportunities for all. Then, we focus on the measures taken by the Government to create jobs in the agriculture and cooperative sectors.

34.1. It is to be noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a State party to Employment Policy Convention, – No. 122 of 1964 and Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention – No. 111 of 1958 and has submitted some reports on these two conventions to the standards committee of ILO in 2009.

The articles of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the right of occupation

35. Article 28: “Everyone has the right to choose any occupation he wishes, if it is not contrary to Islam and the public interests, and does not infringe upon the rights of others.” The Government has the duty, with due consideration of the need of the society for different kinds of work, to provide every citizen with the opportunity to work, and to create equal conditions for obtaining it.”

35.1. Paragraph 2 of article 43: “Ensuring conditions and opportunities of employment for everyone, with a view to attaining full employment; placing the means of work at the disposal of everyone who is able to work but lacks the means, in the form of cooperatives, through granting interest free loans or recourse to any other legitimate means... .”

35.2. Paragraph 4 of article 43: “Respect for the right to choose freely an occupation; refraining from compelling anyone to engage in a particular job; and preventing the exploitation of another’s labor... .”

35.3. Paragraph 7 of article 43: “Utilization and training of skilled personnel in accordance with the developmental needs of the society.”

The rules and regulations on job creation in the 4th development plan

36. The law of the 4th 5-year economic, social, cultural and political development plan of Islamic Republic of Iran has addressed the issue of occupation as well as the policies and programs of the Government including the following;

36.1. Article 1 – The Government is allowed to make use of a maximum of 50% of the balance of the foreign currency reserve account for investment in and financing part of the entrepreneurial and productive projects of the private sector in industrial, mining, agricultural, transportation (tourism, etc.) IT, technical and engineering services whose technical and economical feasibility has been sanctioned by the related ministries through the facilities of the banking system.

36.2. Article 11 – 3% of the legal deposits of banks with the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran will be given to Keshavarzi (agriculture) Bank, Maskan (housing) Bank and Sanat and Madan (Industry and Mines) Bank on the basis of the rates applied in 2004 (each bank 1%) to be used for granting facilities on agricultural and animal husbandry, housing and construction and completion of industrial and mining projects undertaken by the private sector which are mostly known as job-generating projects.

36.3. Article 21 – This article obliges the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to secure the approval of the national documents of development of industrial and mining sectors in the light of the strategic studies of industrial development of the country within a period of six months. One of the main targets of this document is the “improvement and enhancement of institutions which support development of entrepreneurship and small and medium sized enterprises”.

36.4. Article 24 – To develop economic growth, technology, production quality, job opportunities and exports in industrial, mining, agricultural, infrastructural, service and IT sectors in accordance with the provisions of the law for the promotion and protection of foreign investment (March 2001), the Government is allowed to make the necessary preparations for the attraction of foreign investment by the means provided for in paragraph “b” of article 3 of the said law.

36.5. Article 27 – To create incentives for investment and job creation at the national level particularly in less-developed areas of the country, the Government is allowed to provide facilities proportionate to the shares of applicants for investment in job generating projects through annual budget laws and managed funds and also cover part of the bank interests and service charges relating to such facilities.

36.6. Article 41 – To improve business environment and facilitate economic development and interactions with the world business community, the Government is obligated to “11-D: Revise the labor law and labor related rules and regulations in view of the tripartite mechanism (Government-worker-employer).”

36.7. Article 101 – The Government is obliged to submit to the Islamic Consultative Assembly (the parliament), by the end of the 4th development plan, the national program for decent jobs as the new theme governing all labor and developmental activities on the basis of a tripartite strategy which ensures equal opportunities for and dignity, freedom and security of the labor force as follows:

36.8. Fundamental rights of the labor force (freedom to form associations, support the rights of civil society organizations concerned with labor relations, the right to collective bargaining, equal wages for equal work for men and women, non-discrimination in employment and occupation, observance of the minimum age of work, prohibition of child labor and observance of the minimum wage commensurate with minimum subsistence wage).

36.9. Social dialogue between the Government and its social partners (civil society organizations concerned with labor relations, boosting social and human capital, enhancement of industrial and labor relations, the role of social partners, collective negotiations and bargaining, conclusion of collective pacts, formation of trilateral national advisory council, promotion of trilateral mechanisms in labor relations, structural reforms, promotion of social dialogue and boosting civil society organizations concerned with labor relations).

36.10. Expansion of social support (social security, unemployment insurance, development and enhancement of compensatory mechanisms, provision of social support for the employed in the informal labor market, rehabilitation of the disabled, ensuring equal opportunities for men and women and empowerment of women through access to suitable job opportunities).

36.11. The right to pursue civil and professional labor rights.

36.12. E: Revision or amendment of the rules and regulations of social security and labor relations (based on the trilateral mechanism of government, worker and employer) to enable more flexibility and interaction in the labor market.

36.13. Productive occupation (capacity building for occupation in small and medium sized enterprises, targeted and occupation-oriented training programs, entrepreneurial education, collection and analysis of the data of the labor market, rationalization of the relationship between education and occupation, removal of structural obstacles to employment and expansion of technical and vocational skills tailored to the needs of the labor market.

36.14. Revision of the rules and regulations in order to adapt national laws with the related international standards, the provisions of the related international and consular conventions and the world labor developments and also to eliminate discrimination in all social areas particularly in the area of labor relations and occupation.

36.15. Adoption of the necessary measures for the dispatch of labor force abroad.

Reinstating the rules of the 3rd development plan

37. In the law of the 4th development plan some of the rules of the 3rd development plan pertaining to occupation and employment have been reinstated.

Article 49 of the 3rd development plan

38. To encourage the employers of enterprises to employ new workforce, the Government is obligated to consider and apply the following exemptions for employers who recruit new workforce through the job-placement centers of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs during the period of the Plan:

38.1. Reduction of employer’s share of insurance premium and provision of the necessary credits in the annual budgets for the compensation of the decline in the revenues of the Social Security Organization.

38.2. Reduction of employer’s tax proportionate to the tax levied on the wages of the newly employed workers.

Article 50 of the 3rd development plan

39. To create jobs in the less-developed regions of the country, the Government is allowed:

39.1. To consider tax and duties exemptions, during the period of the plan, for employers who make investment in such regions in accordance with a directive which will be proposed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Industries, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Budget and Planning Organization to be approved by the Council of Ministers.

39.2. To pay part of the interests on the facilities given to the investors of the private sector and cooperatives including producers’ service, rural production and natural resource exploitation cooperatives as well as self-employment schemes.

39.3. To apportion the facilities granted within the framework of annual budgets and executive directives in such a way that the share of less-developed regions will rise proportionately to their unemployment rates to make sure that job shortage in such regions will be offset by the end of the plan.

Article 51 of the 3rd development plan

40. To develop the quantity and quality of technical and professional skills of the labor force and provide a range of diverse skills to different groups, the Government is obligated to allocate a share of subsidies granted on facilities to the investors of the private sector and cooperatives which establish technical and vocational training institutions.

Article 71 of the 3rd development plan

41. Provincial planning and development councils are obliged to:

41.1. Consider the situation of employment at the provincial level and provide for some incentive measures to encourage investors in job-generating schemes.

Iran’s Twenty-Year Vision (2025)

42. In its economic section, the text of Iran’s Twenty-Year Vision has stressed the importance of “creation of productive jobs and reduction of unemployment rate” as the first object of the economic development of the country.

The tools for the implementation of the Government policies relating to the labor market

43. Development of sustainable productive employment and preservation of the present employment capacities through encouraging the non-governmental sector (private and cooperatives) to undertake productive schemes in agriculture, livestock breeding, industrial, mining, housing and construction sectors, and the rural production service cooperatives to engage in small industries, job-generating and self-employment schemes, and exploitation of natural resources by giving priority to the employment of war veterans, young people, university graduates, women who are breadwinners of their families and jobless people residing in villages and regions with high unemployment rates by distributing development credits in the following ways:

43.1. Granting facilities to applicants for investment in small industries and job-generating schemes.

43.2. Considering tax and duties cuts and exemptions for investors in less-developed regions.

43.3. Adoption of support measures including tax cuts, insurance concessions and subsidized banking facilities for employers who recruit their needed workforce from the job-placement centers of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

44.4. Supporting the establishment of people’s markets at major business centers with a view to developing and expanding individual productive jobs and rural production units.

45.5. Introduction of schemes by the Women’s Participation Center of the Presidential Office to increase job opportunities for women and improve women’s job and employment status.

46.6. Assisting in the youth employment by helping entrepreneurs to create small-sized enterprises through financing part of their advisory service charges.

47.7. Supporting the private and cooperative enterprises which invest in the establishment of technical and vocational training centers by granting subsidies on the interests of banking facilities to help increase the quantity and quality of professional skills of the labor force.

43.8. Encouraging investment in rural areas through the allocation of some productive activities to villages, particularly to broad-based rural cooperatives.

Government’s executive programs for creation of jobs

44. Of the measures taken by the Government to ensure the efficacy of employment services mention can be made of the quantitative and qualitative development of job-placement centers to the point that the number of such centers increased four times during the 4th development plan to reach 800 across the country. With the rise in the number of job-placement centers, the employment services offered by such centers also grew to the extent that during 2008 alone some 279,000 people were introduced and employed for the vacant job places available in the country. Meanwhile, the executive directive for non-governmental job-placement activities was revised and approved in February 2009 by the Council of Ministers, and the Islamic Republic of Iran acceded to ILO Convention No. 142, which pertains to development of human resources.

Stimulation of the labor market and the role of non-governmental job-placement centers

45. To stimulate the labor market and boost the role of non-governmental job-placement centers, certain policies were applied to activate the labor market including the granting of insurance concessions to employers who recruit their needed workforce through the job-placement centers (article 103 of the law of the 4th development plan). The rather successful implementation of the said article which was also pursued in the 3rd development plan not only motivated employers to fill their idle capacities but it also helped further activate the job-placement centers.

45.1. It is worth mentioning that, during 2008, some 111,946 employers availed themselves of the advantages of the said article which led consequently to the employment of 267,137 people.

Foreign nationals

46. Under the directive of the High Employment Council, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has been obligated to issue, since 2007, temporary employment permits for Afghan nationals who hold legal travel permits in Iran so that such immigrants can be organized and regulated and the employment of illegal foreign nationals can be prevented. It is noteworthy that the United Nations has rendered an effective cooperation with the Government of Islamic Republic of Iran by encouraging the Afghan Government to engage in constructive cooperation with Iran.

The scheme for organizing home jobs

47. Under the directive of the High Employment Council approved in 2008, to reduce women’s unemployment rate, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has been obliged to draft and submit to the related high authorities a bill on organizing home jobs together with the related rules of procedure enabling the use of the existing opportunities within the family to raise national production.

47.1. Today, home business is viewed as an important mechanism for generation of jobs and income for families. The ability to conduct this type of business at “home” generates many advantages for those engaged in them including creation of a balance between women’s family responsibilities and their employment, saving the costs of purchasing or renting a workshop as well as transportation, utilizing the labor of other family members and creating the possibility of family business, and also the possibility of transfer of experience through informal training in the form of master-apprentice among family members, etc.

47.2. It is important to note that due to the great developments in IT technology in recent years which have given rise to a new generation of jobs, the possibility of home employment in the IT sector is now available for many people. These jobs which are increasing and diversifying day by day enable people to use computers and the required accessories to do different kinds of job at home.

Provision of entrepreneurial education

48. Since, as revealed by the outcome of the survey conducted, such factors as lack of familiarity with the principles of designing a business plan, accounting rules, trade law, tax law, etc. are responsible for the failure of the newly established small-sized enterprises, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has obliged applicants for business facilities to pass entrepreneurial and business training courses in line with its “plan to develop and expand fast-return projects”. For that purpose, it has also undertaken the charges of such courses and linked the granting of such facilities to the passage of such courses in order to prevent the wastage of resources and failure of businesses.

Enforcement of apprenticeship plan for university graduates

49. This plan was born out of collaboration among some important organizations including the Ministry of Education, Research and Technology in 2007. In 2007, up to 93,000 university graduates participated in this plan. The responsibility for enforcement and supervision of this plan has been entrusted to provincial employment and investment work groups. Of the objectives of this plan mention can be made of facilitating the entry of graduates into the labor market, enhancing the professional qualifications of graduates with a market-oriented approach and familiarizing graduates with the functions and skills of the related jobs.

49.1. It also seeks to promote the culture of labor and use of a specialized workforce in economic, business and production units and also to upgrade the scientific and technological level of production units with a view to reforming the production structures of the country.

49.2. This plan also follows some minor objectives. To ensure its proper enforcement, certain standards have been defined and entrusted to the highest executive authority of each responsible organization which has a duty to submit a performance report to the High Employment Council at the end of each period.

Formal and informal education

50. Under the directive of the High Employment Council, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has a duty to oversee, in cooperation with all the related executive bodies, all formal and informal training in order to evaluate the performance of all educational institutions with regard to the training of the manpower needed by the labor market and explore the means to improve the quality of education accordingly.

50.1. The related national progress report ought to be submitted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to the Economic Committee of the Cabinet at the end of each quarter.

Situation of employment and unemployment

Unemployment rate during 2005–2008

Year
2005
2006
2007
2008
Unemployment percentage
11.5
11.3
10.5
10.4

Indicators of labor force in 2005 by percentage

Indicators
The whole country
Male
Female
Urban areas
Rural areas
Economic activities for
10 years and above
41
64.7
17
39.4
44.7
Unemployment for 10 years and above
11.5
10.0
17.1
13.8
7.1
Youth unemployment (between 15 to 29)
20.6
17.8
29.9
25.0
12.8

Indicators of labor force in 2008 by percentage

Indicators
The whole country
Male
Female
Urban areas
Rural areas
Economic activities for
10 years and above
38.0
61.9
13.6
36.5
41.5
Unemployment for 10 years and above
10.4
9.1
16.7
12.0
7.2
Youth unemployment
(between 15 to 29)
20.4
17.4
31.8
23.4
14.1

A brief look at changes of unemployment rate and economic participation rate of the whole country

51. These include:

51.1. In view of the policies of the Government to control the growth rate of unemployment and create new job opportunities, the unemployment rate fluctuated between the highest, in 2005, which was 11.5% and the lowest, in 2007, which was 10.5%. Also, during the same period, the lowest economic participation rate was registered in 2007 with 39.8% and the highest in 2005 with 41.0%.

51.2. The mean estimation of unemployment and economic participation rates for the first three quarters of 2008 were respectively 9.8% and 38.3% for the whole country showing a decline in both unemployment and economic participation rates as compared to those of the previous years.

51.3. The statistics collected from the labor force scheme of Iran’s statistics center reveals that the economic participation rate during 2005–2007 experienced a downward trend in the entire country. This decline in the economic participation rate can be seen both in urban and rural areas and also for both men and women.

51.4. The statistics collected from the same scheme also shows that the unemployment rate, too, has declined both in urban and rural areas and also for both men and women during the same period.

51.5. A glance at the share of employment in each sector (agriculture, industry, service) during 2005–2007, as indicated by the following table, reveals that the share of employment in the agriculture sector during the same period has declined both in urban and rural areas and also for both men and women whereas the share of employment in the industrial sector has increased in both urban and rural areas and also for both men and women.

The main indicators of the labor force during 2005–2007


2005
2006
2007
Indicator
Male & female
Male
Female
Male & female
Male
Female
Male & female
Male
Female
Economic participation rate
39.8
63.5
15.6
40.4
63.9
16.4
39.8
63.5
15.6

Share of employment in each sector

Agriculture
22.8
20.5
33.1
23.2
21.3
30.9
22.8
20.5
33.1
Industry
32.0
32.7
29.1
31.7
31.7
31.7
32.0
32.7
29.1
Service
45.1
46.8
37.8
45.1
47
37.3
45.1
46.8
37.8
Undeclared
-
Private
81.0
82.0
76.9
80.9
81.9
76.8
81
82
76.9
Public
18.5
17.6
22.3
18.5
17.6
22.3
18.5
17.6
22.3
Others
0.5
0.4
0.8
0.5
0.4
0.8
Undeclared
Unemployment rate
10.5
9.3
15.8
11.3
10
16.2
10.5
9.3
15.8
Number of people
59 254 939
29 894 459
29 360 179
58 142 356
29 334 653
28 807 703
59 254 639
29 894 459
29 360 179
Number of employed
21 092 477
17 229 988
3 862 488
20 841 420
16 871 814
3 969 606
21 092 477
17 229 988
3 862 488
Number of unemployed
2 486 238
176 418
722 119
2 642 648
1 877 931
764 716
2 486 238
1 764 118
722 119
Number of employed in agriculture
4 809 552
3 532 090
12 774 761
4 827 188
3 601 542
1 225 646
4 809 552
3 532 090
1 277 461
Number of employed in industry
6 759 514
5 634 258
1 125 255
6 604 909
5 344 700
1 260 209
6 759 514
5 634 258
1 125 255
Number of in service
9 519 831
8 060 275
1 459 556
9 404 166
7 921 609
1 482 556
9 519 831
8 060 275
1 459 556
Number of undeclared employed
3 579
3 364
215
5 156
3 962
1 193
3 579
3 364
215
Number of Employed in private sector
17 092 692
14 123 459
2 969 233
16 869 951
13 821 356
3 048 594
17 092 692
14 123 459
2 969 233
Number of employed in public sector
3 898 914
3 036 270
862 643
2 855 847
2 972 282
883 564
3 898 914
3 036 270
862 643
Number of employed in other sectors
100 821
70 209
30 611
100 821
70 209
30 611
Number of undeclared employed
49
49
49
49

Economic participation rate in the whole country as well as urban and rural areas during 2005–2007 by percentage


2005
2006
2007
Whole country
41
40.4
39.8
Urban areas
39.4
38.8
38.2
Rural areas
44.7
43.9
43.6

Economic participation rate by gender during 2005–2007


2005
2006
2007
Whole
41
40.4
39.8
Male
64.7
63.9
63.5
Female
17
16.4
15.6

Unemployment rate in the whole country as well as urban and rural areas during 2005–2007


2005
2006
2007
Whole country
11.5
11.3
10.5
Urban areas
13.8
13.4
12.5
Rural areas
7.1
7.1
6.6

Unemployment rate by gender during 2005–2007


2005
2006
2007
Whole
11.5
11.3
10.5
Male
10
10
9.3
Female
17.1
16.2
15.8

A glance at unemployment and economic participation rates by level of education

52. The unemployment rate has always received special attention as a key indicator of the labor market by the policy makers and planners of the labor market of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Examining this indicator by gender, age, education and other criteria gives a clearer picture of the labor market. Thus, the unemployment and economic participations rates and also the trend of their changes have been examined by the level of education in the whole country and also in each province during 2005–2007 as well.

Unemployment and economic participation rates in the whole country by the level of education during 2005–2007


Level of education

Illiterate
School dropouts
Diploma
(upper secondary school)
Association diploma
BA, BS and above

Unemployment rate
Participation rate
Unemployment rate
Participation rate
Unemployment rate
Participation rate
Unemployment rate
Participation rate
Unemployment rate
Participation rate
2005
3.3
32.9
9.8
37.7
18.1
48.1
17.6
60.8
14.8
61.7
2006
3.2
32.2
9.5
37.1
16.9
48.0
18.5
56.7
14.6
57.1
2007
2.8
31.3
8.0
36.9
15.5
46.8
17.4
54.8
15.4
53.4
Average of the three years
3.11
32.13
9.31
37.24
16.85
47.61
17.85
57.44
14.95
57.43

Technical and vocational training in the 4th development plan

Article 55

53. To promote technical knowledge and skills at the national level, reform the educational pyramid of the labor force, empower human resources, reduce the gap between the technical knowledge and skills of the domestic labor force and the global standards and also to create new employment opportunities for youth, the Government is obligated to devise the appropriate mechanisms for those purposes in the technical and vocational system of the country within one year from the date of the approval of this law and make the necessary preparations for that matter including:

53.1. To take the required legal measures to establish a policy making body for the technical, vocational and applied training system of the country by using domestic and global experiences. Such a body will be the main authority which will decide all the policies, strategies and vision plans of the country in this area until the formation of the coordinating headquarter of technical and vocational training provided for in article 151 of the law of the 3rd development plan of April 2000.

53.2. To continue the apprenticeship system for both formal education (secondary and tertiary) as well as informal technical, vocational, professional and applied training.

53.3. To devise the labor force standards and skills evaluation system with an international orientation.

53.4. To formulate a comprehensive human resource development plan for, inter alia, attraction, motivation, job promotion, training improvement and retention of human resources.

53.5. To define a mechanism to support public and private institutions and enterprises in the development of technical, vocational, professional and applied training, particularly in the less-developed regions of the country.

53.6. Reformation and modernization of the structures and facilities and also promotion of the quality of education in technical, vocational, professional and applied training centers; development of technical-vocational and ICT training institutions with the maximum participation of the private and cooperative sectors and use of international cooperation.

53.7. Utilization of the potentials and capacities of the public and private sectors for the development of technical, vocational, professional and applied training.

53.8. Assessment of the needs for skilled manpower and issuance of the licenses required for the establishment of job-training centers in the private and cooperative sectors to the extent that the required capacities will be created by the end of the 4th year of the plan.

54. In addition to the above-mentioned article, the law of the 4th development plan has reinstated a number of articles from the 3rd development plan which deal with technical and vocational training.

Article 151 of the 3rd development plan

55. To ensure effective coordination in deciding policies related to technical and vocational training, formal and informal, including applied scientific courses sponsored by the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology and Ministry of Health and Medical Education, technical and vocational training (secondary school) sponsored by the Ministry of Education, short-term professional training courses sponsored by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and also on-the-job-training courses for Government employees and specialized management courses sponsored by the State Organization of Administrative and Employment Affairs, the High Occupation Training Council (articles 5, 6 & 7 of the occupation-training act of 1970 passed by both the former Senate and the National Assembly), the High Council for Coordination of Technical-Vocation Training created by the Revolution Council in 1980 and also the High Council for Applied-Scientific Education created by the High Cultural Revolution Council in 1990 are dissolved and the coordinating committee of technical and vocational training is established. The committee is headed by the First Vice-President of the State and is attended by the Minister of Education, Minister of Agricultural Jihad, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Minister of Science, Technology and Research, Minister of Health and Medical Education, the Head of Budget and Planning Organization, the Secretary General of Organization for Administrative and Employment Affairs and the Head of Women’s Participation Center. Also, other ministers will attend the sessions of the committee upon the decision and invitation of the president of the committee depending on the case under consideration. The Head of the Budget and Planning Organization will serve as the secretary of the committee. Other duties and powers of the dissolved councils will be delegated to the related ministries. The decisions of the committee will become binding on all the related ministries and councils after being seconded by the Council of Ministers.

Article 51 of the 3rd development plan

56. To develop the quantity and quality of technical and vocational skills of the labor force and provide diverse skills training courses for different groups, the Government is obligated to allocate a share of subsidies granted on the interests of facilities to the investors of private and cooperative sectors which establish technical and vocational training institutes.

The strategies and objectives of technical-vocational training organization during 2008–2009

57. Since the employment policies of the country are based on the development of skills training for employees, university students and graduates and rural people, the policies of technical-vocational training organization for 2008–2009 were oriented towards the said objectives. The most important activities conducted in 2008 and planned for 2009 have been based on the three strategies of demand orientation, outsourcing and productivity enhancement. Of such activities mention can be made of the following:

57.1. Improving the efficacy of education.

57.2. Separating evaluation from education.

57.3. Development of occupation training and entrepreneurial activities.

57.4. Conducting research programs.

57.5. Developing and boosting non-governmental sector.

57.6. Divesting the management of State-run plants and centers to the private sector.

57.7. Procuring educational services from the non-governmental sector.

57.8. Developing human resources.

57.9. Promoting cultural programs and public relations activities.

57.10. Prioritizing educational programs in view of the policies of the organization.

Performance of technical-vocational training

Legal performance

58. Approval and submission for enforcement of the framework for collection and formulation of statistics pertaining to technical, vocational, professional and applied training of civil servants.

58.1. In 2006, in conformity with the output-based budgeting system, the program for short-term training of civil servants which was included in the general budget law of 2005 for the sake of the transparency of the credits and activities related to the training of Government employees was eliminated; it was decided that any activities related to the training of civil servants be included in the related executive programs.

58.2. In order to formulate the labor force skills standards and evaluation system with an international orientation and also to reform and modernize the structures and promote the quality of technical and vocational education by using international cooperation, the organization for technical and vocational training has initiated a joint project in cooperation with the World Bank named “Strategy of National Development for Technical and Vocational Training” with an aim to develop the educational strategy of the country.

58.3. The directive for granting incentives and facilities for the establishment and development of technical-vocational training institutions was approved by the Council of Ministers. Under this directive, the organization for technical and vocational training is allowed to allocate facilities to applicants for establishing technical-vocational institutions in capital-intensive fields with modern technology.

Executive performance

59. To optimally utilize the existing educational capacities along with the creation of new capacities, the technical and vocational training organization has carried out some productivity studies in order to explore the existing capacities. It has issued licenses, for a third time, for the applicants of the requested training courses.

59.1. The “Hijrat Plan” is one of the most important measures taken by the technical and vocational training organization for the education of rural people with special concentration on the training of those employed in the agricultural sector in the rural areas.

59.2. The Ministry of Industry and Mines in coordination with the Jame’ Elmi-Karbordi (Applied Science) University has increased the number of applied-science disciplines in the industrial and mining sectors.

59.3. To reduce the gap between the technical knowledge and skills of the domestic labor force and the related international standards, the technical and vocational training organization has not only made arrangements for the domestic labor force to participate in the world skills competitions but it has also established cooperation desks with other countries.

Performance of key indicators

60. Informal technical and vocational training: the target of the plan has been 1,230,000 man-hours of training of which 990,717 man-hours have been realized accounting for 80.5% of the target, which shows a 21% growth as compared to 2005.

60.1. The total number of technical-vocational students in secondary school: the target of the plan has been 915,000 students, of which 8,654,000 has been realized, accounting for 94.6% of the target, which shows a decline of 3.2% as compared to 2005.

60.2. The total number of applied-science university students: the target of the plan was 933,000 students, of which 750,000 has been realized, accounting for 80.4% of the target which shows a rise of 2.8% as compared to 2005.

Budgetary performance

61. Performance of national expense credits allocated to technical-vocational training: the target of the plan was 2,855,381 million rials of which 3,204,994 million rials has been realized, accounting for 112.2% of the target.

61.1. Performance of provincial expense credits allocated to technical-vocational training: the target of the plan was 5,353,494 million rials of which 6,298,533 million rials, accounting for 117.7% of the target has been realized.

The table comparing the educational performance of women to the total performance of the technical and vocational training organization in the public and private sectors (person per term)


Year
Total educational performance
Women’s educational performance
Ratio of women’s education
to total performance
1
2005
1 589 606
1 225 250
77
2
2006
2 505 350
1 805 460
72
3
2007
2 948 614
1 813 675
61.5
4
2008
2 738 032
1 627 980
59.4

This table demonstrates that around 67% of the whole technical-vocational training of the country from 2005 to 2008 was allocated to women.

Educational performance of 2008 by education section (person per term)


Name of education section
Performance of 2008
1
Fixed centers
331 397
2
Hijrat plan – urban areas
80 370
3
Hijrat plan – rural areas
95 717
4
Training in jails
34 958
5
Training in military garrisons
19 252
6
Training in industries
183 118
7
Service procurement
14 968
8
Total public sector
759 780
9
Private institutions
1 978 252
10
Total public and non-governmental sectors
2 738 032

Educational programs of the organization in the public sector by target groups and place of implementation



Educational commitments (man-hours)

Place of implementation
Employed
Unemployed university graduates and students
Urban job seekers
Rural job seekers
Total
1
Fixed daily centers
12 369 877
8 270 901
27 237 967
6 104 966
53 983 711
2
Privatized fixed daily centers
4 078 390
2 481 105
15 140 570
21 700 065
3
24-hour administrative centers
3 106 058
2 311 728
9 217 719
3 232 529
17 868 034
4
Mobile-jail


8 435 466

8 435 466
5
Mobile-garrison

244 782
5 156 913

5 401 695
6
Mobile-urban
2 362 594
960 253
6 151 591

9 474 438
7
Suburbs – rural
2 654 525
274 055

6 513 877
9 442 457
8
Suburbs – plants inter-workshop
12 947 878



12 947 878
9
Suburbs – university

5 987 556


5 987 556
10
Service procurement
5 376 457
2 023 984

3 446 075
10 846 516
11
Privatized rural workshop
1 937 281
295 853

5 225 315
7 458 449
Total
44 833 060
22 850 217
71 340 226
24 522 762
163 546 265

Cooperatives sector

Cooperatives sector in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Article 43

62. The economy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with its objectives of achieving the economic independence of the society, uprooting poverty and deprivation, and fulfilling human needs in the process of development while preserving human liberty, is based on the following criteria:

62.1. The provision of basic necessities for all citizens’ housing, food, clothing, hygiene, medical treatment, education, and the necessary facilities for the establishment of a family.

62.2. Ensuring conditions and opportunities of employment for everyone with a view to attaining full employment; placing the means of work at the disposal of everyone who is able to work but lacks the means, in the form of cooperatives, through granting interest-free loans or recourse to any other legitimate means that does not result in the concentration or circulation of wealth in the hands of a few individuals or groups, nor turns the Government into a major absolute employer. These steps must be taken with due regard for the requirements governing the general economic planning of the country at each stage of its growth.

Article 44

63. The economy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to consist of three sectors; State, cooperative, and private, and is to be based on systematic and sound planning. The State sector is to include all large-scale and mother industries, foreign trade, major minerals, banking, insurance, power generation, dams and large-scale irrigation networks, radio and television, post, telegraph and telephone services, aviation, shipping, roads, railroads and the like: all these will be publicly owned and administered by the Government. The cooperatives sector is to include cooperative companies and enterprises concerned with production and distribution, in urban and rural areas, in accordance with Islamic criteria.

63.1. The private sector consists of those activities concerned with agriculture, animal husbandry, industry, trade, and services that supplement the economic activities of the State and cooperatives sectors.

63.2. Ownership in each of these sectors is protected by the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in so far as this ownership is in conformity with the other articles of this chapter, does not go beyond the bounds of Islamic law, contributes to the economic progress and growth of the country and does not harm the society. The scope of each of these sectors as well as the regulations and conditions governing their operation, will be specified by law.

Cooperatives sector in the law of the 4th development plan

64. The importance of the cooperatives sector in Iran’s economy has caused this sector to receive special attention in the short-, mid- and long-term objectives of all development plans of the country. In the 4th development plan, too, the cooperatives sector has been mentioned 71 times along with the State and private sectors, which shows the importance of this sector in Iran’s economy.

Article 102

65. The Government is obligated to draft and submit to the Islamic Consultative Assembly by the end of April 2004 the development plan of the cooperatives sector with a view to making effective use of the potentials in the promotion of social justice and even distribution of incomes, provision of necessary resources for investment through the aggregation of micro capitals, implementation of paragraph (2) of Article 43 of the Constitution of the country, enhancement of competitiveness and empowerment of small-and medium-sized enterprises, reduction of Government’s involvement in the economy, expansion of ownership and development of people’s participation in economic activities based on the following axes:

65.1. Empowerment of youth, women, university graduates and other job seekers with a view to creating the necessary social interactions for the development of cooperatives activities.

65.2. Promotion of productivity as well as the development and improvement of the management of cooperatives.

65.3. Propagation of the culture of cooperatives; establishing the legal framework required for the development of cooperatives by introducing the necessary legal bills for that purpose.

65.4. Giving priority to the cooperatives sector in the process of privatization and reduction of Government’s involvement in economic activities.

65.5. Broadening the scope of the activities of the cooperatives sector within the framework of paragraph 47 of the general policies of the 4th development plan, which will be promulgated at a later date.

65.6. Facilitating the process of cooperatives’ access to financial resources and facilities, modern technologies and markets and also improving the environment for their business activities.

65.7. Facilitating the development of relations as well as technical, economic and financial links among cooperatives.

Cooperatives sector in the general policies of the 4th development plan

66. Two paragraphs of the general policies of the 4th development plan pertain to the cooperatives sector which are as follows:

66.1. Paragraph 47: Empowering the private and cooperatives sectors as the catalyst in the economic growth of the country, reduction of the Government’s involvement in economic activities and boosting its role in sovereignty affairs within the framework of the general policies of article 44 of the Constitution, which will be promulgated at a later date.

66.2. Paragraph 48: Enhancing the potentials and capacities of the cooperatives sector by facilitating the process of its access to resources, information and data, technology, communication facilities and developing its technical, economic and financial links with other sectors of the economy.

Status of cooperatives sector in the general policies of article 44 of the Constitution

67. Except for paragraph (c) – these policies which were promulgated by the supreme leader of the country are mostly centered on the private sector; under these policies, the share of the cooperatives sector is to reach up to 25% in the national economy by the end of the 5th development plan.

Cooperatives sector in the general policies of Article 44 of the Constitution

68. Ceding to the cooperatives and private sectors any economic activity which falls outside the scope of Article 44 by the end of the 4th development plan.

68.1. Giving the permission of investment in, ownership and management of economic activities which fall within the scope of Article 44 as provided for in paragraphs 1 to 8.

The general policies governing the cooperatives sector

69. Raising the share of the cooperatives sector in the national economy by 25% by the end of the 5th development plan:

69.1. Adoption of effective measures by the Government to create cooperatives with an aim to generate productive occupations.

69.2. Support of the Government for the establishment and development of cooperatives by such means as tax cuts, concessionary credit facilities to be granted by financial institutions of the country and exemption of cooperatives of payment of any extra charges levied on the private sector.

69.3. Lifting any restrictions which may impede the presence of the cooperatives sector in all economic activities including banking and insurance.

69.4. Establishment of cooperatives development bank with the capital to be provided by the Government with an aim to develop the share of the cooperatives sector in the national economy.

69.5. Support of the Government for the access of cooperatives to the final market as well as the necessary data and information.

69.6. Ensuring that the role of the Government will be only a sovereignty one to be played in policy making and supervision over the enforcement of the related laws and that the Government will not interfere in the executive affairs and management of cooperatives.

69.7. Development of technical and vocational training and any other support to be provided to raise the efficiency and capacities of cooperatives.

69.8. Creation of flexibility and diversity in the ways of raising the capital and distribution of shares in the cooperatives sector; adoption of the necessary measures to make possible the establishment of new cooperatives, in addition to conventional cooperatives, in the form of public companies with limited ownership of shareholders to be determined by the law.

69.9. Support of the Government for cooperatives in proportion to the size of their membership.

69.10. Formation of transnational cooperatives to cover the three lowest income deciles of the society in line with the policy of poverty alleviation.

The general policies governing the divesture of economic concerns

70. Empowerment of the private and cooperatives sectors to run larger-scale economic activities and enterprises:

70.1. Observance of the general policies governing the private sector in the divesture of economic concerns.

70.2. Allocation of 30% of the proceeds earned from the divesture of economic concerns to transnational cooperatives in line with the policy of poverty alleviation.

70.3. Provision of facilities (managed funds) for boosting cooperatives.

70.4. Formation of partnership between the public and private (including cooperatives) sectors up to a limit of 49% for the economic development of less-developed regions of the country.

Statistics pertaining to the cooperative sector in 2007


Indicator
Unit
Number
1
Number of registered cooperatives
Company
22 391
2
Number of active cooperatives
Company
4 383
3
Number of registered women’s cooperatives
Company
3 404
4
Number of active women’s cooperatives
Company
590
5
Number of women’s cooperatives in the process of formation
Company
2 425
6
Number of registered unions
Union
143
7
Number of active unions
Union
51
8
Number of unions in the process of formation
Union
92

Some of the achievements of the cooperatives sector

71. Realization of 83% of the target of the 4th development plan (1,400 million US dollars) on the exports of the cooperatives sector, amounting to approximately 1,163 million US dollars in 2006:

71.1. Increasing the membership of cooperatives by 1,120,000 people in 2006 from 104,000 people in 2005, representing a surge of 15.3% to 35.5% in the realization of the target of the plan.

71.2. Raising the number of new job opportunities from 29,000 in 2005 to 163,000 in 2006.

71.3. Raising the number of new cooperatives from 5,148 in 2005 to 18,205 in 2006, realizing 88.1% of the target of the plan.

Freedom to change occupation

72. The rules and regulations of the Islamic Republic of Iran have not imposed any restrictions on the change of jobs by workers. Workers are allowed to move freely to any new job at any place they wish after they resign from their previous jobs and receive the pay and bonuses due to them at the end of service equivalent to those of a worker dismissed with a legal excuse.

Article 7: Wage and working conditions

Introduction

73. This section starts with the international conventions to which the Islamic Republic of Iran is a State party and has submitted reports thereon to ILO. Then, there follows the related articles of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran and some other regulatory provisions on minimum wage, safely rules at workplace, rest and working hours.

International conventions

74. The Islamic Republic of Iran is a State party to ILO Convention No. 14 on Weekly Rest (Industry) (1921), ILO Convention No. 106 on Weekly Rest (commerce and offices) (1957) and also ILO Convention No. 100 on Equal Remuneration (1951) and has submitted some reports thereon to ILO.

Articles of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran on working hours

75. Paragraph 3 of Article 43 of the Constitution obliges the Government to regulate economic programs of the country in such a way that the working hours and conditions (in form and substance) would allow everyone, in addition to their work on their jobs, to have sufficient time and energy for their personal development spiritually, politically and socially and actively participate in the leadership of the country and increase their skills and creativity.

Minimum wage

76. Under article 41 of the labor law of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the High Labor Council is obliged to determine every year the minimum wage for workers in different sectors, industries and regions of the country in accordance with the following criteria:

76.1. The minimum wage is determined in accordance with the inflation rate announced by the central bank of Islamic Republic of Iran.

76.2. The minimum wage, irrespective of the physical and mental conditions of workers or the work they are asked to do, should be sufficient to meet the needs of a family the size of which is to be decided by the relevant authorities.

76.3. Note: employers are obliged not to pay less than the new minimum wages announced for the work done during the legally determined working hours; in case of violation of this provision, employers will be forced to pay the discrepancy and observe the minimum wage. This minimum wage will apply to all age earners covered by the labor law. In case of violation of this provision, the related authorities will force such employers to pay the discrepancy. Besides, certain penalties have been provided for such violations in article 174 of the labor law, which can be pursued in the judicial system.

76.4. In compliance with the provisions of the labor law, every year, including the years referred to in the law, the High Labor Council decides the minimum wage based on the statistics and data collected from the central bank and other competent authorities such as Iran’s statistics center and also statistical information collected from the plants and workshops of the country by taking into consideration the high interests of workers and the economic power of enterprises and industries and also the rational expectation of a minimum wage.

76.5. The minimum nominal monthly wage in 2006 was set at 1,350,000 rials, posting a growth of 15.38% as compared to the corresponding figure set for 2005. With the adjustment of the minimum nominal monthly wage in accordance with the price index of consumer goods and services the minimum real monthly wage in 2006 rose to 3,978,95 rials, showing a rise of 3.14% as compared to the corresponding figure in the previous year.

76.6. With the participation of the representatives of the three groups (Government, employers and workers) in its meeting of April 2008, after discussing the minimum wage for 2009, the High Labor Council, in compliance with the provisions of article 41 of the labor law on the need to take into consideration the high interests of workers and the economic power of employers (enterprises and industries) and the economic conditions of the country, decided the following.

76.7. The minimum daily wage at the same rate for all workers covered by the labor law (permanent or temporary contract workers) is set at 87,840 rials since the beginning of the new Iranian calendar year (March 2009).

76.8. Workers who have had one year of service in 2009 or if one year has passed since the last yearly base rise in their wages will receive an extra 1,250 rials as the yearly base rise.

Safety at the workplace

77. Chapter 4 of the labor law has stipulated the need for the observance of all protective and safety measures for all workshops, employers and ...

77.1. Besides, article 85 of the law has also referred to the need for observance of technical safety measures at family workshops which are not covered by the provisions of the labor law.

Provisions pertaining to rest and working hours

78. Under the provisions of the labor law and the related rules of procedure, maximum working hours are 44 hours per week (36 hours for harsh and difficult jobs). Weekly and formal holidays are paid and yearly paid leave for workers covered by the labor law is one month.

General policies and strategies of labor health and safety

79. Under the provisions of the labor law and the directives pertaining to labor health and safety, the following conditions are to be observed.

79.1. Creation of an appropriate mechanism for the attraction of committed experts and use of their specialty in the promotion of the culture of labor health and safety.

79.2. Formulation of a comprehensive research strategy for labor health and safety.

79.3. Development of the scientific infrastructures of the country and raising the share of the country in the production of knowledge in the related fields.

79.4. Increasing and facilitating the access of researchers to scientific sources and research facilities in the related fields.

79.5. Attraction and involvement of specialists in the policy and decision-making process.

79.6. Establishment of a scientific and research center to introduce new theories and ideas and also to train experts on labor health and safety.

79.7. Facilitating the implementation of research projects and streamlining the training system of labor health and safety.

79.8. Attraction of university professors and experts on labor health and safety with a view to meeting the needs of business and industrial communities based on the strategic priorities of the country.

79.9. Decentralization and expansion of the activities of research institutions by launching specialized labor health and safety research centers at industrial poles of the country; in line with this policy, last year, four specialized research centers were established at four industrial poles of the country with different concentrations as follows.

79.9.1. The labor health and safety research and training center of north-east (Khorasan-e-Razavi province) with concentration on food industry.

79.9.2. The labor health and safety research and training center of south-east (Kerman province) with concentration on mines.

79.9.3. The labor health and safety research and training center of north-west (East Azerbaijan province) with concentration on heavy machineries.

79.9.4. The labor health and safety research and training center of south-west (Khuzestan province) with concentration on sugar industry.

80. Also, efforts are under way to launch three more specialized centers in the provinces of Isfahan, Golestan and Bushehr (Asalouyeh) by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

Labor health and safety standards

81. Under article 96 of the labor law, the general inspection department of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is responsible for supervision over the proper implementation of the provisions of the labor law and other related rules and regulations pertaining to labor health and safety as follows.

81.1. To ensure the proper implementation of the rules and regulations governing the conditions of workplaces, particularly the protective measures prescribed for harsh, difficult and hazardous jobs, period of work, welfare of workers, and employment of women and young children.

81.2. To ensure the proper implementation of the provisions of the labor law as well as the directives and instructions pertaining to technical protection.

81.3. To familiarize workers and employers with the rules and issues of technical protection at workplaces.

81.4. To study and survey the shortcomings and problems arising from the implementation of the technical protection rules and to make proposals on how to correct and improve them in keeping with technological advances and developments.

81.5. To attend to labor accidents at workplaces covered by the law and to analyze such accidents from a general and statistical viewpoint in order to prevent their recurrence in the future.

The rate of labor accidents during 2002–2008 (first three quarters)

Rate and number of accidents per thousand for the whole country
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
No.
Rate
No.
Rate
No.
Rate
No.
Rate
No.
Rate
No.
Rate
No.
Rate
6 698
1.2
8 589
1.5
9 369
1.5
10 348
1.6
11 748
1.8
11 538
1.5
9 651
1.1

Measures taken to eliminate labor discrimination by amending the related laws

82. Regarding the prohibition of discrimination in labor relations, article 38 of the labor law states: “men and women should be paid equally for equal work done under equal conditions at the same workplace; any discrimination in the amount of wage based on age, race, political or religious beliefs is prohibited”.

83. This article is among the articles of the labor law whose violation is punishable by the provisions of article 174 of the labor law which states that offenders who violate article 38 of the labor law “will be condemned to not only end the discrimination so imposed but also to compensate for the wrong done to worker(s) in each case by the deadline that the court will decide in consultation with the representative of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs”. The penalty provided for the offence of discrimination against each worker will be as follows: the offender will be condemned to pay.

83.1. 20 to 50 times the minimum daily base wage of one worker, for up to 10 workers.

83.2. 5 to 10 times the minimum daily base wage of one worker, for up to 100 workers in excess of 10 workers.

83.3. 2 to 5 times the minimum daily base wage of one worker, for more than 100 workers in excess of 100 workers.

84. Supervision over the execution of the above-mentioned provisions will be the legal duty and responsibility of the general inspection department of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

85. It is to be noted that, in 2007, some 141,968 periodic inspections and 234,225 case-based inspections took place and no violation of article 38 of the labor law was reported.

86. It is also worth mentioning that the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has taken the prohibition of discrimination in labor relations as one of its most important duties in accordance with the provisions of ILO Convention No. 111 and article 6 of the labor law of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Policies relating to compensation for and prevention of unemployment as well as provision of credit facilities (2005–2008)

87. With regard to the policies of compensation for unemployment, prevention of unemployment as well as credit facilities of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, it is important to note the data in the following table.


Indicators (support provided for preservation of jobs and sustainability of enterprises)
Number of supported units
Number of supported workers
Payments (billion rials)
1
Support provided through the selected Government commission (units with over 50 workers)
491
125 072
1 315.4
2
Support provided through social facilities
427
5 810
97
3
Support provided through 20% facilities allocated to fast-return projects
8 710
889 600
26 690
4
Refinancing of the debts of enterprises
451
73 998
21 153
5
Reemployment of pensioners
1 874
57 407
5 740
6
Reforming the structures of economic enterprises
58
7 427
108.6
7
Note 1 of article 6 (Labor Law)
312
522
8
Facilities provided for purchase of cars
3 846
1 290
37 800
9
Others
398 509
14 679
10
The screening and troubleshooting scheme for crisis management in problem units (through 30330 and special credit line)
1 414
424 200
121 000
11
Total
17 583
1 983 835
228 553

Article 8: Labor unions

Introduction

88. The section deals with the two subjects of labor union and the right to strike. It is to be noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran has submitted to ILO some reports on the implementation of the provisions of ILO Convention No. 98 on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining (1949) and ILO Convention No. 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise (1948).

Right of association and the right of collective bargaining

89. The right of association and the right of collective bargaining has been recognized in the Constitution and the labor law of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The recognition and realization of these rights have been stipulated in articles 26, 106, 104 of the Constitution and articles 131, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146 and 178 of the labor law. According to these legal provisions.

89.1. All workers and employers can form, without any obstacles, their own associations (except for police and military forces).

89.2. Workers and employers do not need to seek a permit for the establishment of their associations; however, after holding their elections and submitting the documents related to such elections, they can have their associations registered in the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs under the instructions to be provided by the experts of this Ministry.

89.3. The Government does not interfere in the work of workers’ and employers’ associations. The only authority which can make decisions in such associations is their assemblies, whose decisions, which are adopted with the positive vote of their majority, are final and binding. In case the members of such associations are unhappy with the performance of their representatives and lodge a complaint with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs with regard to the breach of the related rules and regulations by the board of directors, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs will guide the complainants to refer the case to a competent court of law.

89.4. The labor law of the Islamic Republic of Iran has not excluded any group of workers or employers with regard to the right of collective bargaining and has recognized this right equally for all workers and employers.

89.5. The present laws of the country do not recognize the Government’s permit for conclusion of collective bargaining contracts, but to prevent any possible breach of the legal rights of workers or employers in the conclusion of such contracts, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is allowed to declare its views with regard to the provisions and conclusion of such contracts and their conformity with the present laws of the country, which will be submitted in writing to the parties to such contracts within thirty days. It is to be noted that if the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs does not submit its views within the period of thirty days, the contract will remain valid.

Formation of workers’ and employers’ associations

Administrative procedures

90. After the constitution of the association is drafted and confirmed by the general assembly, and the members of the board of directors and inspectors are elected, the related documents are submitted to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs for registration and issuance of credentials.

Legal procedures

91. Such associations are allowed to be established in accordance with the provisions of article 26 of the Constitution and article 131 of the labor law and its related notes. After the election of the board of founders, workers or employers carry a notice in the related gazette to inform workers or employers of their decision to form such associations.

Instruments provided for consolidation of the freedom and exercise of the right of collective bargaining

92. These include:

92.1. The Government, which is responsible for supervision and education.

92.2. The Association, which is to act as a party to collective bargaining and contract.

92.3. Other bodies; in accordance with the provisions of article 78 of the labor law on the right to association, the cooperation of competent courts of law is needed for the purposes of this provision.

92.4. The purpose of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to develop and expand workers’ and employers’ associations and also to put in place the legal mechanism needed to ensure a sound dialogue and relationship between them so that the terms and conditions of work in any workshop or profession will be decided through collective bargaining and conclusion of contract between workers’ and employers’ associations through mutual agreement. This will help not only settle any differences or disputes between workers and employers and fulfill their legal demands but it will also reduce the problems of the Government in such cases as well.

92.5. Based on the duties of workers’ and employers’ associations, which have been provided for in their statutes, such associations can submit to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and other related bodies their views and suggestions for the amendment and facilitation of the present labor rules and regulations. Such views or suggestions will be first discussed in the related committees and then submitted to the Islamic Consultative Assembly (the parliament) or the Council of Ministers for consideration and approval. For instance, the note to article 3 of the rules of procedure of workers’ and employers’ associations was amended by the Council of Ministers based on the views submitted by employers’ associations.

Formation of labor unions

93. Chapters 3 and 7 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which deal respectively with “the rights of the nation” and “councils”, contain some principles which refer indirectly to the right of people.

93.1. Article 26 of the Constitution has recognized the right to form political and professional parties and groups under certain conditions. Also, article 104 of the Constitution has specially recognized the right of workers and Government employees to establish their own councils. Article 27 of the Constitution has recognized the right of association and protest marches. What can be inferred from these articles is that wage earners including workers can have their own trade associations and councils including syndicates and unions in order to defend their rights.

93.2. Article 131 of the labor law states that the purpose of the establishment of trade associations is to defend the legitimate and legal rights and interests and also to improve the living conditions of workers and employers. Article 142 of the labor law stipulates the right to collective bargaining and contract, referring indirectly to the right of strike. Under this article, if divergence of opinions regarding the provisions of the labor law or the previous contracts or any other issues or the demand of either party for the conclusion of a new contract leads to the work stoppage with the workers being present at the workshop or intentional reduction of production by workers, the investigation team is obliged to investigate rapidly the matter at hand upon the request of either party to the dispute or workers’ or employers’ associations and declare its opinions. Certainly, a collective work stoppage cannot be interpreted as anything other than a strike. Also, an intentional work stoppage which is also done for professional purposes may be interpreted as a limited strike.

Professional freedoms

94. Institutions which take part in social dialogue and trilateral arrangements (Government, workers and employers) including policy and decision-making bodies in the field of labor and employment include national labor conference, high councils (High Labor Council, High Labor Technical Protection Council, Council of Social Security Organization and High Employment Council), as well as dispute settlement and compromise councils covered by chapter 9 of the labor law which are briefly introduced as follows.

National labor conference

95. The National labor conference, which is a forum for trilateral talks and collective negotiations between the representatives of the Government, employers and workers based on the internationally recognized strategy of trilateralism, convenes with the participation of its members as well as authors and researchers in the field.

95.1. The composition of the national labor conference has been modeled after that of the International Labor Conference. This conference has 100 main members of which 50 represent the Government, 25 represent employers’ associations and 25 represent workers’ associations. Each member can bring two advisors with him. The conference will be presided over by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, who will be assisted by three deputies in chairing the conference. The three deputies will be selected each from among the representatives of the Government, employers and workers. The presiding board will also be attended by the secretary of the conference and a legal advisor.

95.2. The main mission of the national labor conference is to encourage the representatives of employers and workers to engage in trilateral dialogue with the representative of the Government for exchange of views and collaboration to ensure their basic rights and remove any obstacles or problems appearing in labor relations in order to increase their output. The national labor conference seeks to build a sound mechanism for identification of common and different views between the representatives of the Government, employers and workers regarding the issues in question in order to use the common views as a basis for expert discussions on differences and, more importantly, to lay down the groundwork for continued contacts between the two sides. The national labor conference is also intended to materialize the principle of public participation and enhancement of the role of civil society organizations in public affairs.

95.3. As to the mode of operation of the national labor conference in trilateral consultations, it is necessary first to know the components of this body which are: general assembly, specialized commissions and resolution. The functions of these components are as follows.

General Assembly

96. The General Assembly convenes with the participation of the representatives of the Government, employers and workers, the related ministers, member of the parliament, authors and experts as well as university professors in the field, who deliver speeches on labor and related issues.

Specialized commissions

97. These commissions, which discuss the specialized questions submitted to them, meet with the participation of the representatives of the Government, employers and workers.

Resolution

98. The outcomes of deliberations on specialized questions in the commissions are drafted in the form of resolutions which are presented for voting on the floor of the general assembly. The text of the resolution, if passed in voting, will be signed and endorsed by the president, vice-president and secretary of the conference and served on the related Government authorities, employers and workers.

98.1. The national labor conference is basically one of the institutions which participate in the trilateral consultations for making collective decisions. So it does not directly make decisions; rather its resolutions are used as a basis for the decisions of decision-making bodies.

High Labor Council

99. The High Labor Council is established in the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in accordance with the provisions of article 167 of the labor law. The council performs the tasks entrusted to it in accordance with the labor law and other related legislation. The compositions of the High Labor Council are as follows.

99.1. Minister of Labor and Social Affairs who chairs the council.

99.2. Two experts on social and economic affairs who are proposed by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs and confirmed by the Council of Ministers.

99.3. Minister of Welfare and Social Security.

99.4. President of Iran’s Industrial Research and Standards Institute.

99.5. Three representatives of employers (one from the agriculture sector) chosen by employers.

99.6. Three representatives of workers (one from the agriculture sector) chosen by the High Center of Islamic Labor Councils.

High Technical Protection Council

100. In accordance with articles 85 and 86 of the labor law and in order to protect the human and also material resources of the country, the High Technical Protection Council as the highest authority responsible for the formulation and adoption of all technical protection rules and regulations and also directives and instructions of the country, plays an important role in the protection of human and also material resources of the country. The composition of the council is as follows:

100.1. Minister of Labor and Social Affairs or his deputy who will chair the council.

100.2. Deputy Minister of Industry and Mines.

100.3. Deputy Minister of Agricultural Jihad.

100.4. Deputy Minister of Oil.

100.5. President of Environment Department.

100.6. Two experienced university professors in the related technical fields.

100.7. Two authorities from the industrial sector.

100.8. Two representatives of workers.

100.9. Director general of the labor inspection department of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, who will serve as the secretary of the council.

The Council of the Social Security Organization

101. The Council of the Social Security Organization, which was called the High Council of Social Security before the adoption of the new statute of the Social Security Organization, is the main decision-making body of the organization.

102. Like other related bodies, this council has a trilateral structure. According to article 6 of the statute of the Social Security Organization approved in August 2008 by the Council of Ministers, the composition of the council will be as follows:

102.1. The President of the State who will chair the council.

102.2. Minister of Welfare and Social Security.

102.3. Minister of Health and Medical Education.

102.4. Minister of Labor and Social Affairs.

102.5. Minister of Mines and Industry.

102.6. Vice-President of the State for development and management of human resources.

102.7. Vice-President of the State for strategic planning and supervision.

102.8. Vice-President of the State for legal and parliamentary affairs.

102.9. Four representatives of employers as follows: Three employers representing the production, industrial and commercial sectors selected by the high center of employers’ professional associations and one employer representing business and trade units selected by the high center of employers’ professional associations.

102.10. Three representatives of the insured as follows: Two representatives of the insured from production, industrial and business and trade units selected by the high center of the Islamic labor councils and one representative of the insured from civil servants unions selected in accordance with the related rules and regulations.

High Employment Council

103. To determine the objectives and priorities of employment in different sectors, to make decisions and policies related to employment, to create employment opportunities through economic activities, to make optimal use of the labor force and also to make the necessary coordination between the educational policies and the needs of the labor market, a council called the High Employment Council is established with the following composition:

103.1. The President of the State, who will chair the council.

103.2. The Vice-President of the State for strategic planning and supervision as an observer without the right of voting.

103.3. Minister of Labor and Social Affairs.

103.4. Minister of Interior.

103.5. Minister of Agriculture.

103.6. Minister of Education.

103.7. Minister of Industry and Mines.

103.8. Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs.

103.9. Minister of Energy.

103.10. Minister of Cooperatives.

103.11. Minister of Trade.

103.12. Minister of Science, Research and Technology.

103.13. Minister of Health and Medical Education.

103.14. Advisor to the President of the State for Women’s Affairs as observer without the right of voting.

103.15. Two representatives of employers selected by the high center of employers’ professional associations, who will be selected by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs without the right of voting in case the high center of employer’s professional associations is not formed.

103.16. Two representatives of workers selected by the high center of Islamic labor councils, who will be selected by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs without the right of voting in case the high center of Islamic labor councils is not formed.

103.17. The chairman of the labor and social affairs committee of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (the parliament) as observer without the right of voting.

Compromise and dispute settlement authorities provided for in

chapter 9 of the labor law

104. In accordance with the provisions of article 157 of the labor law, labor-employer disputes resulting from divergence of opinions on the provisions of the labor law and other labor-related legislations, ... contracts, collective or workshop agreements will be settled through direct compromise between workers and employers or their representatives in labor associations and in case of the failure of the compromise formula, through dispute settlement authorities.

104.1. In this regard, and in order to facilitate the implementation of the provisions of this article, the related directorate in the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has set up a large number of dispute settlement councils with the participation of the representatives of workers and employers and also that of the Government if necessary. Such councils play a significant role in the settlement of disputes between workers and employers.

104.2. The composition of dispute-settlement councils covered by chapter 9 of the labor law will be trilateral.

105. According to the provisions of article 158 of the labor law, the investigation board consists of the following:

105.1. One representative from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

One representative of workers selected by the coordination center of provincial Islamic labor councils.

105.2. One representative of industrial managers selected by the center of provincial employers’ professional associations.

106. Also, according to the provisions of article 160 of the labor law, the composition of dispute-settlement councils will be as follows:

106.1. Three representatives of workers selected by the coordination center of provincial Islamic labor councils or the center of workers’ professional associations or the assembly of workers’ representatives.

106.2. Three representatives of employers selected by the managers of the units operating in the region.

106.3. Three representatives of the Government (director general of department of labor and social affairs, local governor and the chief of the local judicial department or their representatives).

107. As it is seen, the structures of employer-worker dispute-settlement bodies are based on the balanced and equal representation of workers, employers and the Government, whose advantages for the social partners of the Government will be greater than those of the trilateral mechanism sought by the ILO.

108. Also, under the decision of the High Employment Council, and in order to promote labor culture, Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is obliged, in cooperation with the related executive and, also, non-governmental organizations, formulate the necessary operational programs for the promotion of labor culture from the pre-school to the tertiary levels with the help of the mass media. The credits required for such programs will be provided from the budgets of the related executive bodies and also the budget line 520000-6.

Article 9: Social security

Introduction

109. The present section deals first with the status of social security in the Constitution of the country and the rules and regulations of the 4th development plan, and then elaborates on the characteristics of the social security system of the country including objectives, programs, target groups, insurance organizations, evaluation of the indicators of social security, and also different activities of the Social Security Organization, including its various insurance supports and services, the means of provision of services to the insured, direct and indirect medical treatment services and also the revision and completion of the rules and regulations of the social security system. Besides, the activities, services and means of assessment of the performance of the welfare sector will be explained in this section.

Status of the social security system in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran

110. Article 29 of the Constitution states: “enjoyment of social security in times of retirement, unemployment, old age, disability, loss of family guardian and support, disasters and accidents and also access to health care and treatment services in the form of insurance, etc. is the right of all citizens, and the Government is obligated to provide such financial support and services for each citizen of the State from public revenues and also revenues generated by public participation.

Rules and regulations of the 4th development plan regarding social security

111. The 4th development plan of the country has dealt with social security at greater length. Article 3 of the plan which deals with the issue of pricing and earnings from the export of oil products refers, in a separate paragraph, to the allocation of part of these earnings to social security as follows.

112. Article 3 has provided for direct and compensatory support for vulnerable social groups through the social security system.

113. Article 95 has provided for the promotion of social justice and stability, reduction of social and economic gaps, narrowing the discrepancies existing among different income groups, ensuring even distribution of incomes, alleviating poverty and deprivation and empowering the poor, for which the Government is obliged to implement comprehensive poverty alleviation and social justice promotion programs through the effective and targeted allocation of public revenues, subsidies and other sources of social security and, after six months from the date of the passage of this plan, revise the existing rules and regulations or pass any new legislations required for the materialization of the following:

113.1. Expansion of the social security system of the country to make it as comprehensive and effective as possible.

113.2. Application of new taxation policies with an aim to redistribute the revenues of the State.

113.2.1. Determine the poverty line, adopt the appropriate empowerment programs and restructure the system of social support services in order to cover the whole population under the poverty line, and also the social security system in order to cover the population between the absolute and relative poverty lines, and continuously monitor the effects of socio-economic programs on the poverty line, the population under the poverty line, the amounts of income of the three bottom income groups and the poverty gap, and compensate for the impact of the socio-economic programs on the three bottom income groups by boosting their purchasing power. The Government is obliged to identify all the families living under the poverty line and to place them under the social security system through the related organizations by the end of the second year of the 4th development plan.

113.2.2. Design special programs for the employment, empowerment, enhancement of social participation, and teaching of job and life skills of the three bottom income groups of society.

113.2.2. Increase the participation of non-governmental and charity organizations in poverty alleviation programs and identification of orphans and families under the poverty line in all regions of the country under the supervision of regional bodies and provide the required social, economic and cultural support for them through such bodies and the related social security authorities.

113.2.3. Provide sufficient nutritious food within the desirable food basket, free health, treatment and rehabilitation services and low-cost housing and also ensure the access of the population under the age of 18 in the three bottom income groups to free education through redistribution and effective allocation of subsidies.

113.2.4. Adopt the local community participation and empowerment approach based on the model of basic development needs and assessment of such needs by local communities for provision of social services through incentives schemes for small-scale development projects commensurate with local capacities.

113.2.5. Design the necessary means to increase rural productivity and income and create job opportunities, particularly off-season jobs, by encouraging rural and local participation and supporting interest-free funds for development of rural employment, and also the poor employment fund.

Article 96

114. With the social security system being fully established in the 4th development plan of the country, the Government has been required to gradually increase the financial support and services as well as the target population provided for in article 29 of the Constitution of the country from the public revenues and also the funds generated by public participation through insurance, support and relief activities as follows:

114.1. To widen the coverage of social insurances with special concentration on rural and nomadic communities as well as those sections of the urban population, which have not yet had access to such insurances. The Government will make sure that the legal provisions relating to social insurances of rural and nomadic communities will be drafted, passed and implemented from the second year of the 4th development plan with the participation of the Government and such communities.

114.2. To ensure universal basic medical insurance services for the whole population (100%).

114.3. To provide a special insurance (in the form of support services) for women who are breadwinners of families and also other people, particularly children without guardians.

114.4. To restructure support services with an aim to empower people under the coverage of support institutions in order to provide them with insurance coverage.

114.5. To take the necessary measures to ensure that the Government will pay all its debts to insurance organizations by the end of the 4th development plan while preventing the accumulation of any new debts.

114.6. To adopt the required measures to shorten the period of unemployment benefits in order to regulate the labor market and lengthen the service record needed to qualify for unemployment insurance in the first year of the 4th development plan.

114.7. In view of the changes in the demographic indicators and the rise in life expectancy in the country and the need to ensure the sustainability of social insurance funds and the rationalization of their calculation criteria, the Government is obliged to make the necessary corrections in its insurance calculation system in view of international experience and standards.

114.8. In case the growth rate of workers’ wages in the last two years of their service is higher than their natural growth rates as compared to the previous years, provided that the rise has not been due to job promotion, the Social Security Organization will receive the discrepancy between the deduction shares of workers and the employer in the real wages and also that of the declared wages of the previous years from the employer; the damage quantity will be determined on the basis of a bill of law which will be drafted by the Council of Ministers and submitted to the parliament for approval.

Article 97

115. To prevent and reduce social harms, the Government is obliged to formulate a comprehensive plan for control and reduction of social harms with special focus on prevention of drug addiction based on the following axes:

115.1. Improvement of mental health, expansion of social work and services, consolidation of family foundation and empowerment of vulnerable people and groups.

115.2. Taking measures to boost the spirit of cheerfulness, hope, self-confidence, social trust and deepening of religious beliefs and social norms.

115.3. Identifying the weak and critical points in the social fabrics of cities and their margins in order to provide concentrated social support services such as health care and treatment as well as social and legal counseling services, and also to support employment programs in such points through inter-sector cooperation and management of social harms.

115.4. Early prevention of social harms through, inter alia, reconsidering the subjects of general education and inclusion of social subjects and life skills in the curricula of the education system.

115.5. Provision of timely services to people at risk of social harms with the cooperation of NGOs.

115.6. Rehabilitation of the victims of social harms and facilitation of their reintegration into the society.

115.7. Formulation of a national plan for combating narcotic and psychotropic substances around the following axes: prevention of drug addiction and trafficking by mobilizing all national capacities, giving priority to risk and harm-reduction strategy, labor therapy, teaching healthy life skills, psychotherapy, community-based treatment of addicts and the use of the latest scientific findings in practical programs and measures, prevention of a change in drug consumption pattern towards the use of chemical and synthetic substances, prevention of the laundering of any earnings from criminal activities related to narcotic and psychotropic substances, utilization of all national possibilities and capacities to control the transportation and transit of drugs and also their supply and distribution across the country, and enhancement of the role of the public and NGOs in prevention and control of addiction.

115.8. Continued implementation of the plan for identification and rehabilitation of people with chronic mental problems with a coverage of at least 75% of the target population by the end of the 4th development plan.

115.9. Continued implementation of the plan for the identification and rehabilitation of old people with a coverage of at lest 25% of the target population by the end of he 4th development plan.

115.10. Formulation of a comprehensive plan for the empowerment of women who have to support themselves and their families as breadwinners with the cooperation of the related governmental and non-governmental organizations and its approval by the Council of Ministers in the first six months of the first year of the 4th development plan.

115.11. Organizing and developing public participation and voluntary services in the field of social welfare and also adopting the required measures to support charity and non-governmental organizations in the improvement of their activities.

115.12. Increasing the monthly pensions of poor families and families without guardians and also women breadwinners of families on the basis of 40% of the minimum salary and wage in the first year of the 4th development plan.

Iran’s Twenty-Year Vision

116. The declaration of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran attached to the text of the vision reads: “through belief in and reliance on the inexhaustible power of the Almighty and also unwavering determination and collective efforts of the nation to realize the goals and objectives of the Constitution of the country, the Twenty-Year Vision will turn Iran into a country with sufficient health, welfare, food security, reliable social security, equal opportunities, and sound family foundations, free from poverty, corruption and discrimination and a desirable environment to live in.”

Social security in the annual Government budgets

117. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, every year, in the notes 14 of its annual budget laws on “social justice and subsidies”, refers to social security and the related executive mechanisms provided for supporting the vulnerable groups in the society. For instance, the first two paragraphs of the budget law of 2005 reads:

117.1. The Ministry of Welfare and Social Security is obliged to provide insurance facilities for vulnerable people who need to be hospitalized for medical treatment but lack medical insurance through the related organizations from budget row 129109; such insurance should be provided free of charge and the patient should pay only 10% of the charges (franchise fees) of the hospital.

117.2. The Ministry of Welfare and Social Security is obliged to provide free medical treatment insurance from budget row 129109 (section 4 of the budget law) for all people in rural areas and towns with a population of less than 20,000 people who are not covered by any medical insurance. These budget lines have been repeated in the budgets of the following years as well. For instance, note 14 of the budget law of 2007 reads: “to compensate for the effects of the redistribution of subsidies on vulnerable sections of the population and also in order to implement social security and welfare programs, the credit relating to budget row 503935 (section 4 of the budget law) on redistribution of subsidies and supporting the poor, which amounts to three thousand billion rials, will be given to the related executive organizations, as suggested by the Ministry of Welfare and Social Security, and confirmed by the Management and Planning Organization, for supporting the vulnerable groups in the society, implementing the law on supporting women and children without guardians and also the law on supporting the handicapped and the disabled, supporting needy families suffering from social harms and also families affected by disasters and accidents, financing part of the educational and nutrition costs of school children in deprived regions, reducing the food poverty of low-income families, allocating 25% of the said credit to the Ministry of Health and Medical Education to support patients with special diseases (hemophilia, thalassemia, dialysis, leukemia and multiple sclerosis), acute diseases, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and also to support patients burdened with unbearable costs and expenses, allocating credit row 503659 (section 4 of the budget law) amounting to 13,385,700,000,000 rials for the provision of subsidized needs of the poor sections of society and also redistribution of subsidies as suggested jointly by the Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Welfare and Social Security and confirmed by the Economic Council, which will be distributed among the related executive organizations through the consumer and the producer supporting organization; the subsidies falling under this paragraph will be provided exclusively to the inhabitants of villages and towns with a population of less than 100,000 people and also to the poor people identified in other towns and cities.

117.3. To promote social justice and reduce food poverty, 35% of the credit relating to budget row 503659 (section 4 of the budget law) has been earmarked for increasing the subsidies granted on foodstuffs for low-income families, women and children without guardians and help seekers under the coverage of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee and the State Welfare Organization and also the inhabitants of less-developed regions of the country.

117.4. Allocation of the credit relating to budget row 503021, amounting to 8681,000,000,000 rials for financing the subsidies granted on agricultural inputs and production factors in supporting the producers of agricultural products, which will be given to the related executive organizations, as suggested by the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad and confirmed by the Economic Council.

Definition of social security system and the scope of its activities

118. The social security system consists of support means, measures and programs and insurance services aimed at supporting the employed during periods of employment, retirement and disability, and also the survivors of deceased employees. The most important services provided to the insured in the social security system include medical treatment insurance to cover treatment costs at times of illness as well as disasters and accidents and also social insurances provided in the form of different types of pension including retirement, disability, survivor, etc.

118.1. In view of the structures of the related organizations, the Government plays an essential role in the policies and directions of insurance institutions. The activities relating to welfare and social security are undertaken by various governmental and non-governmental organizations in the form of support (non-insurance) as well as insurance services, detailed as follows.

Support services (non-insurance)

119. It contains a set of measures and activities relating to social work, counseling, rehabilitation and some other social services provided to meet the basic needs of low-income groups and improve the living standards of those suffering from social deprivations, including the families of war martyrs and veterans. Such services are provided by the following bodies: the State Welfare Organization, the Red Crescent, Imam Khomeini Relief Committee, War Martyrs and Veterans Foundation.

Insurance services

120. These services which are based on a partnership between the insured, the employer and the Government are provided in different forms of insurance, including medical treatment, retirement, disability, unemployment, labor accidents, death, pregnancy period and family allowance. Such services are provided by the following bodies: the Social Security Organization, Medical Treatment Insurance Organization, State Pension Organization and other bodies such as the social security organization of the armed services, insurance and pension funds of different ministries and organizations (oil industry, Telecommunications Company, steel company, Tehran Municipality, air industry, copper industry, ports and shipping organization, etc.).

Social Security Organization

121. As the main institution providing different social care and support services, the Social Security Organization plays a major role in the stability of society and the protection and preservation of the productive forces of the country. Being a full member of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) for 40 years, Iran’s Social Security Organization represents one of the most integrated security systems in Asia and the Middle East.

121.1. At present, this organization has around 39 million Iranian citizens under its coverage, which accounts for 51% of the whole population and 66% of the urban population; 17.7%, 0.7%, 20.2%, 56.3% and 5.1% of the covered population are respectively Government employees, self-employed, insured urban people, insured rural people and others.

121.2. Based on the results of the census of people and housing held in 2006, over 1,012,000 people in the whole country suffer from at least one type of disability; 64% of these people are men. Also, 81% of the disabled in the country suffer from only one type of disability.

121.3. By the end of the first quarter of 2007, around 1.6 million old people aged 60 or above and their dependents in rural areas had come under the coverage of “Shahid Rajaii Plan” showing a rise of 5.1% as compared to the previous year. Also, around three million people on a permanent basis and three million people on a case basis benefited from the services of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee in 2007.

121.4. In the same year, some 214,000 families of martyrs with a population of 462,000 people plus 526,000 war disabled were under the coverage of War Martyrs and Veterans Foundations.

121.5. The number of units under the coverage of the Social Security Organization in 2007 was over 1,144,000 units with the number of the insured in such units reaching 8,444,000, posting an increase of 12.4% as compared to the previous year.

121.6. The number of the insured suffering from labor accidents under the coverage of this organization reached 24,075 cases in 2007, which showed a 4.4% growth as compared to the previous year.

121.7. The Social Security Organization provides its progressive support services in 18 different forms to the insured under its coverage as follows:

121.7.1. Outpatient and inpatient treatment services.

121.7.2. Supporting women breadwinners of families.

121.7.3. Paying part of the stay and travel costs of patients.

121.7.4. Old age pension.

121.7.5. Wholesale disability pension.

121.7.6. Partial disability pension.

121.7.7. Unemployment pension.

121.7.8. Pregnancy period wage compensation.

121.7.9. Paying part of prosthesis costs.

121.7.10. Paying part of marriage expenses.

121.7.11. Paying part of burial and funeral expenses.

121.7.12. Survivors’ pensions.

121.7.13. Paying compensation for the loss of limb.

121.7.14. Paying family allowance.

121.7.15. Covering food-stuff coupons of pensioners.

121.7.16. Children allowance.

121.7.17. Housing allowance.

121.7.18. Paying wage compensation during unemployment period.

Social security law

122. The social security law of the country, which dates back to 1975 was revised by the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran after the Islamic Revolution with some additions. This law, in fact, constitutes the charter containing the services and supports provided by the Social Security Organization. Article 4 of this law states that everybody who works for pay (wage or salary) is subject to the provisions of this law and can benefit from its supports and services.

Expenses of the Social Security Organization

123. In general, the expenses of the Social Security Organization include long and short-term medical treatment and capital commitments as well as unemployment insurance. The extent of such expenses in the medical treatment and insurance sections is influenced by the general policies and decisions of the country (the minimum wage, etc.) on the one hand and by economic factors such as inflation rate on the other. As provided for in the provisions of the law, the expenses of the Social Security Organization include 18 various insurance services and supports, described earlier.

Insurance supports

The number of the insured

124. In 2007, over 39 million insured people (main and dependents) were under the coverage of the medical treatment insurance organization. Retired workers, pensioners (survivors and the disabled), people under the coverage of unemployment insurance, self-insurers and self-employed people comprise the main population under the coverage of the Social Security Organization. The following groups are under the coverage of self-employment insurance: employers of all operating units, the self-employed engaged in activities covered by the social security system, contractors, clergymen, the staff of Friday Prayer headquarters, the staff of the offices of the members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, inventors, innovators, artists, designers, journalists, professional cameramen, authors, historians and poets, taxi-drivers, compressors, trucks and lorries, construction workers and masons, fishermen and seamen.

124.1. Also, the wife, father and mother, the male children (up to the age of 18 or the end of their education) and the female children (up to their marriage) of the insured and pensioners of the Social Security Organization are regarded as dependents of the insured and can benefit from the medical treatment and some other services provided by the organization in accordance with the provisions of the law.

A brief review of the indicators of social welfare and income distribution

125. The social welfare indicator increased from 3186 in 2004 to 3393 in 2005 and with a 3% growth, to 3498 in 2006. In general, the rise in per capita income on the one hand and improvement of income distribution on the other has promoted the social welfare indicator by 4.7% during 2005–2006.

125.1. The ratio of the expenses of the highest income group (the richest) to the lowest income group (the poorest) rose from 13.25 in 2004 to 14.46 in 2006 in urban communities and from 17.25 in 2004 to 17.95 in 2006 in rural communities. Also, the ratio of the 20% of the population with the highest income to the 20% of the population with the lowest income rose from 7.62 in 2004 to 8.33 in 2006 in urban communities and from 9.01 in 2004 to 9.49 in 2006 in rural communities.

125.2. It is to be noted that these ratios for urban and rural areas declined respectively by an annual average of 0.8% and 2.5% during the 3rd development plan.

125.3. A comparison between the figures of gross expenses of urban and rural families during 2005-2006 reveals that the average growth rates in the annual expenses of urban and rural families against current prices were respectively 13.3% and 11.4% whereas the same figures for the corresponding period in 2004 showed a growth rate of respectively 0.4% and -1.2% for urban and rural families.

125.4. As a matter of fact, if we assume that the expenses of a family are a function of its income, the rise in the nominal incomes of families during the said period in urban and rural areas have been respectively equivalent to, and less than, the inflation rates.

125.5. Based on the crude data of the family budget in 2005, the relative poverty lines for a five-member family in urban and rural areas have been respectively 2,998,000 rials and 1,685,000 rials (the poverty line in urban areas is the average of poverty lines in all big, medium and small cities. So, the poverty line in big cities should be greater than the average figure. Also, a quarter of the average expenses of a family (average quarter of the expenses of a family) is defined as the second poverty line. Thus, the severity of poverty for families below the second poverty line is graver than the poverty for families below the first poverty line. Besides, the poverty line (against current prices) in urban and rural areas in 2006 rose respectively to 3,329,000 rials and 1,852,000 rials.

The axes of the 4th development plan and its executive aspects in social welfare and income distribution sections

126. These include:

126.1. Redistribution of subsidies and implementation of the comprehensive welfare and social security system.

126.2. Allocation of resources earned from the redistribution of subsidies for the implementation of the comprehensive welfare and social security system.

126.3. Empowerment of people with a view to promoting the culture of healthy lifestyle in the society.

126.4. Redirecting social support activities with an aim to empowering people under the coverage of social support institutions and increasing the participation of NGOs and charity entities in the comprehensive social security and welfare system.

126.5. Providing compulsory broad-based medical health insurance for all sections of the society.

126.6. Extension of Government support services to vulnerable groups.

Social Security Indicators – 2006

Indicator
Unit
Number
Percentage of change
(as compared to 2005)
Number of the insured and their dependents under the coverage of the Social Security Organization
1 000 persons
36 979
14.1
Number of the insured Government employees under the coverage of the Social Security Organization
1 000 persons
7 182
4.0
Number of insured villagers under the coverage of the Social Security Organization
1 000 persons
20 166
24.7

Social Welfare Indicators – 2008

Indicator
Unit
Number
Percentage of change
(as compared to 2007)
Number of pensioned families under the cover of the State Welfare Organization
Household
173 548
24.2
Number of pensioned people in families under the cover of the State Welfare Organization
Person
490 000
38.3
Number of addicts under the coverage of the State Welfare Organization
Person
340 587
52.0
Number of the handicapped under the coverage of the State Welfare Organization
Person
669 126
46.1
Number of old people cared for in centers under the coverage of the State Welfare Organization
Person
12 728
109.6
Number of children without guardians cared for in centers under the coverage of the State Welfare Organization
Person
13 578
38.3

Statistics provided by the State Welfare Organization

Social Security Indicators – 2008

Indicator
Unit
Number
Percentage of change
(as compared to 2007)(1)
Number of the insured and their dependents under the coverage of a medical treatment insurance organization
1 000 persons
39 965
1.5
Number of the insured Government employers
1 000 persons
6 534
-6.3
Number of self-insurers
1 000 persons
612
110
Number of the insured in urban areas
1 000 persons
7 717
-3
Number of the insured in rural areas
1 000 persons
23 144
4.3
Number of the insured in other sections of the society
1 000 persons
1 958
-1

(1) Percentage of change has been calculated on the basis of the data of the previous year revised by the related organizations.

Social Welfare Indicators – 2008

Indicator
Unit
Number
Percentage of change
(as compared to 2007)
People who receive livelihood assistance from the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee
1 000 persons
4 606
1.7
People who receive livelihood assistance under the Social Relief Scheme
1 000 persons
3 044
2.4
People who receive livelihood assistance under the Shahid-Rajai Scheme
1 000 persons
1 562
0.6
Women-headed families under the coverage of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee
1 000 persons
1 013
6.1
The number of the insured under the coverage of medical services of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee
1 000 persons
1 518
1.7

Social Security Indicators – 2008

Indicator
Unit
Number
Percentage of change
(as compared to 2007)
The insured under the coverage of the Social Security Organization at the end of the year
1 000 persons
9 152
8.4
The insured and their dependents under the coverage of the Social Security Organization at the end of the year
1 000 persons
25 365
3.8
Pensioners and their dependents under the coverage of the Social Security Organization at the end of the year
1 000 persons
3 675
8.5
The survivors of the insured who died of occupational accidents
1 000 persons
83
-29.1
The survivors of the insured who have been disabled of occupational accidents
1 000 persons
1 050
-11.3

Source: Social Security Organization.

Units under the coverage of the Social Security Organization by types of insurance

Year and province
Total
Governmental
Non-governmental
Sub-total
Contractual
Non-contractual
1991
438 247
12 659
248
12 411
425 588
1996
662 703
15 224
737
14 487
647 479
2001
802 402
17 195
1 345
15 850
785 207
2003
960 471
17 813
1 473
16 340
942 658
2004
1 003 261
18 160
1 503
16 657
985 101
2005
1 048 565
18 980
1 571
17 409
1 029 585
2006
1 183 999
000
000
000
000
2007
1 144 437
000
000
000
000

Modes of provision of social security services to the insured

127. Social security services are provided in the form of short-term and long-term support to the insured. Short-term support includes unemployment insurance benefits, pregnancy period wage compensation, unemployment period wage compensation, provision of part of marriage expenses, compensation for loss of limbs and other legal supports. Also, long-term supports include the benefits of retirement, disability and survivors.

Medical supports

128. One of the most important responsibilities of the Social Security Organization to the insured is to support them against accidents and illnesses and to provide them with the health-treatment services they may need.

128.1. At present, the Social Security Organization is providing free medical services to the insured through its over 70 hospitals and around 300 specialized clinics. Also, with around 40,000 physicians and medical centers which have contracts with this organization, the Social Security Organization constitutes the largest insurance network which provides medical treatment services to the insured across the country.

128.2. The specialized hospitals and clinics belonging to the Social Security Organization are amongst the most sophisticated and reliable medical centers in the country, in which the costliest medical operations are carried out free of charge for the insured.

Direct medical treatment section

129. In this section, the insured under the coverage of the Social Security Organization can refer to over 70 hospitals and 260 specialized and general clinics belonging to the organization across the country and receive all the services they need free of charge (except for self-insurers who should pay a charge as franchise).

Indirect medical treatment section

130. Another way of provision of medical treatment services to the insured is indirect. The absence or insufficiency of the specialized treatment centers of the Social Security Organization in different cities of the country led this organization to make up for the shortage of its treatment facilities by signing contracts with physicians and medical centers in the public and private sectors. In this section, the insured pay part of the treatment expenses as “franchise” or the share of the insured which is determined by the High Medical Treatment Service Council.

130.1. Due to the low culture of insurance and the weakness of NGOs and civil society organizations in the country at present, a mechanism to govern interactions between such bodies and the Social Security Organization is lacking. That is why the support of private institutions for the programs of social security is so modest.

130.2. As the pivot of the social insurance system of the country, the Social Security Organization provides training for the following groups, irrespective of gender issues, in accordance with the provisions of the law.

130.2.1. People who work for pay (wage or salary) and are subject to the provisions of the Labor Law.

130.2.2. Self-employed people.

130.2.3. Recipients of retirement, disability and survivors’ pensions from the Social Security Organization.

130.3. In recent years, the Social Security Organization has managed to achieve the desired indicators in the optimal management of its human and material resources by reforming and improving its managerial procedures as follows:

130.3.1. Institutionalization of total quality management and customer orientation, which has helped to promote the transparency and the quality of interactions between the organization and its clients and raise the satisfaction of both the staff and the insured; it is worth mentioning that the organization gained the highest grade from the State Management and Planning Organization and won a customer satisfaction award.

130.3.2. Streamlining procedures and implementing a one-shop-stop method in different sections.

130.3.3. Planning for the rise of productivity in all sections of the organization; there is now a term plan in force aimed at raising the productivity of the utilization of its resources by at least 10% in two years time.

130.3.4. Implementation of the plan for regulating the records of the insured and creating the biggest national data center run via a central computerized network across the country.

130.3.5. Launching a national plan to provide a comprehensive insurance coverage to include all sections of the population which do not have access to any insurance coverage at present.

130.3.6. Launching a national plan to implement a referral system for the patients of the Social Security Organization and rating of services with the participation of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education Ministry.

130.3.7. Formulation of trilateral pledges between the Social Security Organization and its various clients, which has raised transparency on the legal rights of the insured, patients and employers and also improved the accountability indicator of the Organization.

130.4. The Islamic Consultative Assembly passed the outlines of the comprehensive social security and welfare plan in 2003 with a view to boosting efficiency, effectiveness and integrated development of insurance, support and relief systems and also the comprehensiveness and sufficiency of insurance and non-insurance services.

Welfare section

Definition of welfare and the scope of its related activities

131. The welfare section includes a targeted, coherent set of policies, measures and non-insurance activities and services aimed at providing support and care for families and people who cannot manage their personal, family and social lives for various economic, social, cultural or physical, mental or psychological reasons. Also, provision of special services to war disabled and veterans constitutes one of the major activities of the welfare section. The welfare service system includes activities in the following areas: poverty alleviation, relief and rescue, war disabled and veterans, subsidies.

The most important indicators of social security section

132. These include:

132.1. One of the most important indicators in the insurance section is the ratio of the population under the coverage of social insurances to the employed population of the country. The performance of this indicator in 2006 was 60.6%, meeting 106% of the projected target of the 4th development plan.

132.2. The performance of the indicator relating to medical insurance which shows the ratio of the population under the coverage of medical insurance to the whole population of the country was 87.6% in 2006.

132.3. The population under the coverage of relief organizations and institutions including the State Welfare Organization and Imam Khomeini Relief Committee which have continuously benefited from financial and cultural services in 2006 was 4,700,000 people.

132.4. The number of pensioners under the coverage of help seekers scheme (including Imam Khomeini Relief Committee and the State Welfare Organization) was 1,120,000 families and the number of pensioners under the coverage of Shahid Rajaii scheme reached 661,000 families.

132.5. Expansion of the coverage of medical treatment insurance to include 2,250,000 help seekers who needed the services of relief institutions (it is to be noted that the help seekers under the rural coverage of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee were included in the rural medical insurance system).

132.6. Increasing the continuous provision of financial, rehabilitation and educational services to people with disabilities under the coverage of relief organizations from 500,000 people in 2005 to 550,000 people in 2006.

132.7. Provision of employment for 43,000 families of help seekers under the coverage of relief institutions.

132.8. Provision of housing for 27,000 families of help seekers under the coverage of relief institutions.

132.9. Provision of rehabilitation services to 70,000 people with disabilities, old people and patients with chronic mental diseases as well as children without guardians in 24-hour non-governmental service centers enjoying Government subsidies.

132.10. Provision of access to social harms and disabilities prevention services for 1,200,000 people.

132.11. Increasing the number of people under the coverage of addiction prevention programs to 3,200,000, posting a growth of 14% as compared to the previous year (2005).

132.12. Provision of relief and rescue equipment for 2% of the whole population of the country.

132.13. Participation of 1.5 million people in relief and rescue activities.

132.14. Provision of relief and rescue training to 1% of the whole population by the Red Crescent Society.

132.15. Provision of universal and specialized relief and rescue training to 1,100,000 people.

132.16. Regarding the affairs of the war disabled and veterans, it is to be noted that with the allocation of a credit of 50,676 million rials for provision of services to 48,620 people in the form of banking facilities and other housing services, allocation of a credit of 1,274 million rials for provision of health and treatment services to 1,018,535 people, and allocation of 419,819 million rials for provision of employment loans to 6,438 people, the targets of the 4th development plan have been realized.

Units providing the services of the State Welfare Organization

Year and province
Social service units
Urban social service units
Urban
Rural
Caring for children without guardians
Nursery service
Support for poor families without guardians
Social harms
1991
414
1 121
67
382
393
X
1996
472
1 233
68
446
446
X
2001
499
1 230
116
353
474
181
2003
525
1 179
124
268
471
210
2004
522
1 171
129
224
456
212
2005
526
1 126
123
173
442
225
2006
980
1 495
148
163
442
227
2007
951
2 173
120
125
479
285
Year and province
Rural social services
Rehabilitation services
Nursery service
Support for poor families without guardians
1991
1 025
217
467
1996
1 188
636
731
2001
1 140
661
800
2003
1 005
591
804
2004
951
573
795
2005
874
517
714
2006
900
595
1 224
2007
733
755
874

Prevention service, cultural affairs, addiction
Year and province
Advisor voice
Personal counseling
Genetic counseling
Rehabilitation of addicts
1991
X
X
X
X
1996
X
X
X
X
2001
89
103
64
73
2003
138
116
60
75
2004
65
99
55
54
2005
44
92
46
50
2006
30
81
47
72
2007
29
92
53
117

Help seekers using services of different units of the State Welfare Organization

Year and province
Urban social services
Caring for children without guardians
Nursery services
Support for poor families without guardians (pensioners)
Social harms
1991
2 979
65 082
237 205
X
1996
3 419
64 424
555 860
X
2001
5 582
36 591
284 707
34 207
2003
5 124
25 577
221 601
76 813
2004
3 736
16 946
209 734
54 711
2005
3 891
11 357
206 876
60 473
2006
4 484
9 127
201 250
65 395
2007
5 183
12 604
85 155
76 524

Help seekers using rural social services

Year and province
Rural social services
Nursery services
Support for poor families without guardians (pensioners)
1991
90 053
29 625
1996
87 324
88 265
2001
54 416
66 801
2003
56 654
55 679
2004
50 238
55 331
2005
25 620
51 344
2006
31 866
83 846
2007
28 116
13 494

Help seekers using services of NGOs operating under the supervision of the State Welfare Organization

Year
Social services
Care for children
without guardians
Nursery services
Support for poor families without guardians
Rehabilitation services
2001
2 937
154 528
35 822
32 501
2003
3 855
232 820
60 906
38 375
2004
9 976
265 622
58 610
33 945
2005
12 295
336 828
78 105
55 116
2006
5 606
543 695
54 774
73 020
2007
5 046
496 547
000
63 338

Number of units and help seekers under the coverage of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee and amounts of pensions (million rials)

Year
Number of units
Shahid Rajaii scheme
Help seekers scheme
Number of help seekers
Amount of pension
Number of permanent help seekers
Number of case-based help seekers
Amount of pension
1991
1 328
1 500 920
21 345
994 074
184 697
21 945
1996
1 138
1 502 399
254 546
1 740 266
779 947
290 279
2001
1 884
1 580 151
689 311
2 570 009
1 900 411
1 300 070
2003
1 410
1 497 652
819 478
2 558 405
1 978 243
1 798 206
2004
1 337
1 480 390
1 757 008
2 553 184
1 906 724
3 775 201
2005
1 339
1 492 678
2 729 107
2 618 292
1 767 686
5 717 819
2006
1 357
1 485 084
2 426 315
2 665 416
2 908 201
7 364 763
2007
1 353
1 560 575
2 870 131
2 973 654
2 965 039
11 637 892

Services provided to help seekers by the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee (amounts in million rials)

Year
Medical services & insurance
Educational and cultural services
Development services
Number of permanent help seekers
Number of case-based help seekers
Expenses
Number of service users (students)
Expenses
Number
Amount of money
1991
2 494 994
55 148
4 875
309 300
3 274
8 145
2 896
1996
4 330 000
110 891
282 195
769 313
41 506
26 081
32 479
2001
5 346 606
129 733
461 634
1 089 746
191 536
69 673
160 657
2003
3 918 226
117 065
578 930
993 669
174 364
56 479
165 254
2004
3 896 304
87 875
621 997
916 892
229 656
55 972
218 767
2005
3 914 241
69 408
814 025
870 493
413 582
82 640
360 247
2006
1 349 775
103 058
677 977
834 255
501 824
65 800
337 303
2007
1 476 331
112 819
898 496
774 207
647 673
61 943
575 677

Services provided to help seekers by the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee (amounts in million rials)

Year
Marriage assistance
Self-sufficiency loans
Non-interest loans
Loans
Number
Amount of money
Number
Amount of money
Number
Amount of money
1991
1 989
479
10 617
2 802
13 530
2 576
3 998
1996
26 085
33 240
20 251
52 700
56 938
25 241
52 856
2001
63 727
107 360
47 342
433 416
148 723
254 256
178 387
2003
68 851
116 722
28 044
485 159
159 527
347 307
280 548
2004
71 260
136 683
43 406
886 399
173 089
420 301
414 011
2005
83 146
198 673
40 075
871 870
194 443
573 229
510 452
2006
92 398
328 724
69 340
3 205 037
287 361
965 951
1 235 162
2007
94 891
348 429
73 587
3 857 977
307 177
966 998
338 888

Number of people and families under the coverage of the War Martyrs and Veterans Foundation

Year and province
Number of people
Parents (family)
Spouse & children (family)
1991
000
188 002
54 745
1996
498 319
175 098
57 333
2001
484 083
170 902
57 093
2003
479 494
169 075
56 157
2004
495 032
174 246
59 740
2005
495 863
174 398
59 884
2006
463 463
154 745
61 276
2007
461 508
152 930
61 052

Article 10: Family and marriage

Introduction

133. The measures taken by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to realize the provisions of article 10 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights are as follows:

133.1. The status of family in the existing laws (the Constitution of the State, the Twenty-Year Vision, family and women’s rights and responsibilities charter, the 4th development plan and also civil, penal, employment, labor and social security as well as cultural laws of the country from the time of the Islamic Revolution up to the first half of 2008) was thoroughly examined.

133.2. The concept of family and the related indicators in Iran (definition of family and views of Islam on the importance, status and function of family) were reviewed.

133.3. Measures taken by the Government during the past four years to revise and amend the laws, rules and regulations related to women and family.

133.4. Measures taken by the Center for Family and Women’s Affairs to amend the laws, rules and regulations as well as the bills of law suggested to the Council of Ministers with regard to women and family affairs.

133.5. Measures taken to support family in the judicial system and proceedings of the country (the court procedures relating to divorce on the request of the wife, the formal court procedures relating to divorce, marriage portion, remuneration, half of husband’s property, alimony, custody, second marriage, compulsory registration of marriage and divorce, family support law, etc.).

133.6. Marriage based on mutual consent.

133.7. Supporting working mothers.

133.8. Supporting children.

133.9. Statistics of the State Welfare Organization on its measures to support family.

133.10. Activities of Imam Khomeini Relief Committee to support family.

The situation of the existing laws of the country with regard to family foundation

134. Articles 3, 10, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 43, 56 of the Constitution have stipulated the observance of women’s rights in accordance with the Islamic law and creation of the required grounds for development of women and protection of their material, moral and intellectual rights as well as provision of legal support for their rights and interests in different sections which are to be ensured by the Government. The articles read as follows:

134.1. Article 3: In order to attain the objectives specified in article 2, the Government is obliged to direct all its resources for the attainment of the following; the elimination of all forms of discrimination and provision of equal opportunities for all, in both material and intellectual spheres; ensuring the rights of all citizens, men and women, in all spheres, creation of a just judicial security for all and also ensuring equality of all citizens before the law.

134.2. Article 10: Since family is the fundamental unit of Islamic society, all laws, regulations and pertinent programs must be designed in such a way as to facilitate the formation of family, and to safeguard its sanctity and the stability of family relations on the basis of the law and the ethics of Islam.

134.3. Article 20: All citizens, both men and women, equally enjoy the protection of the law and enjoy all human, political, economic, social and cultural rights in conformity with Islamic criteria.

134.4. Article 21: The Government must ensure the rights of women in all aspects, in conformity with Islamic criteria, and accomplish the following: create a favorable environment for the growth of women’s personality and the restoration of their rights, both material and intellectual, protection of mothers, particularly during pregnancy and child-rearing and the protection of children without guardians, establishing competent courts to protect and preserve the family; provision of special insurance for widows, aged women and women without support, awarding custody of children to competent mothers in order to protect their interests in the absence of a legal guardian.

The Twenty-Year Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran

135. For the purposes of the Constitution of the country, the Twenty-Year Vision has stressed the necessity of consolidation of family foundation and women’s status in the family and the society and protection of the legal rights of women in all sections and has called for special attention to their constructive role.

The charter of women’s rights and responsibilities approved by the High Cultural Revolution Council (2004)

136. The charter of women’s rights and responsibilities has been based on the moderate and comprehensive principles of Islam for the purpose of creating the favorable grounds for the balanced growth and development of the material, moral and intellectual aspects of women’s individual character and their social life with due respect for their rights and dignity and proportionality of their rights and responsibilities. This charter has been designed in such a way as to institutionalize women’s individual, family and social rights which include their cultural, economic, political, health and judicial rights. Being based on the views of Islam about women, the charter has not focused exclusively on the legal aspects of women’s rights; rather, it has addressed the moral and intellectual aspects of such rights which can be effective in cultural changes as well. The charter has been drafted on the basis of the principles of the Constitution of the State, the ideas of the late founder and the present Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and also the objectives of the 20-Year Vision and the general policies of the country with a view to filling the existing gaps and promoting justice with a view to women’s status and rights in the society.

136.1. In its second section, the charter has focused on family rights and responsibilities and addressed the status of girls in families and the formation, preservation and dissolution of the family in three chapters as follows.

Women’s rights and responsibilities with regard to the formation and preservation of the family

137. These include:

137.1. Women’s right and responsibility towards the consolidation of family foundation and enjoyment of the necessary legal support and facilities for prevention of disputes and reduction of divorce possibility.

137.2. The right to enjoy cultural, social and economic facilities which facilitate marriage at the proper time and the responsibility for observing moral restraint until the time of marriage.

137.3. The right of the couple to become familiar with their rights and responsibilities in common life and enjoy the necessary facilities to exercise them.

137.4. The right to become familiar with the appropriate criteria for selection of a spouse.

137.5. The right and responsibility to become familiar and observe legal and religious criteria in marriage including shared belief in religious fundamentals.

137.6. The right for girls to attach their conditions in marriage (contract) within the framework of religious criteria and the sanctions for their implementation.

137.7. The right of legal and formal registration of marriage and divorce.

137.8. The right of women to enjoy financial rights in common life.

137.9. The right and responsibility to ensure and enjoy safe and healthy sexual relations with the spouse and the right to take legal actions in case of the violation of such right.

137.10. The right and responsibility to ensure and enjoy a proper place for common life, good conduct and mental health in relations with the spouse and the right to take legal actions in case of the misconduct of the spouse.

137.11. The right and responsibility to ensure and enjoy intellectual, moral and scientific growth with the cooperation and support of family members.

137.12. The right to visit and have relations with family members and relatives.

137.13. The right to fertility and pregnancy and to plan and control it and to have access to proper training and facilities for that purpose.

137.14. The right to enjoy sufficient material and moral support during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

137.15. The responsibility to ensure the rights of the fetus, particularly to enjoy protection and growth.

137.16. The right and responsibility to custody and provision of mental, psychological and emotional security of children and their moral and intellectual development.

137.17. The right to enjoy the support and cooperation of the spouse in child-rearing and upbringing.

137.18. The right of mothers to enjoy material and moral security particularly during old age and disability.

137.19. The right and responsibility of women to keep and support their needy parents to the extent possible.

137.20. Women’s rights and responsibilities in the judicial system.

137.21. The right to enjoy legal training.

137.22. The right to enjoy judicial and legal support for prevention of, protection from and elimination of misconduct in the family and society.

137.23. The right to have access to special family courts for protection of family secrets, settlement of family differences and restoration of peace in the family.

137.24. The right of women to visit their parents, children and spouse when they are serving their jail terms.

137.25. The right of women to enjoy proper living conditions as well as cultural, educational and training facilities in jails for correction and reintegration into society.

137.26. The right of girls to enjoy proper living conditions in correction centers and the legal support of prosecutor against incompetent parents or legal guardians or any aggressor violating their rights.

General policies of the State in the 4th development plan

138. Under the provisions of article 111 of the law of the 4th development plan approved in March 2007, the Council of Ministers has entrusted responsibility for formulation of the following executive plans and programs to the Center for Family and Women’s Affairs to be done either directly by this center or in cooperation with other related organizations.

138.1. Drafting and implementation of the national plan for consolidation of family foundation and facilitation of marriage.

138.2. Drafting the comprehensive plan for women’s rights and responsibilities and the family.

138.3. Drafting and implementation of the program for prevention of social harms, injustice and discrimination against women.

138.4. Drafting the comprehensive plan for empowerment of women’s non-governmental organizations.

139. Of the above-mentioned plans and programs, the comprehensive plan for women’s rights and responsibilities and the family is now in the process of formulation. The purpose of this plan is to review all the existing laws and regulations relating to women and the family in various aspects with a view to exploring the legal shortcomings or deficiencies of such laws by contrasting them to the dynamic Shiite jurisprudence, conducting comparative studies and taking into consideration the changing conditions and the priorities of society; the section of the plan dealing with the revision and amendment of civil rights relating to the family is now under consideration for approval in the council of Ministers.

140. Another program which is in the process of drafting is the national program for consolidation of family foundation and facilitation of marriage. The purpose of this program is to support the formation, consolidation and elevation of the family unit and to prevent its weakening and disintegration; the program provides for the duties of the related organizations with regard to the related matters.

141. In addition to the responsibilities entrusted particularly to the Center for Family and Women’s Affairs by the law of the 4th development plan, this law, which is a yardstick to measure the extent of the commitment of the related legislative and executive bodies to the policies of the State with regard to women and family, has also left some duties in this section to other executive bodies as well; in view of its supervisory role in this section, the Center for Family and Women’s Affairs has a responsibility to obtain progress reports from and monitor the performance of these executive bodies with regard to the entrusted duties and submit the reports of their performance to the related domestic and international authorities.

141.1. Paragraph 3 of article 26 of the 4th development plan has allowed the State Welfare Organization to issue licenses for applicants of establishing health houses for girls and women after expert examinations.

141.2. Paragraph 3 (D) of article 30 of the 4th development plan has obliged the Government to grant subsidies on banking charges and facilities given to builders (private, cooperatives and public sectors) of low-cost houses for women breadwinners of families.

141.3. Sub-paragraph (B) of article 91 of the plan has obliged the High Medical Insurance Council to make the necessary preparations by the end of the 4th development plan for the establishment of health insurance based on family physician and referral system.

141.4. Under sub-paragraphs (C) and (E) of article 95 of the plan, the Government has a duty to identify all families living under the absolute poverty line by the end of the second year of he plan and bring them under the coverage of organizations and institutions responsible for provision of social security.

141.5. Under sub-paragraphs (A), (L) and (Y) of article 97 of the plan, in order to prevent and reduce social harms, the Government has a duty to formulate the comprehensive plan for control of social harms with emphasis on prevention of drug addiction including the following axes.

141.6. Promotion of the level of mental health, expansion of social work and services, consolidation of family foundation and empowerment of vulnerable people and risk groups.

141.7. Increasing monthly pensions of poor families, families without guardians and women-headed families under the coverage of relief organizations on the basis of 40% of the minimum wage and salary in the first year of the 4th development plan.

141.8. Formulation of the comprehensive plan for empowerment of women who have to support themselves or are the breadwinners of their families in cooperation with the related governmental and non-governmental organizations, and its approval in the Council of Ministers in the first half of the first year of the 4th development plan.

141.9. Under sub-paragraph (L) of article 106 of the plan, in order to deepen spiritual values and beliefs, preserve Iranian-Islamic identity, develop religious and Quranic culture and knowledge, the Government has a duty to direct media programs, improve the contents of text books and develop the required legal framework for the preservation and promotion of Iranian-Islamic identity and consolidation of family foundation based on the principles of spiritual heritage of the Iranian society.

141.10. Article 111 of the 4th development plan has obliged the Government to take the following measures in order to enhance women’s role in the society, develop their opportunities and expand their level of participation in social affairs.

141.11. Formulation, approval and implementation of a comprehensive plan for women’s participation based on the revision of the provisions of the related laws, particularly the civil law, enhancement of women’s skills commensurate with the needs of the society and technological developments, development of investment structures for generation of jobs, balancing the gender composition of the labor force, improvement of the living conditions of women and increasing public belief in women’s qualifications.

141.12. Formulation of the required bills of law on the consolidation of family foundation and their submission to the related authorities for consideration and approval.

141.13. Adoption of the necessary measures including development of preventive programs and the required legal framework for the elimination of violence against women.

141.14. Submission of the bill of law on supporting the establishment and development of women’s NGOs and civil society organizations to the Islamic Consultative Assembly for consideration and approval.

141.15. Note: All the related executive bodies have a duty to provide, in the annual budget bills, for the credits required to implement the legal responsibilities arising from this article with regard to their regular duties and take the necessary measures for their fulfillment in coordination with the Center for Women’s Participation.

141.16. Under sub-paragraph (B) of article 132 of the plan, the State Prisons Organization has a duty to support the families of prisoners and executed criminals through non-governmental charity organizations and associations supporting the rights of prisoners with an aim to improve the conditions of prisons and create a favorable environment for the correction, rehabilitation and reintegration into the society of prisoners and reduce the rate of recidivism.

Other civil, penal, employment, labor and social security laws passed from the time of the Islamic Revolution (1979) up to the first three quarters of 2008

142. In addition to the laws outlined above as authoritative documents for policy making with regard to matters related to women and family, in order to realize the views of Islam on family and women’s rights and lay down the ground for the comprehensive development of the country, some laws have been abolished, revised or amended and some new laws have been passed during this period. Some of these laws dealing with family and women’s rights, employment, insurance, social security as well as administrative, cultural and social developments are as follows.

Civil laws and rules

143. These include:

143.1. The law on awarding the custody of minor children to their mothers (1985).

143.2. The law on the right of custody (1986).

143.3. The law on revising the regulations relating to divorce (1998).

143.4. The law on assigning some of the existing courts to perform the functions provided for in article 21 of the Constitution (family courts) (1997).

143.5. The directive of the High Cultural Revolution Council (1991) on the formation of a guiding and helping unit to operate along with the special civil court.

143.6. The law on the donation of fetuses to couples (2003) and its executive directive (2004).

143.7. The law on comprehensive support for the rights of people with disabilities (2004).

143.8. The charter on the rights and responsibilities of women in the Islamic Republic of Iran approved by the High Cultural Revolution Council (2004).

143.9. The directive of the High Cultural Revolution Council (2005) on the purposes and principles of family foundation, consolidation and elevation.

143.10. The law on the nationality of children born out of the marriage of Iranian women with foreign nationals (2006).

Penal laws and rules

144. These include:

144.1. The directive of the chief of the judiciary to the heads of provincial justice departments on the formation of the office for the protection of the rights of women and children (2002).

144.2. The law on fighting human smuggling (2004).

144.3. The law on the formation of juvenile courts (2007).

Employment law, rules and regulations

145. These include:

145.1. The law on the employment of labor force (article 1 & Note 2), (1979).

145.2. The law on part-time employment of women (1983).

145.3. The act on the enforcement of the law on part-time employment of women (1985).

145.4. The act on amending note 2 of the single article of the law on the payment of pensions to the survivors of Government employees (1959) and payment of pensions to female children and grandchildren of Government employees (1984) and the executive directive of the said law (1985).

145.5. The act on granting leave without pay to Government employees whose spouses go on long-term missions abroad (1987).

145.6. The act on amending the regulations relating to retirement and pensions under the law of employment (note 1, article 2), (1987).

145.7. The law on unified system of remuneration of Government employees (1991) and the subsequent amendments (notes 1 & 2, article 9).

145.8. The law on propagation of breastfeeding and supporting mothers during the period of breastfeeding (1995) and its related executive directive (1996).

145.9. The bill on amending article 9 of the act on revising some of the regulations relating to employed women’s retirement rights (2006).

145.10. The act on amending article 3 of the law on the propagation of breastfeeding and supporting mothers during the breastfeeding period (2007).

145.11. The law on payment of pensions to the children of deceased women under the coverage of the law of social security and other pension funds (2007).

Social security and labor laws and regulations

146. These include:

146.1. The bill of law on the formation of the State Welfare Organization passed by the Revolution Council (single article), (1979).

146.2. The law on the early retirement of the insured under the social security system (single article and note 20), (1988).

146.3. The directive on the duties of the related executive organizations on the implementation of family planning programs (birth control) approved by the Council of Ministers (1990).

146.4. The labor law (articles 75, 76, 77, 78, 198), (1990).

146.5. The by-law on the prohibition of manual carriage of load without the help of mechanical tools for women and young adults approved by the High Labor Council (1990).

146.6. The executive by-law on nurseries and day-care centers approved by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (1991).

146.7. The executive rules of procedure for child-care centers (including the rules applying to buildings, security facilities, installations, equipment, human resources and their terms of reference, training curricula and extra-curricula, nutrition and health activities).

146.8. The rules of procedure for selection of model women workers (article 195 of the labor law).

146.9. The law on provision of social security for women and children without guardians (1992) and its executive by-law approved by the Council of Ministers (1995).

146.10. The policies of women’s employment in the Islamic Republic of Iran approved by the High Cultural Revolution Council.

146.11. The law on family planning and population control (1993).

146.12. The law on universal medical insurance (article 14), (1994).

146.13. The executive directive of the plan for provision of special support for vulnerable rural women (Zaynab Kobra plan), (1994).

146.14. The directive on provision of support for poor people and families without guardians approved by the State Welfare Organization.

146.15. The executive directive for centers supporting and rehabilitating girls and women at risk of acute social harms or affected by social harms (special program) approved by the State Welfare Organizations (1997).

146.16. The law on the structure of the comprehensive welfare and social security system (articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 18, 19), (2004).

146.17. The executive by-law on regulating the issues of youth marriage approved by the Council of Ministers (2004).

146.18. The rules of procedure for the expansion of the security umbrella of the social welfare system approved by the Council of Ministers (articles 1, 2, 3), (2005).

146.19. The law on facilitation of youth marriage (2005).

146.20. The by-law on the provision of interest-free facilities for low-income tenants approved by the Council of Ministers (article 20), (2005).

146.21. The act on the allocation of credits to support university students’ marriage (2007).

146.22. The law on increasing the monthly pensions of the retired, pensioners and the disabled (2007).

146.23. The law on the payment of pensions to the children of deceased women under the coverage of the law of social security and other pension funds (2007).

146.24. The act on solving the housing problem of certain sections of society (the families of war martyrs, the war disabled with a 20% degree of disability and above, and war veterans) in Kermanshah province (2007).

146.25. The act on allocation of credits for the handicapped and women breadwinners of families, who are on the line to benefit from the services of the State Welfare Organization (2007).

146.26. The act on the expansion of the relief and rehabilitation coverage of the State Welfare Organization to include the handicapped and women breadwinners of families (2008).

146.27. The act on granting a 50% concession on the employer’s share of insurance for women breadwinners of families in the private sector (2008).

Cultural rules and regulations

147. These include:

147.1. The law on the formation of women’s social and cultural affairs coordination and policy-making council passed by the High Cultural Revolution Council (1987).

147.2. The rules of procedure for the activities of women’s social and cultural council approved by the High Cultural Revolution Council (1997).

147.3. The cultural-social policies relating to women’s sports activities approved by the High Cultural Revolution Council (1997).

147.4. The directive on the development and promotion of sports activities of Government employees approved by the Council of Ministers (articles 2, 5, 7), (1997).

147.5. The principles and foundations of research policies on women’s issues approved by the High Cultural Revolution Council (2000).

147.6. The policies on the enrichment of leisure time of women and girls approved by the High Cultural Revolution Council (2002).

147.7. The directive on the formation of women’s cultural complexes approved by the Council of Ministers.

147.8. The strategies and policies for improvement of women’s health (2007).

147.9. The rules of procedure for the activities of the national family work group adopted by the Council of Ministers (2008).

Women’s social and cultural council

148. Based on the provisions of paragraph 3 of its terms of reference stressing the importance of “policy making and planning for the consolidation of sacred family unit through facilitating the formation of family, protecting its sanctity and basing family relations on the Islamic law and ethics” and also benefiting from the teachings of the Holy Quran and the traditions of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), the provisions of the Constitution of the State and other laws and regulations in force in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the women’s social and cultural council has formulated policies on the formation, consolidation and elevation of family.

149. In its directive of 2005, the High Cultural Revolution Council has defined family and elaborated on the status, importance and function of family as well as the purposes and executive policies and strategies relating to the formation of family as follows:

149.1. Introducing the model of a moderate and balanced family with its ideal characteristics in Islam.

149.2. Consolidating the foundations of family through its moral, intellectual and ethical development and promotion of the Islamic culture.

149.3. Promoting the awareness of the public and family members about the importance and function of the family and its impact on the development of children and the society, serving as a means of transmission of culture and values to the next generations.

149.4. Enhancing the security and gratifying the material, moral and intellectual needs of the family and protecting its cultural, economic, social and psychological integrity.

149.5. Meeting the material, intellectual and emotional needs of children in the family and enhance the sense of belonging in the family unit.

149.6. Enhancing the physical, mental and social health of women in different stages of life and providing the required facilities and services to them in any of these stages (pregnancy, nutrition, type of job, child custody, etc.).

149.7. Developing the character and status of women and men as mothers, father, and spouses and paying attention to the essential role they play in human development and breeding a creative and productive generation.

149.8. Raising the awareness of women and family members about a sound economic pattern for striking a balance between family incomes and expenses and its impact on the national economy.

149.9. Introducing examples of successful men and women in the society with emphasis on their successful roles as mothers, fathers and spouses.

149.10. Honoring the sacrificing families including the families of war martyrs, war disabled and war prisoners and gratifying their material and intellectual needs.

149.11. Marking the status and values of the family by designating some days of the year for this purpose and introducing exemplary families.

149.12. Encouraging women to accept social roles which are well tuned to their character as mothers and spouses and help to enhance the efficiency of family activities.

149.13. Introducing biological, intellectual, psychological, mental and emotional functions of the family as the most suitable context for the cultural growth and development of the society by the means of mass media and school textbooks.

149.14. Promoting the spirit of mutual cooperation and loyalty between man and woman in common life and family crises and to avoid depicting male or female chauvinism in media programs.

149.15. Reminding parents of the need for allocating enough time to the upbringing and gratifying the emotional needs of their children and the dire consequences of neglecting such a duty.

149.16. Raising the awareness of women about the importance of appropriate nutrition, sufficient physical exercise and observance of personal hygiene on physical and mental health, and also the need for Government planning to gratify such needs.

149.17. Developing the spirit of economical consumption in the family and creation of appropriate places for productive activities and self-employment of women along with their activities as housewives to enable them to contribute to the economy of the family.

Review of some indicators relating to family developments

Ratio of divorce to marriage 1976–2007

0.14

0.12

0.1

0.08

0.06

0.04

0.02

0.0

1976 1981 1986 1991 1996 2001 2006 2007

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G114289003.jpg

150. The growth rate of the ratio of divorce to marriage during 1976–2007 was -26.47%. Also, during the same period, the numbers of marriages and divorces registered growth rates of respectively 653% and 452%.

Average age(1) of the first marriage by gender in urban and rural areas

Year
Whole country
Urban areas
Rural areas
Men
Women
Men
Women
Men
Women

25.0
18.4
25.6
19.0
24.4
17.9

24.1
19.7
25.1
20.2
22.7
19.1

23.6
19.8
24.2
20.0
22.6
19.6

24.6
20.9
24.9
21.0
23.5
20.8

25.6
22.4
26.2
22.5
24.5
22.3

26.2
23.2
26.5
23.3
25.5
23.4

Source: Iran’s Statistics Center.

(1) Average age of the first marriage has been calculated by HINAL methods.

150.1. As it is observed, the average age of the first marriage for men in the whole country has risen by 1.2 years during 1966–2006 showing a growth rate of 4.8%. The growth rates of the average age of the first marriage for men in urban and rural areas have been respectively 3.5% and 4.5%. The growth rate of the average age of the first marriage for women in the whole country during the said period has been 26% while these rates for urban and rural areas have been respectively 22.6% and 30.7%. Therefore, the growth rate of the average age of the first marriage for women has been higher than that of men. It is also interesting to note that the greatest rise in the age of the first marriage for women is seen in rural areas.

Measures of the Center for Family and Women’s Affairs on the revision or amendment of laws and regulations as well as the bills proposed to the Council of Ministers with regard to women and family

151. Approved suggestions:

151.1. Draft law of early retirement of women breadwinners of families.

151.2. Amendment of the law on propagation of breastfeeding and supporting mothers during the period of breastfeeding.

151.3. Suggesting more job facilities for women employees who have a child in day care centers.

151.4. The possibility of women breadwinners of families without social insurances to benefit from the unused credits of rural insurance funds.

151.5. The bill on the exemption of employers from the payment of the share of insurance premium of women breadwinners of families.

151.6. Suggesting amendments to the law on family planning and population control (1998).

151.7. Inter-sector planning for development of family and women’s affairs.

152. Suggestions under consideration:

152.1. Formulation of a bill of law on job facilities and diversification of jobs for women.

152.2. Drafting the statute of insurance plan for housewives with women breadwinners being given the priority.

152.3. The bill of law on provision of job facilities for women in rural and nomadic communities.

152.4. Suggesting financial help for women prisoners (convicted on charges of unwanted financial offenses).

152.5. Suggesting amendments to articles 945, 946, 947 and 948 of the civil law relating to women’s inheritance.

152.6. Revision of the articles of the civil law on the rights of the family.

152.7. Revision of the articles of the labor law on the rights of women workers.

152.8. The executive directives of the comprehensive plan for women’s rights and family responsibilities.

152.9. Amendments to the rules of procedure of provincial development and planning councils and the related specialized workgroups (2008) of the Council of Ministers, which allow the advisor to the governor general of the province for women’s affairs to attend the specialized workgroups.

Suggestions for the amendment of some articles of the labor law

153. These include:

153.1. Amendment of article 73 of the labor law (family leave).

153.2. Amendment of article 75 of the labor law (prohibition of 24-hour work).

153.3. Amendment of article 76 of the labor law (increase in maternity leave).

153.4. Amendment of article 77 of the labor law (prohibition of dismissal during pregnancy and breastfeeding).

153.5. Amendment of article 78 of the labor law (establishment of day care centers).

153.6. Addition of one article to the 4th section of the labor law on reduction of working hours.

153.7. Early retirement without age conditions.

153.8. Amendment of article 86 of the labor law (regarding the presence of the representatives of women workers on the high technical protection council).

153.9. Amendment of article 167 of the labor law (regarding the presence of the representatives of women workers on the high Islamic labor council).

The most important measures taken to support the family in the judicial system

The law on the formation of family courts

154. The law on the formation of special civil courts dealing with family cases was approved in 1979. But, when all courts were divided into two groups of general and revolutionary courts in 1994, based on the “law of assigning some of the existing courts to perform the functions provided for in article 21 of the Constitution (1997)”, it was decided that, in major cities, certain judicial complexes be allocated for that purpose, and, in small cities, too, the chief of the first branch court be authorized to form family courts since the judges of such courts should have a special order to that effect; besides, they should be married, with a minimum of four years of judicial service record.

154.1. In special civil and family courts, the presence of woman legal counselors has been stressed. Under paragraph (B) of article 14 of “the act on the amendment of the law on the formation of general and revolutionary courts (2002), the family court has been assigned to hear cases in the presence of a woman legal counselor and secure her advisory opinions on such cases to the extent possible. The term “to the extent possible” is mentioned here because the absence of woman judges in remote areas may not deter the operation of family courts there.

154.2. Another measure taken in this regard is the act on the formation of guidance and helping unit approved in 1991 by the High Cultural Revolution Council to help couples in judicial family complexes and other courts. However, at present, to support women from a legal viewpoint, the chief of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran has issued a directive on the formation of an office in the judiciary and also in the justice departments of each province to support the rights of women and children. This office has been specially tasked with supporting women and children who have either committed offences or have been subject to acts of violence.

The law on the amendment of the regulations relating to divorce (1992) and the related rules of procedure

155. Based on the single article of this act, men or women who apply for divorce must submit their application to family court; in case, the couple mutually consent to divorce, then, according to the verses of the Holy Quran, two arbitrators are designated to reconcile the difference(s), and in case the arbitrators cannot make peace between them, then, the court issues a certificate of non-conciliation, which, according to the law of 1997, will be valid for three months from the date when it is served on the couple. In case of the failure of the wife to refer to the court within the designated period, the husband may have the divorce registered and inform the wife of the case. In case of the failure of the husband to refer to the court and have the divorce registered, then the court will issue the order for divorce in due consideration of the related Islamic requirements and will have it registered.

155.1. Based on the provisions of note 3 of the single article of the said act, the legitimate rights of the wife (marriage portion, alimony, dowry, etc.) must be paid in cash at the time of the issuance of the order for divorce unless otherwise agreed between them in divorce terms.

155.2. Under subparagraph (A) of note 6, the wife can demand a remuneration for the chores she was not legally bound to do; if the husband applies for divorce where the wife has not failed or abused her responsibilities as the spouse morally or otherwise, then, in case of the substantiation of a lack of intention on the part of the wife to apply for divorce, the court may calculate a fair equivalent of the chores she has done and demand it from the husband unless the husband can prove that the wife has done any such chores without the expectation to be remunerated for that.

155.3. Under subparagraph (B) of note 6, in cases other than those of subparagraph (A), the court may decide an amount of remuneration for the wife in consideration of the years and the chores she has done in common life and the financial means of the husband.

Transfer of half of the belongings of the husband to the wife after divorce

156. Since marriage is a kind of contract, the parties to it are allowed to include any conditions in it. The following condition is almost commonly included in marriage contracts which are signed by both parties and that is the transfer to the wife of half of the belongings of the husband. This happens when the divorce demand does not come from the wife or does not result from the failure or negligence of the wife. In that case, the husband is legally bound to give to the wife half of the belongings earned in common life or a fair equivalent of it without consideration, as decided by the court.

156.1. There are several opinions on how to fulfill the “condition of transfer, without consideration, up to half of the belongings of the husband to the wife” as follows:

156.2. The wife can demand both the fulfillment of this condition and a fair equivalent of it (the opinion of a minority of judges).

156.3. The wife can demand either the fulfillment of this condition or a fair equivalent of it (the opinion of a majority of judges); there are also differences about this opinion as well; some believe that if the wife demands the fulfillment of this condition and also applies for a fair equivalent of the common belongings, the court may reject the application for a fair equivalent; some others believe that the wife is free to apply either for the transfer without consideration of half of the common belongings or a fair equivalent of it.

Marriage portion

157. Based on article 1102 of the civil law, as soon as the marriage contract becomes legally effective, the marriage relationship with all the related rights and duties between the two parties is established.

157.1. According to article 1082 of the civil law, as soon as the marriage contract is concluded, the wife can claim the marriage portion and use it in any way she wishes. Also, according to the act on the attachment of one note to article 1082 of the civil law (1997) and the related by-law approved by the Council of Ministers (1998), if the marriage portion has been set in legal tender in circulation, then, at the time of its payment, it will be calculated in accordance with the rates which are updated by the Central Bank in view of the annual change of price indexes.

157.2. For the fulfillment of the condition of marriage portion, if necessary, the possessions of the couple may be confiscated and the salary of the husband, if he is an employee, may be deducted for that purpose. Also, according to the provisions of the law on the enforcement of financial penalties (1998), if no possession of the husband is available for the clearance of the marriage portion, the husband may be incarcerated, if he is not found financially incapable of paying the marriage portion; in case the husband is found by the court financially incapable of paying the marriage portion, the court will arrange for its payment in installments by the husband.

157.3. The death of the husband does not affect the effective ownership of the wife over the marriage portion, and the wife can claim the full marriage portion from the dead husband’s possessions; in case of the death of the wife, the right to the marriage portion is transferred to her heirs.

Alimony

157.4. Under the provisions of article 1106 of the civil law, the husband is responsible for providing for the needs of the wife. Article 1107 of the law, amended by the Islamic Consultative Assembly (2002), has defined alimony as providing for all the normal and due needs of the wife such as housing, food, house furniture as well as health care and medical expenses in case of illness or disability. The wife can lodge a civil case to demand alimony and also to prosecute the husband in a criminal case; she can sue the husband in accordance with the provisions of article 642 of the Islamic Punishments Law for failing to fulfill his legal responsibility to gratify the needs of and render the due support for the wife. The said article reads: “husband who fails to pay the alimony of his wife and other family members he is responsible to support in spite of the possession of the financial means, he will be condemned to a jail term from three months and one day up to five months”.

Compulsory registration of marriage and divorce cases

158. According to article 1 of the law of marriage (1931), the couples are legally required to have their permanent or temporary marriage, divorce and also their remarriage after divorce registered. From a criminal point of view, the law maker supports the wife, as article 625 of the Islamic Punishments Law (1996) reads: “to safeguard the integrity of the family, it is necessary to register marriage, divorce and remarriage in accordance with the necessary regulations; failure to do so will be punishable by up to one year of jail for men”. Of course, this punishment does not affect the validity of such marriage.

Submission of the bill of law on supporting the family

159. In view of the importance of the role and status of the family in the legal system of Islam and the gaps and ambiguities existing in that respect in the legal system of the country which have caused confusion and problems in hearing family cases in judicial departments and also because of the deficiencies of the law governing the family unit and the inconsistency of such laws with the changing needs of time and the consequent protraction of family cases, the bill of law on supporting the family was drafted by the judiciary and submitted to the Government. This bill has provided for the specialization of family courts and the presence of women judges in such courts to ensure the rights of women and families.

159.1. This bill has also provided for a new mechanism of serving the rulings, some criminal rules in articles 44 to 51, and the establishment of counseling centers with a view to consolidating the family foundation, settling differences and making peace and compromise between the husband and the wife and also using the views of experts before divorce in order to avert any hasty decision which might hurt the family foundation. The outlines of the bill have been approved by the judicial committee and are ready to be discussed on the floor of the parliament as well.

Mutually consented marriage

160. According to article 1041 of the civil law: marriage of girls before the full age of 13 and boys before the full age of 15 is subject to the permission of their parents if deemed suitable and reasonable by a competent court; article 1043 of the law states that the marriage of a virgin girl who has reached the age of maturity is subject to the permission of his father or grandfather (in the case of the father’s absence); in case of the unjustified refusal of the father or grandfather to permit the marriage, the requirement for such permission is lifted and the girl can introduce the man she wishes to marry together with their agreed conditions for such a marriage to a civil court for obtaining the permission for the marriage and its registration in a notary public.

160.1. The civil law of the Islamic Republic of Iran deems the permission of the father or grandfather of a girl for her marriage necessary, provided that the father or grandfather of the girl is alive; otherwise, if the girl does not have a father or grandfather alive and is under guardianship, the requirement for such permission is lifted. Besides, the father or grandfather of a girl cannot arbitrarily refuse permission for her marriage, or else, in accordance with the provisions of article 1043, the court will decide the case. In case of the absence of the father or grandfather or the impossibility of obtaining their permission for reason of their stay in another country or absence of relations between the daughter and the father, the girl may apply for marriage permission from the court in accordance with the provisions of article 1044.

160.2. In case of the marriage of a girl without her father’s permission, as it is understood from the provisions of article 1043, such a marriage will be legally ineffective, and may become effective with the later permission of the father.

160.3 According to article 1062 of the law, the effectiveness of a marriage is subject to consent and the utterance of affirmative words which clearly indicate the intention to marry. Also, according to the verdict issued by the Supreme Court in May 1992, a forced marriage without a later of consent is invalid and does not require a divorce for separation.

Supporting breastfeeding mothers

161. To support breastfeeding mothers, the law on supporting breastfeeding mothers (1995) and its executive by-law (1996) were passed. This law was amended in 2007. The law on the propagation of breastfeeding and supporting mothers during the breastfeeding period reads:

161.1. Article 3 – Maternity leave for breastfeeding mothers (up to three children) in the public and private sectors is four months (under the amendments made in 2001, maternity leave for twin deliveries is five months and for multiple deliveries of three and more children is over one year. The amendments made in 2007 have extended the maternity leave from four months to six months).

161.2. Note 1 – After the resumption of their jobs, in case they desire to continue to breastfeed their infants maximum until when their infants become 20 months old, breastfeeding mothers can use one hour of leave per day (without deduction from their yearly leave), (the amendments of 2007 have increased the grace period from 20 months to 24 months).

161.3. Note 2 – Job security of mothers must be ensured after the end of the maternity leave and also during the breastfeeding period.

161.4. Article 4 – Governmental organizations and their affiliated bodies including organizations which follow the rules of the labor law and also other organizations which are not subject to the provisions of the labor law due to their special employment terms and conditions have a duty to provide appropriate facilities near workplaces for breastfeeding of infants by their working mothers.

161.5. Working mothers, who are subject to the labor law, follow the provisions of the law with regard to breastfeeding of their children as provided for in the 4th section of the law relating to the conditions of the work of women specially articles 76–78 referring to pregnancy and maternity leave, breastfeeding hours and also the duty of the employer to establish a nursery near the workplace for breastfeeding mothers. But, with regard to the use of maternity leave, the amendments made to the law on the propagation of breastfeeding have been extended to this group of mothers as well through the executive directive issued by the Social Security Organization.

Accession to Convention 183

162. The accession of the Islamic Republic of Iran to ILO Convention No. 183 on Maternity Protection has been approved by the Council of Ministers and has been submitted to the Islamic Consultative Assembly for ratification.

Supporting children

163. Section 5 of the chapter 3 of the labor law has provided for rules under which employment of young children below the full age of 15 is forbidden and workers aged between 15 to 18 are known as teenage workers who must undergo the necessary medical tests in the Social Security Organization and obtain the approval of the examining physician on the suitability of the job for their physical conditions to qualify for the job; in case of failing the tests, the employer is bound to change the job of such teenage worker. Besides, the working hours of teenage workers will be half an hour less than those of adult workers. Also, giving extra work, overnight jobs, as well as harsh, difficult, harmful and hazardous jobs and manual carriage of load over the permitted limit to teenage workers is banned. The full age for jobs which may be harmful to the health or ethics of teenage workers is at least 18.

Among the measures taken to protect children in the Islamic Republic of Iran after the Islamic Revolution are the following

Establishment of the State Welfare Organization

164. To materialize the provisions of articles 21 and 29 of the Constitution of the country, and to facilitate planning, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the activities to be undertaken to support poor families and families without guardians, to provide different services for children of such families and prevent potential disabilities among them, to take the required measures for the correction of children involved in criminal activities, to keep and care for children without guardians and handicapped children and also to provide the necessary facilities and incentives for the participation of volunteer groups and non-governmental organizations in such activities, the State Welfare Organization was established in 1980 based on a bill of law passed by the Revolution Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

164.1. Under directive No. 14549-D26549 (1995) of the Council of Ministers on the law of provision of social security for women and children without guardians, the State Welfare Organization has the duty of organizing and utilizing all the existing resources and capacities for the provision of quality services for the target groups by ensuring respect for their human dignity. The law on provision of social security for women and children without guardians includes widows, other women and girls who are without guardians, children and old women.

Supporting children without guardians

165. To provide more facilities for supporting children without guardians and address the problems existing with regard to patterns, structures, policies, performance and also allocation of facilities and human resources for that purpose, the office for the affairs of quasi-family was established in the State Welfare Organization in August 1998. The plans, activities and measures undertaken by this office in recent years are as follows.

Plan for downsizing and regulating the activities of governmental and non-governmental 24-hour care centers

166. Since life in care institutions and camps is a major cause of social ills, the policy of downsizing has become a priority in quasi-family programs. One of the purposes of this plan is to reduce the size of the care centers and establish professional care centers with a structure resembling that of a family. The results of the plan are as follows:

166.1. Reduction of the size of governmental and trustee-board child care centers and also the number of children kept in such centers.

166.2. Increasing the number of trustee-board child care centers.

166.3. Promotion of the quality of social work and services and increasing transfer of children to family and quasi-family environment.

166.4. Prevention of separation of children from their families.

Quasi-family plan

167. In this plan one to three children of a family are cared for under sufficient supervision in the volunteer related families (other than families which are related by blood or marriage) which are qualified for that purpose. Quasi-family plan is one of the major forms of support for children without guardians. The purposes of this plan are to prevent long stay of children in 24-hour care centers, to improve within-the-family care patterns, promote the practice of de-institutionalization of child care and exercise appropriate supervision over the life of such children in qualified families. The provinces which have undertaken the quasi-family plan are Tehran, Khorasan, Isfahan and Fars provinces.

The plan on provision of support for children without guardians who suffer from disabilities

168. This plan is meant to eliminate discrimination against children without guardians who suffer from disabilities. The general purposes of this plan are based on three principles, namely creation of equal opportunities, de-institutionalization of child care and integration of means of support for children without guardians who suffer from disabilities.

The plan for organizing children of prisoners

169. According to official statistics, at present, over 600 children are living with their mothers in prisons. Based on the same statistics, girls living with their mothers in prison outnumber boys, and also children aged below two years of age constitute a considerable portion of such children. To address these problems, an appropriate plan is direly needed to remove such children from the environment of prisons and organize them in a proper way. The general purpose of this plan is to devise appropriate policies and phased executive programs capable of being evaluated with a universal and all-inclusive approach to support the rights of all children irrespective of race, ethnicity, nationality, etc.

The plan for organizing children without guardians belonging to foreign refugees

170. In recent years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been host to a large number of refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq. Since a considerable number of children in the families of refugees and also many children born to Iranian mothers who are either without guardians or competent guardians are at risk, the necessary preparations were made in the meetings of the authorities responsible for foreign nationals in 1998 for the formulation and execution of this plan.

Volunteer guardian plan

171. The purpose of this plan is to attract active public participation in different forms including financial and social assistance in the promotion of the quality of services offered by the State Welfare Organization to children living in 24-hour care centers or living with their families or relatives. Such participation is provided through defined charity activities.

Self-help plan for children discharged from support institutions

172. This plan is aimed at organizing the discharged children and providing better conditions for supporting them. The purposes of the plan are:

172.1. To create suitable conditions for developing inter-personal relations and providing personal and group support for such children and also to improve social attitudes and relations of these children based on self-help and participation patterns.

172.2. To designate special places for such children to establish relations with other help seekers in order to enhance their self-confidence and active participation in social affairs and help them become familiar with other support programs which exist in different fields.

172.3. To encourage and support self-help and cooperative plans in such areas as employment, housing and marriage.

172.4. To provide counseling services for and attend to the release and post-release problems of such children.

The plan for the establishment of a counseling service center for children released from support institutions

173. Young adults who spend their childhood years in support institutions are vulnerable to the problems and pressures of life and fall prey to social and emotional problems which might put their life at risk.

173.1. To address these concerns and also in order to improve the mental health of such young adults and to prevent social harms such as addiction, suicide and criminal behavior among them, it is necessary to improve the skills and abilities of this group of young adults in coping with and solving the problems they encounter in life within the framework of a plan aimed at, inter alia, creating a center for proving counseling services to young adults released from support institutions with the help of psychiatrists specially trained for this purpose, teaching life skills to these young adults, establishing a hotline for intervention in critical conditions and regular collection of information about the released young adults.

The plan to teach life skills to young adults

174. Familiarity with life skills will help young adults to develop the skills they need to pass successfully through teenage years and get ready for a responsible life in adult years. This plan will involve such young adults in programs which teach them the skills and abilities to cope with and solve their problems and choose better ways of achieving their aims. Such life skills teaching programs create a relationship between the wishes and different needs of young adults including their educational and professional needs and the jobs they will choose in the future.

The plan for organizing street children

175. The plan for organizing street children was approved in 2002 by the Social Council of the Ministry of Interior. The purpose of this plan is to specially focus on the rights of children, empowerment of children and create the necessary conditions for the growth and improvement of the living conditions of street children, elimination of the dangers and risk factors threatening such children, boosting the knowledge and life skills of the children and their families, identification and development of potentials and talents of the children, provision of social services to them through such ways as providing temporary care and care within the family for them and activation of the 24-hour service centers of the State Welfare Organization and municipalities (temporary centers, shelters, emergency intervention centers and long-term care centers).

The measures taken by the State Welfare Organization with regard to families subject to the law on provision of social security for women and children without guardians are as follows

176. They include:

176.1. Provision of financial support such as self-sufficiency means, cash or other kinds of financial facilities on a periodic or regular basis.

176.2. Cultural-social support through provision of educational, professional, technical and vocational training, job opportunities counseling and social services for the solution of life problems of these young adults and facilities for their marriage and formation of family.

176.3. Provision of day or 24-hour care for children and old women without guardians in the centers operating under the State Welfare Organization or entrusting the guardianship or responsibility of care for such children and women to competent people.

Prevention of child exploitation

177. The Islamic Republic of Iran is a State party to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and also ILO convention No. 182. Though Iran has not yet acceded to Convention No. 138, the rules of its labor law on a major concern of this Convention, that is the minimum age of work (15 years) and the minimum age of work for difficult and harsh jobs (18 years) conform to the provisions of the Convention.

177.1. Also, Iran has approved the act on the ratification of ILO Convention No. 182 concerning the prohibition and immediate action for the elimination of the worst forms of child labor and its additional recommendations in 2001.

177.2. The principle of effective elimination of child labor has been basically accepted in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The principle of effective elimination of child labor has been recognized by the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran (paragraph 3, article 3, article 20 and article 30), the act on the accession of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1993) and the labor law of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

177.3. The elimination of child labor in the labor law of the Islamic Republic of Iran has become effective with the stipulation of the minimum age of 15 years and also the condition of passing apprenticeship courses. Also, since the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran has provided for free universal education and has made the completion of primary education compulsory, the correlation between the minimum age of employment and compulsory education can be invoked as a proof.

177.4. Furthermore, upon the suggestion of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the Government has obliged, in a directive, all employers to meet their employment needs from among young people who have technical-vocation training certificates. This directive has, in fact, helped redirect universal education dropouts towards technical-vocational education and from there to the labor market.

177.5. The Government is also planning to raise the universal education level by increasing the age and level of compulsory education from primary education to junior secondary education, that is, the age of 15.

177.6. Since all jobs and positions in the economic sector and also in all institutions of the country are subject to the rules of the labor law, except for cases which follow particular employment rules (such as the ministries, the police and the military services) they are bound to follow the restrictions existing with regard to child labor with the exception of family workshops which, under the provisions of article 188 of the labor law, are run exclusively by the employer, the spouse, and next of kin including the father and mother of the employer, which lies outside the provisions of the Labor Law.

177.7. It is to be noted that, following the approval of the law on the exemption of workshops (units) with five or less workers from the provisions of the labor law, the children working in such workshops, too, have been excluded from the restrictions relating to child labor. In view of the harmful consequences of the execution of this law, the Government has set up a special committee to draft a corrective single article for that purpose for submission to the Islamic Consultative Assembly (the Parliament).

177.8. The parliament, too, has noted the dire consequences of this law and has expressed its preparedness for accepting and considering any corrective motion to that effect.

177.9. The high center for professional association of employers and the high Islamic labor council as well as the house of workers have reached a collective pact in the meetings of the high expert committee they formed. This pact, which is to be submitted to the Council of Ministers and then to the Islamic Consultative Assembly for consideration and approval, has stipulated the observance of the provisions of the Convention on child labor and the employment age decided by the ILO.

177.10. Also, to support the rights of children and prevent their exploitation, the State Welfare Organization has decided to set up green houses and formulated new executive policies.

177.11. To ensure the proper enforcement of the child labor prohibition rules, in addition to the inspections conducted by labor inspectors in line with the duties provided for them in the paragraph (A) of article 96 of the labor law, article 176 of the law has also provided for cash fines and jail terms for the violators of the provisions of the law.

Rules and regulations banning child labor exploitation

The Labor Law (1990)

178. Under the provisions of articles 79–84, the minimum age of employment (15 years) has been determined and workers aged between 15 and 18 are known as teenage workers who must undergo certain medical tests both before and during employment. These articles read as follows:

178.1. Article 79 – Employment of people below the full age of 15 is forbidden.

178.2. Article 80 – Workers aged between 15 to 18 are known as teenage workers who must undergo certain medical tests both before and during employment.

178.3. Article 81 – The medical tests of teenage workers must be renewed at least, once a year and the related documents of such tests be included in the worker’s employment record; the physician should express his/her views on the suitability of the job for the physical conditions of the worker, and in case the physician deems the job unsuitable for the worker, the employer is obligated to change the worker’s job within the possible limits.

178.4. Article 82 – The working hours of teenage workers are half an hour less than the normal working hours of ordinary workers; how to use this advantage is a matter to be agreed upon between the worker and the employer.

178.5. Article 83 – Giving any extra work or overnight jobs and also harsh, difficult and hazardous jobs, and the manual carriage of load beyond the permitted limits without the use of mechanical devices to teenage workers is forbidden. Difficult and harsh jobs have been defined in article 1 of the directive on difficult and harsh jobs relating to article 52 of the labor law (1992). The directive has listed difficult and harsh jobs in articles 2 to 16.

178.6. Article 84 – For jobs which are harmful by nature to the health and ethics of trainees and teenage workers, the minimum age of employment is 18 years; the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is the authority to decide whether a job is harmful as such or not.

The law on supporting children and young adults

179. Under the provisions of this law, infliction of any kind of physical and mental harm and injury to young adults under the age of 18, smuggling, purchase and sale, exploitation and abuse of children are forbidden and punishable. Also, obstruction of the education and intentional failure to care for the physical and mental health of children is punishable and subject to fines or jail terms. What is important about this law is that child abuse is regarded as a public offense and for its prosecution and punishment, the presence of a private complainant is not necessary.

The law on the accession of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Convention on the Rights of the Child

180. Under this law, dealing with child sale, prostitution and pornography (2007), provision of support services for child victims, ensuring the security of child victims and their families and providing them with legal and psychological support, prevention, prosecution and punishment of the perpetration of the offense of child sale, pornography and sex tourism are among the duties of the related authorities under the provisions of the Convention.

The law on the formation of juvenile court

181. This law was drafted in five chapters and 56 articles and submitted in 2003 to the Islamic Consultative Assembly where it was under consideration for three years until it was taken up by the judicial committee of the parliament and was approved in 2007. This law has provided for some rules on the structure and jurisprudence of the juvenile courts, special proceedings for juvenile offenses, issuance of verdicts and rulings, the type of punishments, mitigation and suspension of the execution of punishments as well as the structures and rules of correction centers.

181.1. In view of the new standards on the rights of the child, this law has eliminated penalties such as death, whipping and life imprisonment for all age groups of children and young adults under the age of 18.

181.2. Article 1 of the law reads: “juvenile court meets with the presence of one judge and two counselors, one of whom a woman counselor”. Under article 2, judges should have, at least, a record of five years of judicial experience and enjoy certain characteristics such as being in a certain age range, being married (preferably have children) and having passed certain training courses, etc. The counselors of the court, too, should be chosen from among academic, cultural, scientific, administrative, ... figures.

181.3. This law has differentiated between three age groups of children and young adults based on special conditions for each of them. Article 30 of the law has only provided for corrective measures for children falling in the 9–12 age group, which do not include incarceration and physical punishment.

181.4. Article 31 of the law, in addition to corrective measures, has provided for more severe penalties amounting to a maximum of between two and eight years of imprisonment for children in the 12–15 age group.

181.5. It is to be noted that the severest punishment, that is eight years of imprisonment, is for the age group 15–18 and for the offenses which are punishable by death and life imprisonment for adults.

The establishment of the office for supporting women and children in the judiciary and justice departments of the provinces of the country based on the provisions of the directive of the Chief of the Judiciary

182. According to this directive, a unit called the office for supporting women and children is established in the judiciary and justice departments of the provinces of the country to monitor the proceedings of cases relating to women, children and teenage offenders, their correction process and provision of the necessary support for them and also to ensure quality training courses for judges of juvenile courts.

The law on the formation of children courts

183. In every judicial complex, one or more branches of public courts, as need be, have been allocated to hearing the offences committed by children. For the purposes of this law, a child is one who has not yet reached the age of religious maturity. These courts may also hear the cases of all young people under the age of 18. The articles 219 to 231 of the law of penal proceedings of public and revolutionary courts have provided for the procedures of hearing the cases relating to children.

The bill of law on the foundation of a national authority responsible for the rights of the child

184. This bill of law has been drafted upon the suggestion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for making the necessary preparations for the implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1993) and has been submitted to the Council of Ministers for consideration and approval.

Relief services provided by the State Welfare Organization to families from 2000 to 2007 (amounts are in rials)

Program
Start year
Indicator
2000
2006
2007
Families under coverage
Since its foundation
Number of families
107 000
144 500
146 673
(staff) credit
361 354 000
369 216 000
Distribution of powder milk
Since its foundation
Number of cans
500 000
500 000
Number of infant users
15 428
Payment of university student tuition
2000
Number of student users
3 500
9 086
9 086
Credit
2 000 000


Self-help groups
2000
Number of groups
52
606
700
Credit
996 000
1 796 000
Referral of cases to charities
2000
Number of cases
56 478
63 628
Number of charities
Credit
197 557 000
153 852 000
Improvement of human development indicator
2001
Number of educated persons
927
927
Credit
50 000
50 000
Temporary accommodation (women’s house)
2001
Number of centers
31
33
Number of persons admitted
1 333
Credit
650 000
650 000
Number of rehabilitated cases
403
Subsidized wheat flour
2001
Quantity of wheat flour
(in tons)
13 200
15 200
Essential goods
2001
Number of users
1 099 698
1 500 000
Social insurance of housewives
2002
Number of insured persons
21 035

7 239
7 239
Total
28 274
28 274
2 000 000
2 000 000
Rural social workers
2002
Cases referred
769
774
Rehabilitated cases
355
Credit
390 000
390 000
Social work clinics
2002
Number of clinics
108
150
Cases referred
5 811
Rehabilitated cases
977
Credit
1 290 000
1 126 000
Housing deposits
2002
Family users
1 222
1 222
Credit
12 228 000
12 228 000
Improvement of the nutrition of children under the age of 6
2003
Women users
4 343
4 343
Credit
12 000
12 000
Education improvement
2003
Women users
80 253
85 000
Credit
850 000
850 000
Improvement of the nutrition of pregnant women
2006
Women users
1 500
1 500
Credit
300 000
300 000
Justice shares
2006
Number of shares awarded
917 320
917 320

Number of units providing the services of the State Welfare Organization

Year
Social service complexes
Urban social services
Rural social services
Urban
Rural
Caring for children without guardians(1)
Nursery services
Supporting poor families without guardians
Social harms(2)
Nursery services
Supporting poor families without guardians
1991
414
1 121
67
382
393
X
1 025
217
1996
472
1 233
68
446
446
X
1 188
636
2001
499
1 230
116
353
474
181
1 140
661
2006
980
1 495
148
163
442
227
900
595

185. Including nurseries.

186. Including the activities of units for rehabilitation of women and girls suffering from social harms (21 units), girls’ health houses (28 units), identification of street children (28 units), the plan for intervention in critical cases (58 units), the plan for intervention in the family in order to reduce divorce rates (75 units), child health guesthouses (5 units), child-telephone line plan (12 units) – sources: State Welfare Organization.

Year
Prevention services, cultural affairs & addiction
Others
Voice of advisor
Personal counseling
Genetic counseling
Rehabilitation
of addicts
1991
X
X
X
X
1 531
1996
X
X
X
X
1 766
2001
89
103
64
73
1 419
2002
126
116
70
79
1 385
2003
138
116
60
75
1 277
2004
65
99
55
54
1 078
2005
44
92
46
50
839
2006
30
81
47
72
643
Year
Social services
Rehabilitation services
Care for children
without guardians
Nursery services
Supporting poor families without guardians
2001
2 937
154 528
35 822
32 501
2002
4 243
141 581
51 862
30 315
2003
3 855
232 820 (1)
60 906
38 375
2004
9 976
265 622
58 610
33 945
2005
12 295
336 828
78 105
55 116
2006
5 606
543 695
54 774
73 020

Activities of Imam Khomeini Relief Committee in support of families under its coverage

Year
1987
1997
2003
2004
2005
2006
Men & boys
1 116 170
1 468 591
1 524 303
1 475 357
1 450 955
1 454 106
Women & girls
1 360 238
2 064 942
2 531 754
2 558 217
2 660 015
2 696 394
Total
2 476 408
3 533 533
4 056 057
4 033 574
4 110 970
4 150 500

187. Out of 1,645,940 families with a population of 4,150,500 people under coverage, some 841,639 families (51.1%) with a population of 1,525,314 people (38.8%) are headed by women.

Number of families under the coverage of Imam Khomeini Relief Committee by the gender of the head of the family

Year
1987
1997
2003
2004
2005
2006
Men
325 036
634 545
716 323
677 241
786 085
80 401
Women
503 021
571 134
776 500
831 637
803 277
841 639
Total
828 057
1 205 679
1 492 823
1 518 878
1 589 362
1 645 940

188. Out of 841,639 families with a population of 1,525,314 people headed by women:

188.1. 560,609 families (66.6%) with a population of 1,162,333 people (76.2%) are under the coverage of help seekers plan.

188.2. 281,030 families (33.4%) with a population of 362,981 people (23.8%) are under the coverage of the Shahid Rajaii plan.

188.3. 361,905 families (43%) with a population of 694,018 people (45.5%) are settled in urban areas.

188.4. 479,734 families (57%) with a population of 831,296 people (54.5%) are settled in rural areas.

Number of women-headed families under coverage by urban and rural areas

Year
1987
1997
2003
2004
2005
2006
Urban
143 333
151 726
334 160
357 888
345 683
361 905
Rural
359 688
419 408
442 340
473 749
457 594
479 734
Total
503 021
571 134
776 500
831 637
803 277
841 639

189. Out of 1525314 population of women-headed families:

189.1. 361,499 people (23.7%) are boys.

189.2. 1,163,815 people (76.3%) are girls and women.

Population of women-headed families by gender

Year
1987
1997
2003
2004
2005
2006
Men & boys
525 027
322 417
366 166
419 232
356 476
361 499
Women & girls
1 017 611
1 037 993
1 176 422
1 346 911
1 145 289
1 163 815
Total
1 542 638
1 360 410
1 542 588
1 766 143
1 501 765
1 525 314

Number of families of prisoners under the coverage of Imam Khomeini Relief Committee

Year
1987
1997
2003
2004
2005
2006
Family
36 208
30 798
27 512
27 619
26 782
People
Men
52 897
36 849
31 076
29 135
27 167
Women
93 698
66 934
59 524
58 715
55 538
Total
146 595
103 783
90 600
87 850
82 705

Number of school students under the coverage of Imam Khomeini Relief Committee

Year
1987
1997
2003
2004
2005
2006
Boy
147 566
469 636
494 936
450 782
424 339
393 283
Girl
107 311
413 851
476 007
442 102
416 668
390 603
Total
254 877
883 487
970 943
892 884
841 007
783 886

Number of university students under the coverage of Imam Khomeini Relief Committee

Year
1989
1997
2003
2004
2005
2006
Boy
891
12 931
8 939
9 855
12 070
19 410
Girl
174
7 186
13 787
14 992
17 416
30 968
Total
1 065
20 117
22 726
24 847
29 486
50 396

Number of users of family education programs

Year
1987
1997
2003
2004
2005
2006
Boy
15 249
73 694
126 769
90 334
84 576
54 270
Girl
39 654
191 644
539 757
83 558
959 256
456 241
Total
54 903
265 338
666 526
921 892
1 043 832
510 511

Self sufficiency loans granted to women breadwinners of families

Year
1987
1997
2003
2004
2005
2006
Number (of people)
3 320
4 501
9 377
12 183
11 974
10 129
Amount (in billion rials)
0/33
17/6
30/0
248/8
260/5
468/2

190. (Including the loans of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee, Hazrat Zaynab Plan, small-sized enterprises and loans covered by the notes to the budget law.)

Number of help seekers using the medical insurance services of the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee

Year
1987
1997
2003
2004
2005
2006
Men
1 054 398
1 754 148
1 464 448
1 411 524
1 368 582
444 832
Women
142 210
2 305 788
2 453 778
2 487 199
2 545 659
904 943
Total
2 476 408
4 059 936
3 918 226
3 898 723
3 914 241
1 349 775

The nutrition plan for children under the age of six

191. The Imam Khomeini Relief Committee has covered some 55,962 children (30,373 girls and 25,589 boys) in its nutrition plans at a cost of 37.9 billion rials.

Development services

192. The need for a shelter and safe place to live has always been one of the basic needs of human beings who have been trying to find an appropriate place for their settlement. Today, provision of housing has become one of the most difficult and complicated problems of human communities. This explains why the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee has always paid special attention to the question of provision or renovation of housing of help seekers and rendered considerable service in this sector along with its services in other sectors.

192.1. During 2006, some 63.8,000 housing units were constructed, repaired or completed at a cost of 321.7 billion rials. It is to be noted that out of 1,645,940 families under the coverage of Imam Khomeini Relief Committee, 309,511 families (18.8%), over half of them headed by family breadwinners, are in need of housing. In this regard, during the past 28 years, some 696.9000 housing units have been constructed, repaired, renovated or completed for help seekers at a cost of 1,806.2 billion rials.

Number of people benefiting from guidance and counseling services of Imam Khomeini Relief Committee

Year
1987
1997
2003
2004
2005
2006
Men
61 063
57 331
79 616
89 280
Women
165 650
190 571
244 732
273 791
Total
226 713
247 902
324 348
363 071

Housing activities for help seekers

Year
1987
1997
2003
2004
2005
2006
Total number of units
Amount
1/3
84/3
149/8
190/6
329/7
321/7

Number
3 022
48 376
53 683
51 747
78 733
63 789
Construction & purchase (1)
Amount
0/1
58/4
73/8
109/3
184/3
142/3
Number
1 128
7 824
4 325
4 671
6 176
4 342
Repair & construction (2)
Amount
1/2
9/1
31/8

95/0
142/1
Number
1 894
14 254
21 031
19 517
39 144
50 262
Completion of units (3)
Amount
16/8
44/2
48/7
50/4
37/3
Number
26 298
28 327
27 559
33 413
9 185
Housing loans for uncovered units (4)
Amount
0/8
25
23/8
33/7
33/1

Number
326
1 112
1 031
1 128
1 070

193. These include:

193.1. (1) Including the costs of construction, purchase, supervision and development projects.

193.2. (2) Including the costs of reconstruction of damaged units, major and minor repairs, developmental activities for quake-affected areas.

193.3. (3) Including the costs of fencing, sanitary facilities, bathroom, kitchen.

193.4. (4) Housing loans have not been included in the number of units.

Number of couples and amounts of dowry or marriage assistance granted

Year
1987
1997
2003
2004
2005
2006
Number (of people)
470
30 768
68 851
73 181
83 146
92 398
Amount (in rials)
0/01
37/8
116/7
136/7
198/7
328/7

Article 11: The right to housing and food

Introduction

194. This section consists of two parts: the first part deals with the measures taken by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to materialize the rights enshrined in the Covenant including the right to appropriate housing and the second part deals with the measures taken by the Government to ensure food security.

The right to housing

The provisions of the 4th development plan for the housing sector

195. Paragraph “C” of article 30 on the expansion of the housing capital market and adoption of the necessary measures for provision of capital in the housing sector; paragraph “D” of article 30 on facilitating the implementation of article 31 of the Constitution on housing activities; subparagraph “1” of paragraph “D” of article 30 on supporting and benefiting from the services of charity groups, associations and organizations involved in the construction of houses for the disadvantaged groups of the society; subparagraph “2” of paragraph “D” of article 30 on encouraging foreign investment in the housing sector; subparagraph “3” of paragraph “D” of article 30 on granting subsidies on the service charges of banking facilities given to the constructors of low-cost and rental houses; subparagraph “4” of paragraph “D” of article 30 on raising the index of improvement of rural housing fabrics to twice that of the 3rd development plan; subparagraph “5” of paragraph “D” of article 30 on progressive payment of banking facilities installments; subparagraph “6” of paragraph “D” of article 30 on granting financial and technical facilities on the improvement and renovation of rural housing fabric; paragraph “E” of article 30 on purchasing the required estates in the old fabrics of cities for the implementation of rental house law and other developmental projects; and subparagraph “F” of article 30 on selling lands inside cities which are in the possession of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development on a tender basis to finance part of the credits needed for the implementation of the law on encouraging the construction of rental housing units.

Enforcement mechanisms provided for the housing sector in the 4th development plan

196. Preparation of the comprehensive strategic-executive housing plan with a view to finding and addressing the major problems of the housing sector through coherent and integrated solutions based on the provisions of article 30 of the 4th development plan which resulted in the formation of a strategic document based on nine axes with 55 programs submitted to the Council of Ministers in the second half of 2006.

196.1. Formulation of a regional housing planning system by specialists with a view to finding and addressing regional housing problems through appropriate solutions suitable for the climatic conditions of each province.

196.2. Formulation of the directive relating to paragraph “D” of note “6” of the budget law of 2007 with a view to facilitating the access of low-income groups of society to housing facilities and improving the quantity and quality of housing construction for the first time based on the provisions of the comprehensive housing plan of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development passed by the Islamic Consultative Assembly in 2008.

This plan has given priority to the provision of housing for low-income groups through executive programs as follows

197. They include:

197.1. Awarding the right of exploitation of land with a view to reducing or eliminating the cost of land from the final costs of housing units to suit the financial means of low- and medium-income families.

197.2. Construction and supply of rental houses with an aim to increase the supply of small houses for rent and increasing the access of low- and medium-income families to such houses.

197.3. Paying loans to low-income tenants for the deposit of rental houses with a view to improving the means of low-income families for renting houses.

197.4. Construction and supply of communal houses in order to meet the housing needs of families falling within the two lowest-income deciles.

197.5. Improving and renovating the old residential fabrics of cities with an aim to reconstruct, improve, renovate and make new housing capacities in the old sections of cities.

197.6. Improving and renovating rural residential fabrics with a view to meeting the housing needs of rural areas in terms of safety, space, facilities and registration of title deed.

197.7. Policy making and oversight of the activities of saving cooperatives operating in the housing sector with a view to, inter alia, facilitating the formation and regulation of the activities of housing cooperatives in order to provide housing for the members of the cooperatives and boost the role of the cooperatives in the production of housing units.

197.8. Oversight of the execution of Mehr Housing Project with a view to improving the quality of the construction of housing units.

197.9. Supervision over the formulation and execution of housing plans and programs and coordination of rules, regulations and directives relating to mass production of housing units in order to provide the necessary incentives for the construction of housing units on a large scale, by encouraging the use of modern technologies and propagation of industrial-scale construction of houses which can help to improve the quality of housing construction.

197.10. Formation of the work group of the central bank to coordinate and supervise the extension of banking facilities.

197.11. Supporting mass construction of housing units and the construction sector as a whole with a view to increasing the production of housing units through the use of lighter and cheaper materials and faster techniques.

197.12. Controlling the housing market through such programs as regulating the activities of real estate agencies by providing guidelines, supervision and incentives for their activities; formulating a needs-assessment and feasibility study model for housing programs in order to make optimal use of the existing resources and capacities for the realization of the objectives of the housing sector; developing a real estate and housing databank for the purpose of transparency and ensuring continuous access to full and timely information in this sector.

197.13. Defining the housing consumption pattern on the basis of the principles of urban planning, architecture and development for different regions and climatic conditions including the definition of a model urban house with an aim to improve the present housing consumption pattern and introduce an incentives scheme for the realization of the desired housing consumption pattern.

197.14. Encouraging and providing the necessary facilities for the attraction of the participation of the private and cooperative sectors as well as credit and finance institutions in housing production and planning and also in the mobilization of resources for provision of housing for low-income families in need of housing.

197.15. Creating a secondary mortgage market and offering participation bonds backed by mortgage facilities with an aim to boost the loaning means of banks for the housing sector.

197.16. Launching finance institutes with a view to increasing the financial resources of the housing sector.

197.17. Use of leasing companies for provision of financial resources in leasehold or hire purchase forms in order to promote investment in the sector of rental house production.

197.18. Offering participation bonds and other Islamic financial tools to attract more financial resources to the housing market.

197.19. Creation of land and building funds in order to make use of public micro-capitals and increase the flow of financial resources into the housing sector.

197.20. Use of shared investment funds inside and outside the country with an aim to attract foreign investment and modern technologies and increase the working capital in the housing sector.

197.21. Provision of appropriate formulas and guidelines for the production of rental housing complexes by the private sector interested in the production or operation of rental housing complexes through the mechanisms needed for launching rental house companies with a view to managing and improving the rental house market.

197.22. Regulation and management of building materials and equipment in the housing and construction market in view of the potentials and capacities existing in different parts of the country and also preparation of the necessary plans for the use of local building materials in cooperation with the related local authorities through formulation and enforcement of housing quality guarantee insurance with an aim to enhance the safety of buildings and the development of a building materials needs assessment model in order to assess the amounts of building materials needed and improvement of the quality of the materials.

197.23. To improve the rules and regulations governing investment in the housing sector and exercise supervision over their strict implementation, the following measures have been taken: revision of the taxation system governing urban lands with a view to changing this system in order to reduce speculative transactions in this sector and provide more urban lands for housing construction.

197.24. Formulation of the law on regulation and supporting the production and supply of housing, facilitating the access of low-income groups to housing, and improving the quantity and quality of housing provision, which was passed by the Islamic Consultative Assembly in June 2008 following the approval of the comprehensive housing plan of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. This law has helped regulate the programs of the housing sector.

197.25. Formulation of the act on forward purchasing of housing units to help regulate forward purchasing transactions in the housing market. This act is in the process of approval in the related committees of the parliament.

197.26. Formulation of the executive act on transfer of people from megacities meant to encourage reverse immigration from cities in line with the provisions of the Twenty-Year Vision and spatial planning system of the country.

197.27. Formulation of the sector performance evaluation model for the programs of the housing sector with an aim to assess the progress of the programs in order to improve the quantity and quality of housing provision.

197.28. Formation of the State Housing Council aimed at coordinating inter-sector policies and programs; the council, which was formed on the basis of the decision of the Council of Ministers, met in weekly sessions under the chair of the president of the State to adopt the decisions needed for the housing sector.

197.29. Formation of the housing work group with the authority provided for in article 17 of the Constitution with an aim to shorten the process of approval of decisions and directions relating to the housing sector; the work group met in 50 weekly sessions and adopted the policies needed for the housing sector including the transfer and possession of 40,000 hectares of land from other governmental bodies.

197.30. Formation of provincial housing councils aimed at coordinating inter-sector policies and programs at provincial level; the local councils met under the chair of the governor general of each province and adopted the policies related to the local housing sector particularly with regard to the transfer of lands for housing purposes.

The performance of the quantitative variables of the 4th development plan in the housing sector

Population and family

198. At the beginning of the 4th development plan (2005) the population of the whole country was 63.9 million people and reached 71.5 million people in 2007, rising by 11.8%. Based on the results of the census of 2006, the number of families in the whole country was 17.49 million in 2006, 12.4 million and 5 million of which were in urban and rural areas respectively.

Added value of the housing sector

199. Based on the data released by the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the added value of the housing sector in 2005 against the fixed prices of 1997 was 18,728 billion rials showing a growth of 4.4% as compared to that of 2004; this figure with a growth rate of 3.7% reached 19,420 billion rials in 2006.

199.1. In the last quarter of 2007 and first quarter of 2008, the added value of the housing sector against the fixed prices of 1997 was about 6,645 billion rials, posting a growth of 18.8% as compared to that of the previous year.

Share of the added value of the housing sector of GDP against the fixed prices of 1982 during 2001–2007

Year
Share of GDP
2001
4.8
2002
5.3
2003
4.9
2004
4.5
2005
4.4
2006
4.3
2007
4.9

Investment of the private sector in housing activities

200. The indicator by which the supply of housing in the future can be assessed is the investment of the private sector in this sector. Based on the statistics of the Central Bank on the activities of the private sector in the construction of new houses in urban areas, the quantity of investment of the private sector in housing activities during 1976–1986 has been quite considerable, registering an average annual growth rate of 24.4%. This trend has also continued in 2007 showing a growth rate of 80.4% as compared to that of 2006. These achievements point to the existence of considerable investment attractions in the housing sector and a striking rise in the capacities of housing supply in the country.

Newly constructed housing units

201. Based on the statistics released by the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the buildings completed by the private sector, in 2005 and 2007 respectively 479,000 and 491,000 housing units were constructed in the country.

Housing production

202. In 2005, around 581,000 housing units were produced in urban areas. Despite the stagnation in the housing production between 2003 and 2005, the housing sector experienced a production boom in 2006 and 2007. It is to be noted that housing production in 2006 registered a growth rate of 7.58% as compared to the previous year (2004).

202.1. In 2007, some 523,000 and 161,000 housing units were produced respectively in urban and rural areas, meeting the projected targets of the 4th development plan by 126% and 121% respectively.

Number of housing units in the country

203. In 2008, there were 11.9 million housing units in the entire country, 7.8 million and 4.1 million of which were located in urban and rural areas respectively. In 2006, the total number of housing units in the entire country reached 15.97 million units, 11.5 million and 4.47 million of which were located in urban and rural areas respectively.

Family density in housing unit

204. The growth registered in the production of housing units on the one hand and the decline in the growth rate of the population of the country on the other and also the faster growth of housing production than that of the population has caused a drop in family density from 1.2% in 2005 to 1.1% in 2006.

Demolished housing units

205. The number of licenses issued for the reconstruction of demolished housing units in the entire country, minus the city of Tehran, in 2005 and 2007 were respectively 51,795 and 123,282.

Average built areas of newly constructed housing units

206. This index reached 121 and 122 square meters respectively for 2005 and 2007, which is far from the targets of 120 and 116 square meters respectively for 2005 and 2007 projected in the 4th development plan.

Housing units by the number of floors

207. The share of three-story and higher buildings from the total number of buildings for which construction licenses have been issued as the symbol of mass production of housing units increased from 41.5% in 2005 to 53.8% in 2007.

Price index of housing and consumer goods and services

208. Housing, fuel and electricity price indexes in 2005 and 2007 have been 384.8 and 153.4 respectively, while the general price index of consumer goods and services during the same period were 307.6 and 146.2 respectively.

The purchase price and rental of one square meter of land and house

209. During 2005–2007, the housing sector has seen growth rates of 11.2%, 28% and 86% respectively. In 2007, due to some external reasons and the rise of inflationary expectations in the housing market, this sector witnessed a price leap which sparked a sharp growth rate in the housing sector.

The share of housing sector of employment opportunities in the entire country

210. This share rose from 11% in 2005 to 12.8% and 13% respectively in 2006 and 2007.

Conclusions

211. A review of the performance of the legal rules of the 4th development plan regarding the housing sector indicates that articles 3, 30, 31, 52, 95, 99, 112, 121 and 181 of the law of the 4th development plan are somehow related to the housing sector but most of the duties left to the housing sector have been provided for in article 30 of the law dealing mostly with: increasing the strength of buildings against earthquake; optimization of energy consumption in buildings; the plan for the improvement and use of more advanced technologies in energy consuming appliances and devices; observance of the technical code of 2008 regarding the designing of buildings to resist earthquakes; standardization of reconstruction and renovation of old residential fabrics of cities and villages; formulation of comprehensive housing plan; arrangements for the progressive repayment of banking facilities; and subsidizing the construction of rental housing units; these provisions have become operational within the framework of the comprehensive housing plan, note 6 of the budget laws of 2007 and 2008 and also the law on regulating and supporting housing production and supply.

211.1. As required by the provisions of the law of the 4th development plan, the national comprehensive housing plan formulated in 2006 as a strategic-executive instrument with 55 programs centered on nine axes for dealing with the problems and challenges facing the housing sector in a comprehensive and integrated manner. This was followed by provincial comprehensive housing plans developed as a model to be used in any future plans and policies of the housing sector at the provincial level.

211.2. The finalization of the national comprehensive housing plan in 2006 and operationalization of some of its related programs in accordance with the provisions of note 6 of the budget law of 2007 required the establishment of a legal framework for the continuation of such programs and provision of the necessary grounds for the execution of other programs and strategies of the comprehensive housing plan. So, for that purpose, the law on regulating and supporting housing production and supply was passed in December 2007. This law, which has been the first and most comprehensive law to be used as a basis for the formulation of the programs and policies of the housing sector follows three basic strategies: first, to increase the production and investment capacity of the housing sector through the provision of the required supports, facilities and other inputs; second, to develop and support housing programs for low-income families and disadvantaged groups in the society; and third, to increase the support of the banking system and subsidies needed for the execution of such strategies.

211.3. Of the activities conducted in line with the said strategies, mention can be made of housing sector management programs which include the formation of housing council, housing workgroup and housing development committees, management of housing speculative markets, creation of the databank of real estates and properties of the country and regulation of real estate agencies.

211.4. Under these programs and strategies, housing units produced on mass scales each year have been more lasting, smaller and of higher standards.

211.5. The share of lasting housing units rose from 60.62% in 1996 to 79.4% in 2006.

211.6. Also, the share of three-story and higher buildings has surged from 41.5% in 2005 to 53.8% in 2007.

211.7. Developments such as the increasing growth in housing production and the evolving changes in the population fabric and the family have caused the number of housing units to grow faster than the number of families, leading to the improvement of the housing density index and narrowing of the housing shortage to the point that the index of family density in housing units decreased from 1.1 in 2005 to 1.9 in 2006.

211.8. In 2007, the total number of housing units in all urban areas, the city of Tehran and all major cities and other towns posted striking growth rates of 64.8%, 69.5%, 51.7% and 69.2% respectively.

211.9. The average built area of housing units rose from 121 square meters in 2005 to 123 and 122 square meters respectively in 2006 and 2007. Also, the average area of land allocated to a housing unit rose from 67.50 square meters in 2005 to 72 square meters in 2007.

211.10. Production of urban housing units in 2005, which amounted to 581,000 units, rose to over 710,000 units in 2007.

211.11. Also, production of rural housing units in 2005, which amounted to 98,000 units, rose to 231,000 units in 2007, pointing to growth rates of 22% and 135% respectively in production of urban and rural housing.

211.12. It is to be noted that the growth rate of housing production in 2005 as compared to that of 2004 was 7.58%, displaying an upward trend in housing production.

211.13. The housing sector has always possessed the magnets to attract liquidity in the macro-economy and help control inflation in the country. During this period, too, the housing sector has been responsible for the attraction of about 30% to 40% of liquidity in the national economy. Also, optimal use of production factors such as downsizing, mass production and use of modern technologies was one of the objectives pursued during the said period.

211.14. Based on the statistics of the Central Bank, investment in the housing sector in 2007 against the fixed prices of 1997 posted a growth of 12.8% as compared to 3.9% in 2006.

211.15. The tendency of families and enterprises to invest in the housing sector has been increasing during this period to the point that investment of the private sector has risen from 103,171 billion rials in 2005 to 204902 billion rials in 2007.

211.16. The added value of the housing sector in 2007 against the fixed prices of 1997 was 23,224 billion rials while this figure for 2006 stood at 19,420 billion rials, showing a growth rate of 19.6% in 2007 as compared to 2006.

211.17. It is to be noted that the average annual growth rate of this variable during the decade ending in March 2006 was 0.36% demonstrating a striking growth of the added value of the housing sector.

211.18. The housing sector has always possessed immense potentials for employment generation in the whole country to the extent that it accounted for 11% and 13% respectively of the employment opportunities in the entire country in 2005 and 2007.

211.19. The requirement for the observance of the provisions of the national technical code of construction, use of competent contractors and experts and also the improvement of the quality of construction (workers, skills, quality insurance, control and evaluation) has been fulfilled during this period.

211.20. Development of special systems for provision of housing for low-income groups (communal housing, housing charities, revival of housing endowment system, etc.) have been provided for in the budget laws and the law on regulating and supporting housing production and supply.

211.21. While the only instrument for financing housing activities has been the use of banking facilities, the amount of facilities granted by the banking system to the housing sector is expected to be increased commensurate with the needs of this sector. The needs for production of more housing units can be assessed from the estimation of families gained in the national census. But the amount of facilities granted to the housing sector is decided without noting such vital factors.

211.22. According to the related statistics, the unused banking facilities allocated to the housing sector during 1996–2006 showed an average annual growth rate of 32.8%. Also, during this period, both the variable of housing investment and the variable of housing prices demonstrated considerable fluctuations. And, the share of facilities allocated to the housing sector of the whole facilities granted by the banking system of the country fluctuated between 20% and 30%. Thus, the expansion and development of the financial market and the use of new financing tools for the housing sector has become necessary as provided for in article 14 of the law on regulating and supporting housing production and supply.

211.23. The said law has also provided for the possibility of the use of foreign investment in housing projects.

211.24. During 1996–2006, the ratio of owned housing units dropped while the ratio of rental housing units rose: the drop in the ratio of owned housing units occurred both in urban and rural areas while rental housing units posted a drop in rural areas and a surge in urban areas of the country.

211.25. The percentage of families with owned housing units dropped from 73.4% in 1996 to 67.42% in 2006, while the percentage of families with rented housing units rose from 15.57 to 24.21% during the same period.

211.26. A review of the trend of changes in housing prices demonstrates that, during the past 16 years, three distinct price cycles have occurred in the housing sector; during 1992–1997, there was a boom in the housing sector with two growth rates of 61% and 67% posted in housing prices for two consecutive years; during 1998–2003, housing prices registered growth rates of 25%, 42%, 50% and 25%; and during 2004–2007, housing prices experienced growth rates of -2.6%, 11.2%, 26% and 86%. Generally speaking, in 2007, for some external reasons and the rise in inflationary expectations a price leap occurred in the housing sector, triggering a striking growth rate in the sector until the end of the year.

Rural housing in the 4th development plan

Reconstruction of disaster-affected areas

212. In view of the disasters striking rural areas, and in continuation of the reconstruction process which had started during the 3rd development plan, with the allocation of 9,151,500 million rials of banking facilities, some 170,811 housing units were reconstructed in rural areas during 2005–2008.


Year
Allocated credits (million rials)
Number of units
1
2005
2 456 500
59 365
2
2006
2 665 000
48 398
3
2007
3 630 000
58 339
4
2008
400 000
4 709
5
2009

Facilities for renovation of rural housing units

213. In continuation of the renovation process, and in order to speed up this process, a special plan started under the 4th development plan for the improvement of rural housing; since 2005, with the allocation of 38,929,349 million rials, some 668,037 housing units have been renovated.


Year
Allocated credits (million rials)
Number of units
1
2005
10 843 700
216 874
2
2006
11 391 279
199 847
3
2007
14 003 145
215 433
4
2008
2 691 225
35 883
5
2009

Zero-interest banking facilities (for repair of housing units-construction of baths)

To achieve the objectives of sustainable development and improvement of environment, and in continuation of the 3rd development plan, and realization of the sector development policies (article 30 of the 4th development plan), banking facilities worth 432,138 million rials have been allocated for the reconstruction of 83,098 rural housing units.


Year
Allocated credits (million rials)
Number of units
1
2005
149 220
29 844
2
2006
128 645
25 729
3
2007
54 385
10 877
4
2008
99 888
16 648
5
2009

Rural technical training system

214. In continuation of the process which started during the 3rd development plan, the number of people joining the rural technical training system initiative rose to over 10,200 during the 4th development plan.

214.1. All the people joining this initiative participated in five training courses designed and affirmed by the office for the development and promotion of the national technical construction regulations with an aim to raise the level of technical knowledge of these people.

214.2. In order to integrate the designing, supervision and monitoring as well as the control of rural construction activities, after launching the rural technical training system initiative, the formation of rural technical and engineering offices in the whole country was planned in 2006; so far, some 1,070 technical and engineering offices have started their operation in the rural areas of the country.

Census of rural housing

215. The second rural housing census was held in the autumn of 2008. In the course of this census, some 8,075 villages and 165,000 rural housing units were surveyed. The outputs of the survey have been extracted and are ready to be released.

A comparative survey of the activities of the housing sector in 2005 and 2006

216. Among the different sectors of the economy, the housing sector has attracted the highest participation rate of the private sector to the point that, at present, over 95% of the housing and construction activities of the country are carried out by the private sector.

The performance of the indicators used for the evaluation of the developments of the housing sector

217. The number of housing units (urban) produced in 2005 and 2006 reached respectively 480,100 and 459,460 units, meeting the projected target of the 4th development plan by 58.7%. Also, the volume of built area of housing units (urban) in 2005 and 2006 reached respectively 98.3 million and 98.4 million square meters, meeting the projected target of the 4th development plan by 65%. The family density in housing unit (urban) for 2005 and 2006 were respectively 1.11 and 1.09, which met the projected target of the plan by 100.6%.

217.1. The share of three-story and higher housing units of the total number of the buildings of the country in 2005 and 2006 reached 29.7% and 27.2% respectively, meeting 77.7% of the projected target of the plan. The average numbers of housing units per building in 2005 and 2006 were respectively 2.98 and 2.83, meeting 80.9 % of the target of the plan. The average built area for each housing unit (urban) in 2005 and 2006 was 121 and 123 square meters respectively, meeting 89.2% of the projected target of the 4th development plan.

The performance of the allocated credits

218. The credit allocated to the housing programs (rural housing production) of the Islamic Revolution Housing Foundation was 95,000 million rials in 2005, which rose to 166,420 million rials in 2006, posting a growth of 75.2%.

218.1. The credit allocated to the program for supporting the production of housing for disadvantaged and low-income groups was 35,000 million rials in 2005, which dropped to 23,374 million rials in 2006, showing a decline of 33.2%.

218.2. The credit allocated to the program for provision of credit assistance for housing production was 320 million rials in 2005, which increased to 123,937 million rials in 2006, registering a growth of 38.63%.

218.3. The credit allocated to the housing program (urban housing production) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development was 240,000 million rials in 2005, which decreased to 354,680 million rials in 2006, showing a surge of 47.8%.

Indicators relating to the existing housing units during 1996–2006

Indicators
1996
2006
Urban
Rural
Total
Urban
Rural
Total
1
Population (million)
37
23
60
48/3
22/1
70/4
2
Family (million)
7/9
4/4
12/3
12/4
5/1
17/5
3
Housing unit (million)
6/9
3/9
10/8
11/5
4/5
16
4
Room (million)
28
13/4
41/4
40
15
55
5
Family size
4/68
5/23
4/88
3/89
4/33
4/02
6
Family density in housing unit
1/15
1/13
1/14
1/08
1/13
1/09
7
Person density in housing unit
5/4
5/9
5/6
4/2
4/9
4/4
8
Person density in room
1/32
1/72
1/45
1/21
1/47
1/28
9
Average number of rooms in housing unit
4/06
3/43
3/83
3/48
3/33
3/44
10
Share of lasting housing (%)
76/6
28/3
59/3
86/8
44/2
74
11
Share of semi-durable housing
15/1
36/2
22/7
9/1
32/6
16/3
12
Share of non-durable housing
6/3
34/1
16/2
2/9
20/7
7/8
13
Owned housing (%)
66/7
33/5
73/4
62
82
67/4
14
Rented housing (%)
20/8
5/4
15/6
29
8
24/2
15
Ratio of housing expenses to total family expenses
33/5
14/8
29
15
16
Banking facilities extended (billion rials)
50 312/6
1 023 029
17
Banking facilities extended to the housing sector (billion rials)
14 065/8
239 108/1
18
Share of facilities of the housing sector to the total facilities
18
23/4

Evaluation of the performance of the quantitative objectives of the 4th development plan in the housing sector

Year Indicators
4th development plan
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
Objective
Performance
Objective
Performance
Objective
Performance
Housing production (1,000 units)
530
581
580
638
624
830
661
712
Average land area of each housing unit (square meters)
79
67/5
76
67/4
73
72
71
69
Average built area of each housing unit (square meters)
120
121
118
123
116
122
114
112
Family density in housing unit
1/12
1/1
1/117
1/08
1/112
1/09
1/106
1/098
Share of mass production (5 units or more)
17
44
18
45/5
19
46/2
20
21
Investment amount against fixed prices (of 2004 as the base year)
73 015/8
93 473
76 631/4
99 751
80 419/5
83 790
85 284
90 160
Rural housing production (1,000)
200
98
200
200
200
231
200
200

The right to food

Introduction

219. Based on the definition provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1996, food security means physical and economic access for all people to sufficient food at all times for a healthy and active life. In spite of the rapid population growth during the past thirty years, Iran has achieved striking achievements in terms of food security and preferences through the execution of its development plans.

219.1. The following report refers to part of the measures taken by the Government of Iran for the realization of the right to food and provision of the food needs of the country.

219.2. This section first deals with the articles of the Constitution of the State and also the provisions of the act of the 4th development plan with regard to the realization of the right to food and is then followed by a report on the measures taken by the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad to ensure the continued and upward trend of production of agricultural crops and promotion of the level of food security.

The Constitution of the State and the 4th development plan

220. Article 43 of the Constitution of Iran reads: “to ensure the economic independence of the country and eradicate poverty and deprivation and also to gratify the needs of citizens for growth and development with the preservation of their dignity, the economy of Iran is based on the provision of the essential needs of citizens such as housing, food, clothing ...”.

220.1. The 4th economic development plan, too, in chapters such as preparation of the ground for economic growth, active interaction with the world economy, knowledge-based development and environment protection, has provided for special measures to meet the food needs of the country.

220.2. The 4th development plan particularly deals with the agricultural sector in its articles 17, 18 and 84.

220.3. In article 17, given the location of the country in arid and semi-arid regions of the world, the Government has been obligated to ensure optimal provision and exploitation of water and economization of water consumption in the production of agricultural crops by developing and using new irrigation methods in order to preserve and develop water production capacity of the country to the point that water-use efficiency for each cubic meter of water will rise by 25% during the plan.

220.4. Article 18 obliges the Government to formulate a special plan for the development of the agricultural sector with an annual growth rate of 6.5% in the added value of this sector by the year 2009. Of other requirements of this article mention can be made of development of water and soil infrastructures as well as irrigation and drainage networks in an area of two million hectors, establishment of farmers’ income stabilization fund, provision of a 50% insurance for agricultural products, development of processing and complementary industries, reduction of agricultural products waste by 50%, increasing the capital of the specialized holding company affiliated to the agricultural investment development fund, raising the annual production of protein (animal and sea species) to 29 grams, issuance of title deeds for farming lands, renovation of orchards, particularly those which are located on slopes, creation of incentives for the recruitment of specialists in the private sector for the education and promotion of agricultural sciences and development of applied agricultural research.

220.5. Article 84 requires that the Government institutionalizes provision of food security with the formation of the high health and food security council in order to carry out the necessary studies for the allocation of the required credits, banking facilities and subsidies for the production, supply, distribution and consumption of foodstuffs The 4th development plan has also obliged the Government to formulate a special program for the reduction of the wastage of foodstuffs from production to consumption.

220.6. Also, in the text of the Twenty-Year Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as one of the most important reference sources for the 4th development plan, the issue of the provision of food security with reliance on domestic resources and emphasis on self-sufficiency in production of essential agricultural crops has been noted, which demonstrates the strong will of the Government for the provision of food security as one of the inalienable rights of the people of the country.

Measures taken to promote the level of production of agricultural crops and foodstuffs

Management of water sources needed for the agricultural sector

221. To ensure continuous supply of the basic inputs needed for agricultural production, the 4th development plan has noted the importance of the development of water source management as well as the synchronized water supply and demand systems. So, in the course of the plan, much effort has been made to materialize these requirements through the adoption of policies and measures to raise the productivity of water sources, conserve water sources in terms of quantity and quality, reorient the water source management system on the basis of demand management in water sources with the participation of users and delivery of water based on the optimal agricultural water consumption pattern and paying attention to the full water cycle in the whole planning cycle from the water source up to the farming land.

Comparing the objectives and performance of the water sector during the first four years of the 4th development plan (2005–2008)

Operation
Measurement unit
Projection
Performance
Realization (%)
Establishment and development of pressurized water irrigation systems in traditional and modern lands
1 000 hectares
665
271/73
41
Development of small water sources
1 000 000 cubic meters
610
1 241
203
Establishment and improvement of public irrigation canals
1 000 hectares
375
158/57
42
Covering traditional water streams
1 000 hectares
375
45/39
12
Performing equipment and renovation operations in modern farming lands
1 000 hectares
375
175/90
47
Performing equipment and renovation operations in traditional farming lands
1 000 hectares
375
131/90
35
Establishment of secondary water irrigation and drainage network in modern farming lands
1 000 hectares
375
57/2
15

Measures taken for plant conservation

222. Prevention of the spread of plant pests as well as animal diseases is among the major challenges to food security and food provision in the country. The 4th development plan has paid special attention to plant conservation activities.

222.1. Plant conservation in the agricultural sector mostly concerns with battle against general and universal pests, plant quarantine and pesticides and insecticides which are indispensable for the continuation and promotion of agricultural outputs. The extent and scope of such activities vary with the extent of the pests and diseases as well as the volume of import and transit of agricultural products. Some of the measures provided for that purpose in the 4th development plan are as follows:

222.2. Extension of the biological and mechanical battle against plant pests from 3.5 million hectares in 2005 to 3.9 million hectares in 2008 at an average annual growth rate of 12.3 % (as compared to the base year 2004).

222.3. Extension of early warning and control network from 7.8 million hectares in 2005 to 11 million hectares in 2008 at an average annual growth rate of 11.6% (as compared to the base year 2004).

222.4. Increasing quarantine control (transit passage and release of export products) from 9.5 million tons/million cubic meters in 2005 to 15.9 million tons/million cubic meters in 2008 at an average annual growth rate of 67% (as compared to the base year).

222.5. Increasing the issuance of health certificates for export products from 1.45 million tons in 2005 to 4.2 million tons in 2008, posting a surge of 290%.

222.6. Among other important measures taken for the realization of the said objectives mention should be made of biological and non-chemical battle which has been followed since 2005 within the framework of the plan to reduce the use of chemical toxins. With the execution of this plan, the use of pesticides has considerably declined and non-chemical, particularly biological battle against plant pests has mounted.

222.7. Biological battle against plant pests has been extended from 94.8,000 hectares in 2005 to 1,999,000 hectares in 2008 at an average annual growth rate of 14.5% (as compared to the base year) with the use of biological elements and factors. Of other measures taken for that purpose reference can be made to the following:

222.8. Registration of 11 new agents for non-chemical battle against the pests of greenhouse products, summer crops and vegetables (it is to be noted that during the past several years a total of six biological agents had been registered in the country).

222.9. Development of insectariums (biological agents’ production centers) by 147% and their 100% divesture to the private sector during the past four years.

222.10. Extension of consolidated control management with the use of non-chemical substances and equipment from 200,000 hectares in 2005 to 900,000 hectares in 2008 showing a surge of 350%.

222.11. Full elimination of aerial spraying of cereals and grains from the level of about one million hectares in 2005 to the level of zero in 2006.

222.12. Reduction of aerial spraying of palm trees from 36,000 hectares in 2004 to 4,000 hectares in 2006 in order to protect the health of the products as well as the environment.

222.13. Elimination of direct subsidies allocated to pesticides after 28 years with the payment of 130 million dollars per year and allocation of part of this amount to biological and non-chemical battle.

222.14. Elimination of eight high-risk pesticides.

222.15. Reduction of chemical battle against pests in grain plantations from over 1.7 million hectares to less than 900,000 hectares.

Veterinary measures

223. Animal diseases are responsible for huge amounts of damage inflicted on animal products every year. For example, based on the survey conducted by the international office of animal contagious diseases, the damages caused by hand and mouth disease in the affected countries includes 25% abortions among the affected pregnant animals and 5.5% deaths among sick animals.

224. Among the most important veterinary measures taken by the related authorities mention can be made of the following:

224.1. Extension of protection against diseases common between humans and animals from 53.9% in 2004 to 82% in 2008 at an average annual growth rate of 11.1%.

224.2. Extension of oversight and monitoring of crude animal and fishery products from 60.4% in 2004 to 73.4% in 2008 at an average annual growth rate of 5%.

224.3. Extension of protection against animal diseases from 54% in 2004 to 60% in 2008 at an average annual growth rate of 2.7%.

224.4. Extension of protection against poultry diseases from 49.4% in 2004 to 84.6% in 2008 at an average annual growth rate of 14.4%.

224.5. Extension of protection against aquatic species diseases from 3% in 2004 to 29.4% in 2008 at an average annual growth rate of 77%.

Mechanization

225. Agricultural mechanization development is one of the indicators of development of the agricultural sector in the country. Mounting mechanization helps improve farming operations and activities resulting consequently in a rise in yield and a decline in agricultural waste.

225.1. At present, between 90% and 95% of the farming operations of the plantations of essential agricultural crops, the harvest of between 80% to 90% of water-fed and rain-fed wheat and barley plantations as well as the plantation operation of between 90% to 95% of maize, sugar-beet fields etc. of the country are mechanized.

225.2. The mechanization ratio, which is the indicator of the employment of agricultural machinery per unit of land, increased from 51% horsepower per hectare in the first year of the 3rd development plan to 63% in the last year of the 3rd development plan, that is 2004. In the course of the 4th development plan, effective measures were adopted for the production and supply of agricultural machinery, particularly tractors and combines, which helped relatively raise the quantity and quality of mechanization operations in the country.

225.3. Mechanization ratios in the first four years of the 4th development plan were respectively 0.67, 0.82, 0.84 and 1.01 horsepower per hectare, pointing to an upward trend.

225.4. The agriculture mechanization ratio rose from 0.67 in 2005 to 1.01 in 2008, posting an average annual growth rate of 12.5%. During 2005–2008, some 69,274 tractors, 3,034 combines and 3,898 tillers were distributed among farmers.

Processing and complementary industries

226. These include:

226.1. Agricultural products waste is estimated to account for 20% of the total volume of agricultural products. The development of processing and complementary industries can help bring this volume of wasted agricultural products back into the food chain of the country or convert them into other products.

226.2. Based on the surveys conducted in the field, the total processing capacity of agricultural products is over 100 million tons. But since the practical capacity is about 50% on average, we can say that, at present, an equivalent of 50 million tons of agricultural products is sent to processing plants.

226.3. During 2000–2008, some 13,960 licenses were issued for processing and complementary food industry units with a projected investment of 55,000 billion rials, and generation of 210,000 job opportunities. During this period, 3,222 out of the total number of licenses issued with an investment of 12,745 billion rials and employment of 40,555 people became operational. The total volume of agricultural products processed in the new processing and complementary industries in the first four years of the 4th development plan (2005–2008) amounted to 11,591,000 tons.

Insurance coverage

227. Supporting the agricultural sector and stabilizing farmers’ incomes are among the major concerns of the countries in which agriculture plays an essential role in the economy. Provision of insurance coverage as a supporting tool started with two crops namely cotton and sugar-beet in the three provinces of Mazanderan, Golestan and Khorasan, with a certain percentage of areas of land under cultivation and then extended to other crops in other provinces of the country as well.

227.1. The number of insured crops increased from two crops in 1985 to 65 crops at the end of the 3rd development plan and to 94 crops in the third year of the 4th development plan to the point that the insured area of agricultural land and orchards increased from 1,658,000 hectares at the beginning of the 3rd development plan to 5,397,000 hectares in the third year of the 4th development plan.

227.2. Farming of some breeds of livestock and poultry has also been brought under insurance coverage as part of agricultural products.

227.3. The number of insured poultry rose from 376 million pieces in 2005 to 511 million pieces in 2008. Also, the number of insured livestock surged from 3.1 million heads at the beginning of the 3rd development plan to 6.3 million heads at the end of the same plan and to 11.4 million heads in the third year of the 4th development plan.

227.4. In total, the number of users under insurance coverage rose from 420,000 people at the beginning of the 3rd development plan to 1,201,000 people at the end of the same plan and to 1,725,000 people in the third year of the 4th plan. Also, the amount of damages paid by insurance companies increased from 2,513 billion rials in 2005 to 3,960 billion rials in 2008, posting an average annual growth rate of 23.5%.

Productivity

228. In general, in spite of the projection of a growth rate of 2.2% for all production factors in all agricultural activities, the findings of surveys indicate that the average annual growth rate of productivity in the agricultural sector reached 2.13% in the first two years of the 4th development plan, meeting 97% of the projected target of the plan.

Rise in agricultural produce

229. These include:

229.1. A survey of the trend of agricultural produce during 2004–2007 shows that agricultural produce increased from 86.9 million tons in 2004 to 102 million tons in 2007 at an average annual growth rate of 5.5% while the average annual growth rate of agricultural produce during the 3rd development plan was 4.9%.

229.2. Agricultural produce in 2008 dropped due to a severe cold winter in 2007 and unprecedented drought in 2008, causing a sharp decline in plant produce.

229.3. It is predicted that with the improvement of climatic conditions and the facilities provided, agricultural produce will come back to normalcy in 2009.

Agricultural produce during 2004–2008

Item
Base year of the plan (2004)
(1,000 tons)
Year of the 4th development plan
Average annual growth rate of 2007 against the rates of 2004 (%)
2005
(1,000 tons)
2006
(1,000 tons)
2007
(1,000 tons)
Agricultural produce
86 970
95 316
98 039
102 053
5.5
Farmed produce
64 036
69 939
71 264
73 618
4.8
Garden produce
13 109
14 864
15 545
16 538
8.0
Livestock & poultry products
9 341
9 990.5
10 654
11 335
6.6
Fishery products
474
523
576
562
5.8

Source: Ministry of Agricultural Jihad.

229.4. Wheat production rose from 14,569,000 tons in 2004 to 15,887,000 tons in 2007 at an average annual growth rate of 2.9%, but dropped due to severe winter cold in 2007 and unprecedented drought in 2008.

229.5. Rice production increased from 2,542,000 tons in 2004 to 2,664,000 tons in 2007 at an average annual growth rate of 1.6% but dropped due to severe winter cold in 2007 and unprecedented drought in 2008.

229.6. Maize production surged from 1,926,000 tons in 2004 to 2,361,000 tons in 2007 at an average annual growth rate of 7% but dropped due to severe winter cold in 2007 and unprecedented drought in 2008.

229.7. Cereal production rose from 666,000 tons in 2004 to 711,000 tons in 2007 at an average annual growth rate of 2.2% but dropped due to severe winter cold in 2007 and unprecedented drought in 2008.

229.8. Oil seed production increased from 402,000 tons in 2004 to 628,000 tons in 2007 at an average annual growth rate of 16% but dropped due to severe winter cold in 2007 and unprecedented drought in 2008.

229.9. Potato production surged from 4,454,000 tons in 2004 to 4,640,000 tons in 2008 at an average annual growth rate of 1%.

229.10. Onion production rose from 1,627,000 tons in 2004 to 2,014,000 tons in 2007 at an average annual growth rate of 7.4%. Onion production posted a growth in 2008 as well.

229.11. Summer crops and vegetables production increased from 12,477,000 tons in 2004 to 15,768,000 tons in 2007 at an average annual growth rate of 8.1%, but dropped due to unprecedented drought in 2008.

229.12. Animal food production (alfalfa, hay and other types of forage crops) rose from 10,992,000 tons in 2004 to 15,222,000 tons in 2007 at an average annual growth rate of 11.5%. The importance of forage crops in livestock feeding and the rise in demand for such crops in drought conditions prompted a change in favor of such crops in the composition of cultivated crops of the country. Yet, the production of such crops posted a slight drop in 2008.

229.13. Red meat production surged from 785,000 tons in 2004 to 870,000 tons in 2008 at an average annual growth rate of 2.6%.

229.14. Chicken meat production rose from 1,152,000 tons in 2004 to 1,565,000 tons in 2008 at an average annual growth rate of 8%.

229.15. Egg production increased from 655,000 tons in 2004 to 727,000 tons in 2008 at an average annual growth rate of 2.6%.

229.16. Milk production rose from 6,720,000 tons in 2004 to 8,772,000 tons in 2008 at an average annual growth rate of 6.9%.

Food security guarantees

230. A survey of the trend of per capita food production indicator shows some changes in the production patterns as compared to the population patterns during the surveyed period demonstrating sufficient physical access to food for each person from domestic production sources, which is regarded as an effective element in the evaluation of production potentials for ensuring food security at the national level. The total per capita food production surged from 726 kilograms in 2000 to 971 kilograms in 2007.

230.1. In total, with the production of 102 million tons of agricultural products and the import of around 7 million tons of essential agricultural products, the ratio of agricultural self-sufficiency reached 94% in 2007.

Water

231. The most important financing programs related to the water sector have been provided for in the chapter of water sources in the 4th plan. These programs include water provision and supply, improvement of exploitation and protection of water sources, coasts and river engineering, development of water sources in the basins of common border rivers as well as technical and credit facilities.

231.1. In 2006, over 71% of the credits required for the programs related to the water sector have been provided from different sources. One of the most important achievements of 2006 were the regulation and control of 750.5 million cubic meters of water through the construction of reservoir dams, development of main irrigation/drainage networks in an area of 45.4000 hectares of land and the transfer of 217.5 million cubic meters of water for drinking, sanitary and industrial purposes.

231.2. In 2006, with the operation of the reservoir dam in the border city of Solaimanshahr in Kermanshah province, some 46 million cubic meters were added to the capacity of regulated and controlled water behind dams, and also with the completion of the related executive operations, some 9.4000 hectares of irrigation/drainage networks went on stream. To realize the provisions of paragraph “T” of article 17 of the law of the 4th development plan, in continuation of the implementation of the provisions of note 76 of the law of the 4th development plan and article 106 of the 3rd development plan and the law on promotion of investment for water projects of the country, and also to ensure more active participation of the private sector in water projects a credit of 850 billion rials for two projects, namely technical and credit facilities and secondary irrigation/drainage network was provided in the budget law of 2006. Yet, less than 300 billion rials of the allocated credit was used for the said two projects in 2006.

231.3. The credits used by the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad for the development of secondary irrigation/drainage networks were respectively 15,800 hectares (development and improvement) and 11,000 hectares (development).

231.4. With the execution of the program for improvement, exploitation and protection of water sources, 85 million cubic meters of water were saved by preventing subsidence and stabilizing alluvial water sources in 2006. Also, during the same year, some 281 million cubic meters of water were saved by purchasing and blocking illegal agricultural water-wells, and prevention of a drop in the level of water sources and water tables of protected plains which are in a critical state.

231.5. With the implementation of the program for development of water sources in the basins of common border rivers, the executive operations of the plan for extraction, regulation, transfer and maximum use of the water sources of common border rivers were completed in 2006 with the allocation of 78% of the required credits.

Agriculture and natural resources

232. Due to their vital role in the food security of the country and their immense potentials for production of exportable products, agriculture and natural resources are among the most important sectors of the economy.

Major indicators of the agriculture sector

233. These include:

233.1. Based on the statistics released by the Central Bank, the added value of the agriculture sector in 2006 reached 62,386 billion rials against the fixed prices of 1996, posting a growth of 4.7% as compared to the previous year. This demonstrates that the performance of the agriculture sector has been less than the projected target of the 4th development plan (6.5%). The share of this sector of GDP in 2006 was 14%, showing a slight decline as compared to the previous year (14.2%).

233.2. Based on the statistics of the office for macro-economic planning and management and the results of the census of 2006, the number of people employed in the agriculture sector with a growth of 1.6% reached 3,687,000 in 2006, which points to the employment of 59,000 people in this sector during the same year. The growth in the productivity of the labor force in the agriculture sector in the same year was 5.2%, which was higher than the projected target of the 4th development plan (4.6%).

233.3. Based on the statistics released by the customs administration of the Islamic Republic of Iran, some 1,529,2000 tons of different agricultural products worth 2069.8 million dollars were exported in the last nine months of 2006 and the first three months of 2007, showing a rise of 43.8% in terms of weight and 25.4% in terms of value as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. This indicates that the performance of the said year was higher than the projected target provided for the said year in the 4th development plan (export of 1,516 million dollars of agricultural products).

Farming and gardening

234. These include:

234.1. Attainment of self-sufficiency in essential farmed products is one of the main objectives of the development of the agriculture sector in the 4th development plan, which seeks to promote food security as one of its targets.

234.2. A survey of the performance of such products in 2006 indicates that wheat and rice production has achieved the projected targets of the 4th development plan, reaching 14,586,000 tons and 3,150,000 tons respectively. The performance of the plan with regard to oil seed production, which reached 505,000 tons, was less than the projected target.

234.3. The production of maize and sugar-beet during the same year was 6,590,000 tons and 2,407,000 tons respectively, meeting the projected targets of the plan by 106.5% and 110.9%.

In 2006, some 100,000 hectares of new garden were developed and 36.5000 hectares of gardens were renovated.

234.4. The production of pistachio, citrus fruits, dates and grapes in the same year was 250,000 tons, 4,398,000 tons, 1,007,000 tons and 3,103,000 tons respectively, which, in spite of their positive growth as compared to the previous year, were less than the projected targets of the plan.

Livestock, poultry and aquatic species

235. These include:

235.1. In 2005, the production of red meat and chicken meat reached 781,000 tons and 1,360.4000 tons respectively, growing by 2.8% and 9.9%.

235.2. Production of milk and eggs, in the same year, was respectively 7,594,000 tons and 677,000 tons. The culture and catch of aquatic species in 2006 reached 154.6000 tons and 438.8000 tons respectively, growing by 15.4% and 131%.

235.3. The performance of key indicators in animal health and the veterinary sector indicates that, in 2006, 60.9% of the livestock of the country were brought under the coverage of health services and were vaccinated against communicable diseases, and 64.8% of the livestock were also provided with protection against common diseases. Also, the coverage of quality and sanitary control of the production of animal and fishery products in 2006 reached 73.1%.

Insurance of agricultural products

236. In 2006, some 4,846,000 hectares of farming lands were provided with general insurance coverage and some 3,832,000 hectares with drought insurance. Insurance coverage extended to gardens was an equivalent of 407,000 hectares. Also, during this period, some 10,437,000 head of livestock, 642 million pieces of poultry and 4,934 hectares of aquatic farming lands were also provided with insurance coverage.

Regulation of farming land development

237. In 2006, an area of 28.3000 hectares of modern farming lands (dam downstream) were renovated and provided with modern equipment, meeting 37.7% of the projected target of the 4th development plan for the same year (75,000 hectares). This figure for traditional farming lands stood at 22.5000 hectares, meeting 30% of the projected target of the plan. Of the total projected target of development of pressurized irrigation networks for 2006 (95,000 hectares) in the 4th development plan, 84.7% of it, that is 80.5000 hectares, was realized.

Forests, rangeland and watershed management

238. In 2006, some 134,000 head of cattle were removed from the forests of the north of the country. Also, watershed management and flood dispersion operation were carried out in an area of 1391.34000 hectares.

238.1. Operations for control of desertification hot spots were carried out in a limited area of 62,000 hectares. In the same year, land portioning operations and separation of exceptions were conducted in an area of 8,617,000 hectares of land. With the execution of forest conservation projects and sustainable management of rangelands, 39% of the forests and rangelands of the country were brought under full coverage of conservation plans.

Research, education and propagation

239. In 2006, production of improved seeds and provision of seeds base reached 17,000 hectares. Also, during the same year, production of improved seedlings reached 70,000. The training of staff and informal specialized training in 2006 included respectively 14.8000 and 13.2000 people, which were less than the projected targets of the plan. Also, formal training of users (technical-/vocational and professional) included 6,469 people.

National document of food security of the Islamic Republic of Iran (approved in 2004)

240. After several years of expert meetings and discussions attended by the related authorities from executive, scientific and academic governmental and non-governmental organizations, the national document of food security of the Islamic Republic of Iran was drafted and approved in 2004 for a period of five years. This document has addressed the problems and deficiencies of the Iranian food basket and also the objectives, strategies and executive programs for the improvement of the Iranian food basket.

Definition and scope of inter-sector development

241. Human development in line with national development and food security is one of the indicators and tools of the growth and prosperity of a nation. The term “life in good health and prosperity”, as an indicator of human development, which requires an appropriate level of health, food security and sufficient food, is pursued as a serious objective in the national and sector-based policies of the country.

241.1. Food security exists only when all people have physical and economic access to sufficient, healthy and nutritious food at all times to meet their nutrition needs and have their food preferences. Hence, development of access to sufficient, appropriate and healthy food constitutes one of the main axes of the development and health of the society and the infrastructure necessary for the growth of the coming generations as well.

241.2. Also based on scientific criteria developed in recent decades, physical and economic access to sufficient food to ensure a healthy and active life is not only regarded as the right of all citizens for the development of their talents and potentials but it is also seen as a positive freedom which Governments are required to respect as one of their duties.

General purpose

242. Provision, preservation and promotion of food security and nutrition.

Strategies

243. These include:

243.1. Raising the awareness of policy makers at the national level to change their approach from macro-level to micro-level, that is from the sheer sufficiency of supply to the quality of the consumption of food.

243.2. Moving in the direction of ensuring access for all citizens to an appropriate food basket.

243.3. Retargeting food subsidies.

243.4. Ensuring the health of production, storage, processing, distribution and consumption of food products.

243.5. Upgrading the level of technology and output in the food chain from production to consumption.

243.6. Development of the export of food products.

243.7. Facilitating access to natural fresh food, specially fruit and vegetables.

243.8. Empowerment at neighborhood, family and individual levels.

243.9. Intervention in the sections of the society where there is a problem of micronutrients.

243.10. Promotion of food and nutrition culture and awareness.

243.11. Continuous monitoring of the situation of food and nutrition in the society.

243.12. Development of inter-disciplinary specialties and research capacities.

243.13. Sustainability of production and supply of appropriate agricultural and food products at reasonable prices.

Quantitative objectives

244. They include:

244.1. Development of a consumption make-up based on the desirable food basket.

244.2. Development of a food supply make-up based on the desirable food basket.

244.3. Raising per capita animal protein to 29 grams per day.

244.4. Reduction of malnutrition and shortage of micro-nutrients as follows.

244.5. 10% reduction in the malnutrition rate among children below the age of five by the index of height to age.

244.6. 10% reduction in the malnutrition rate among children below the age of five by the index of weight to age.

244.7. 10% reduction in the outbreak of zinc deficiency in different age groups.

244.8. 10% reduction in the outbreak of severe iron deficiency in different age groups.

244.9. 10% reduction in the outbreak of vitamin D deficiency among pregnant women.

244.10. 10% reduction in the outbreak of vitamin A deficiency among pregnant women.

244.11. 10% reduction in the number of people suffering from obesity.

244.12. Raising the nutrition awareness of different age groups by 25%.

244.13. Reduction of food products waste by 50%.

244.14. Putting in place quality guarantee systems in 10% of production units and 50% of food processing and storage units.

244.15. Increasing the access of the urban population to fruit, vegetables and protein markets by 20%.

244.16. Identification of 100% of families suffering from malnutrition resulting from poverty and crises and intervention in 50% of these families.

244.17. Conducting at least five broad-based inter-sector projects in the food and nutrition sector.

244.18. Increasing the production of processed agricultural products to at least twice the present level.

Enforcement policies

245. General enforcement policies include:

245.1. Raising the awareness of policy makers about the latest scientific approaches, experiences and theories about food economy, food policies and nutrition.

245.2. Determination of the food poverty line for each year.

245.3. Identification of the population living under the absolute poverty line.

245.4. Definition and formulation of the types of mechanism for supporting the population under the poverty line.

245.5. Retargeting of subsidies.

245.6. Improvement of taxation policies in order to balance income distribution.

245.7. Supporting the development of processing, complementary and storage industries of agricultural products.

245.8. Identification of bottlenecks as well as the types and quantity of waste occurring in the process of plantation to consumption of agricultural and food products.

245.9. Laying the groundwork for the reduction of waste from production to consumption.

245.10. Supporting small and micro-industries particularly in the agricultural and food sectors.

245.11. Supporting a decline in the population and immigration growth rates.

245.12. Provision of the minimum necessary standards for ensuring food security in low-income deciles of the society.

245.13. Regulating food and agricultural products markets.

245.14. Formulation of missions, objectives and strategies of the high council for food security and health in the food and nutrition sector.

245.15. Defining the organization, scope of activities and national authority of the high council for food security and health in performing its guiding and supervisory role in the food and nutrition sectors.

245.16. Policy making, planning, follow-up, implementation, supervision and control of the performance of all sectors related to food security and health by the specialized section of the high council for food security and health.

245.17. Supporting institutional capacity building at national, regional and neighborhood levels.

245.18. Improving the organizational capacity of the PHC network for reforming the structure of the network in order to promote the status of nutrition and food security and health in PHC.

245.19. Improvement of the level of human resources in order to meet the specialized organizational needs.

245.20. Revising and amending the rules and regulations relating to food security sector.

Production, supply and distribution of food products

246. These include:

246.1. Supporting the development of agro-industrial clusters with concentration on local and traditional crafts.

246.2. Supporting the development of service centers in the food industry and agriculture sector particularly in terms of technology and market development.

246.3. Reforming production patterns with emphasis on animal products, fruit and vegetables.

246.4. Increasing the nutritious value of food and agricultural products.

246.5. Extension of vegetable cultivation and consumption in rural areas.

246.6. Development of the role of the private sector in facilitating physical access to fruits and vegetables in big cities.

246.7. Reduction of unrestrained consumption of chemical toxins and supporting biological fight against pests.

246.8. Supporting the development of systems for controlling the residue of toxins and animal drugs in products.

246.9. Changing the make-up of supply pattern in order to reduce the use of grains, oil and sugar.

246.10. Regulation and management of water and soil sources.

246.11. Supporting the execution of watershed management projects.

246.12. Development of complementary irrigation and retention of soil moisture in rain-fed farms and plantations.

246.13. Supporting the development of concentrated, greenhouse cultivation of products.

246.14. Supporting the sufficient and timely provision of agricultural inputs.

246.15. Expansion and development of pressurized irrigation systems.

246.16. Retargeting production subsidies and use of expensive tools.

246.17. Raising the awareness of and familiarizing farmers and livestock breeders with the situation of the market.

246.18. Development of agricultural and food products storage facilities at local, regional and national levels.

246.19. Supporting rural development projects.

246.20. Reduction of production costs and prices of food products.

246.21. Making the necessary preparations in the food production sector for joining the World Trade Organization.

246.22. Reforming the exploitation system in view of the needs of the country.

246.23. Seeking the assistance of rural cooperative networks in provision of training about nutrition, and the improvement of the health and distribution of food products.

246.24. Increasing the supply of appropriate traditional food.

246.25. Regulation of healthy transportation of food products from production to consumption.

246.26. Supporting investment in the development of the processing industry and storage of agricultural products.

Food safety

247. These include:

247.1. Supporting projects aimed at developing and upgrading the level of technology used in food industry.

247.2. Supporting projects aimed at developing business in small food industries.

247.3. Developing a dynamic system for the formulation and timely reform of the standards of food products, raw materials and packing.

247.4. Supporting the projects aimed at promoting the use of HACCP and CRM quality guarantee systems in food production, supply and distribution units and their gradual introduction as compulsory systems to be used in the production and processing of meat, dairy, sea and poultry products.

247.5. Development of MIS and coding system for units which produce and process food products.

247.6. Development of a strong system for monitoring and controlling the import of food products and raw materials used in the food industry.

247.7. Supporting the establishment by the private sector of accredited specialized laboratories, and technical inspection and supervision centers based on national and international standards, rules and regulations.

247.8. Supporting the projects aimed at promoting food safety in small industrial units.

247.9. Encouraging the units which succeed in promoting the quality of food production and processing.

247.10. Promoting the level of nutrition health and safety in schools and educational centers.

247.11. Launching the system of monitoring food-borne diseases.

247.12. Seeking the cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting in educational publicity programs about food safety.

247.13. Reduction of food-borne diseases at home.

247.14. Redefining and regulating division of labor and tasks at the national level among the institutions involved in provision of food safety.

247.15. Revising and changing the function of the system of monitoring and controlling the safety of food products from product control to process control.

Nutrition and health

248. These include:

248.1. Limiting the production and consumption of food products which are harmful or of little value.

248.2. Execution of limited empowerment projects at local and regional levels in order to develop the existing potentials and build new models of food safety and development.

248.3. Adopting PHC network to the needs of the society for safe and healthy food, nutrition and food products.

248.4. Provision of dietary supplements for vulnerable groups.

248.5. Enrichment of essential food products with micro-nutrients.

248.6. Maintaining and expanding immunization programs.

248.7. Early diagnosis and treatment of parasitic intestine diseases.

248.8. Enhancement of family planning programs and observing the appropriate intervals between births.

248.9. Supporting the propagation of breast feeding and appropriate supplementary nutrition, adoption of the necessary public sanitary measures to prevent parasitic infection, boosting child growth monitoring program.

248.10. Studying and developing nutrition treatment system.

248.11. Revising the laws and by-laws relating to the activities of dieticians and facilitating their employment in the clinical services of hospitals.

248.12. Organizing complementary clinical training courses on nutrition and diet therapy.

248.13. Launching nutrition counseling services in medical treatment centers.

248.14. Introducing special care units into hospitals for children suffering from severe malnutrition.

248.15. Improving nutrition level in nurseries, schools and educational centers.

248.16. Introducing the food package needed by poor groups at risk of malnutrition.

248.17. Helping, guiding and overseeing the activities of public food serving centers.

248.18. Encouraging and supporting the production and consumption of dietary supplements.

Developing nutrition and food culture

249. These include:

249.1. Regulating and reorienting food information activities and educating healthy and balanced nutrition under the supervision of the high council for food health and security.

249.2. Seeking the help of food information institutes and instruments for promotion of healthy nutrition education at local, regional and national levels.

249.3. Use of PHC network in the education of nutrition and health of food products and monitoring of food-borne diseases.

249.4. Making and screening TV educational teasers and provision of educational materials suitable for universal education.

249.5. Identification of indigenous nutritious foods suitable for child nutrition.

249.6. Provision of education for technicians and managers of plants, medical staff and other related groups.

249.7. Adapting public educational and publicity programs to scientific standards.

249.8. Concentration of educational policies and activities on food and nutrition with the inclusion of specific targets in them.

249.9. Concentrated oversight of educational and publicity programs relating to food and nutrition, particularly in mass media.

249.10. Using the traditional cultural capacities of the society for education and promotion of nutritional literacy.

249.11. Developing the culture of supply and consumption of local and traditional food products.

249.12. Identification of challenges as well as the development of cultural and educational mechanisms for appropriate policy making and targeting.

Education and research

250. These include:

250.1. Boosting the effective participation of the scientific community in making the policies and enforcing the programs relating to food security and nutrition.

250.2. Supporting the promotion of applied research on food and nutrition policies.

250.3. Supporting the training of inter-disciplinary experts to be engaged in scientific research on food and nutrition and the related policies.

250.4. Reorienting academic education on food and nutrition to the needs and realities of the society.

250.5. Training and retraining of the staff on medical treatment and other related sections on appropriate nutrition.

Desired consumption quantities of foodstuffs

Foodstuffs in the desirable basket
Desirable consumption quantity (grams per day)
Bread
320
Rice
100
Pasta
20
Cereals
26
Potato
70
Vegetables
280
Fruits
260
Red meat
48
White meat
50
Egg
24
Milk and dairy products
225–240
Solid & liquid oil
35–40
Sugar/sugar cubes
40–50

Projected pattern of the supply of food products during the 4th development plan (K.G)

Product
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
Wheat (flour)
160/2
158/5
156/8
155/2
153/5
151/9
Rice
37/0
36/9
36/7
36/6
36/5
36/4
Potato
40
40/3
40/6
40/8
41/1
41/4
Cereals
7
7/1
7/3
7/5
7/6
7/8
Sugar
26
25/8
25/6
25/4
25/3
25/1
Onion
17
17/1
17/1
17/2
17/2
17/3
Summer crops
90
90/3
90/6
90/9
91/2
91/4
Fresh vegetables
40
40/3
40/6
40/8
41/1
41/4
Apple
25
25/2
25/3
25/5
25/7
25/8
Citrus fruits
42
42/1
42/1
42/2
42/2
42/3
Grape
21
21/1
21/1
21/2
21/2
21/3
Date
10
10/0
10/0
10/0
10/0
10/0
Pomegranate
7/2
7/2
7/2
7/2
7/2
7/2
Other fruits
18
18/0
18/0
18/0
18/0
18/0
Pistachio
1/8
1/8
1/8
1/8
1/8
1/9
Almond
1/2
1/2
1/2
1/2
1/3
1/3
Walnut
2
2/0
2/0
2/0
2/0
2/0
Nuts
0/2
2/0
2/0
0/2
0/2
0/2
Olive
0/6
0/6
0/6
0/7
0/7
0/7
Dry tea
1/4
1/4
1/5
1/5
1/5
1/6
Vegetable oil
15
14/9
14/7
14/6
14/5
14/4
Red meat
11/8
12/0
12/2
12/3
12/5
12/7
Chicken
16/5
17/5
18/6
19/7
20/9
22/2
Egg
9/2
9/4
9/7
10/0
10/2
10/5
Fish
7
7/8
8/6
9/5
10/6
11/7
Milk
90
95/3
100/9
106/8
113/1
126/6
Total
697
703/8
711/1
718/8
727/2
743

Article 12: Physical and mental health

Health care and treatment

Introduction

251. This section consists of two parts; the first part deals with the activities of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education to improve the physical and mental health of the society, the percentage of the population with access to healthy potable water and garbage disposal services, child vaccination, access to trained and skilled medical staff, the impact of the Government’s measures to better the lot of the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and education on the ways of control and prevention of the spread of common diseases, and the second part deals with the measures taken by the State welfare organization to help people with disabilities and aged people.

Public health strategies

252. The Islamic Republic of Iran has public health strategies which have been provided for in the Constitution of the State, the law on the establishment of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education and the laws of five-year development plans. The general health care and treatment strategies and policies of the country are as follows.

Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran

253. Article 29 reads:

253.1. “... The need for medical, health care and treatment services in the form of insurance, etc. is a universal right. According to the law, the Government is obligated to provide these financial supports and services from public revenues and revenues generated by public participation.”

253.2. Article 43 has stipulated the provision of essential needs such as housing, food, clothing, health care, education and the necessary facilities for the formation of family and also, in accordance with paragraph 12 of article 3, the elimination of any deprivation in the areas of nutrition, housing, employment, health care and extension of insurance.

253.3. Article 21 has stressed the need for provision of support for mothers, particularly during pregnancy, and child custody and support for children without guardians.

Health care in the 4th development plan

254. To institutionalize management, policy making, evaluation and coordination in the health sector, the Government is obliged to take the following measures to ensure, inter alia, food security, healthy nutrition, a desirable food basket, reduction of diseases resulting from malnutrition and development of public health:

254.1. Establishment of the high council for food security and health and high council for health in accordance with the related legal procedures.

254.2. Formulation and execution of the required educational programs for the development of nutrition culture and literacy.

254.3. The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and executive bodies have been asked to cooperate with the Ministry of Health and Medical Education in the formulation and execution of a comprehensive plan for that purpose and refrain from advertising goods and products which are harmful to health.

254.4. Allocation of credits, banking facilities and subsidies for the production, supply, distribution and consumption of food products in order to ensure a desirable food basket and also allocation of the necessary resources for the propagation of healthy food in the form of the provision of between-meals for students and food assistance for the disadvantaged.

254.5. Formulation and execution of programs for food security and reduction of food products waste from production to consumption.

254.6. Based on the provisions of article 85 of the law of the 4th development plan, the Government has a duty to draft a bill, six months after the approval of the present law, regarding the preservation and promotion of public health and reduction of health risks and submit it to the Islamic Consultative Assembly for approval. The bill shall include the following axes:

254.7. Reduction of road accidents by 50% by the end of the 4th development plan through the identification of accident-prone areas of roads and motorways of the country.

254.8. Ensuring the observance of safety and traffic rules and regulations.

254.9. Regulation and completion of pre-hospital and hospital medical emergency service networks and reduction of the death toll of road accidents by 50% by the end of the 4th development plan.

254.10. Promotion of the motor vehicle safety plan and the application of the necessary safety and human engineering standards.

254.11. Reduction of health risk factors at work place, pollutants of air, soil, agricultural and animal products and defining the related examples and quantities and also determination of fines and compensatory duties to deter such abuses.

254.12. Article 86 obliges the Ministry of Health and Medical Education and other related organizations to adopt the necessary measures by the end of the first year of the 4th development plan for the reduction of the social and individual dangers and risks of addiction, prevention and treatment of AIDS and alleviation of the impact of mental diseases.

254.13. Article 87 requires that the Ministry of Health and Medical Education provide the necessary facilities for the introduction, promotion and marketing of health services as well as medical and pharmaceutical know-how, equipment and products of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the provision of the health and medical needs of the region to the point that the foreign exchange revenues earned from the export of such services and products will account for an equivalent 30% of the foreign exchange expenditures of the health care and treatment sector of the country by the end of the 4th development plan.

254.14. Article 88 obliges the Ministry of Health and Education to take the following measures in order to continuously promote the quality and productivity rate of health and clinical services and ensure optimal utilization of the health-care and treatment facilities and capacities of the country:

254.14.1. Formulation, oversight and evaluation of standards and indicators for improvement of services and rating of hospitals based on the pattern of promotion of clinical performance.

254.14.2. Reorienting the direction of health-care and treatment units towards care for customers by reforming the economic management structures and processes (including the reformation of the accounting system, performance (service) based payment and operational budgeting).

254.14.3. Running the hospitals introduced by the medical schools of the country in the form of a board of trustees or a company through the delegation of managerial powers and the recruitment and employment of administrative and financial staff within the framework of the agreed tariffs.

254.14.4. Separation of hospitals in terms of the number of educational and non-educational beds and also the application of credit and human resource indicators.

254.14.5. Development of an integrated health information system for Iranian citizens.

254.15. To ensure equitable access for all people to health care and treatment services commensurate with their needs in different parts of the country, the Ministry of Health and Medical Education has been obliged, under article 89 of the 4th development plan, to design a system of minimum standards of health care and treatment services based on a service rating formula.

254.16. Any new extension or provision of new equipment for treatment units requiring a change in the health-care and treatment capacities of the country and allocation of human resources for provision of services will be subject to the rules of this service-rating formula.

254.17. Establishment and development of health-care and treatment units by the institutions falling under the provisions of article 60 of the present law, and also by the armed services of the country will be subject to the permission of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education and the approval of the Council of Ministers.

254.18. With regard to workplace safety and health units (H.S.E) the related rules and regulations are strictly enforced.

254.19. Under the provisions of article 90, in order to ensure distributive justice in the access of all people to health care and treatment services and also in reduction of the share of vulnerable, low-income families of their health care and treatment expenses, the distribution of health care and treatment capacity and facilities should be conducted in such a way that the indicator of people’s fair financial contribution would rise to 90% and people’s share of health expenses will not exceed 30% and the share of vulnerable families of the unbearable health expenses will drop to 1%.

254.20. The Ministry of Health and Medical Education is obliged, in cooperation with the State management and planning organization, to draft the necessary rules of procedure to balance the share of people of health care and treatment funds and expenses for the attainment of the above-mentioned objectives within six months from the date of the approval of this law and submit it to the Council of Ministers for approval. Under the provisions of article 91, the following measures are to be adopted to raise the efficiency of health services and boost and develop the medical insurance system of the country:

254.20.1. All commercial and non-commercial insurance companies, only by observing the rules and regulations of the high council for medical service insurance, are allowed to provide basic and complementary medical insurance services.

254.20.2. The high council for medical service insurance should make the necessary preparations for the establishment of health insurance based on the axis of family physician and referral system by the end of the 4th development plan.

254.20.3. To promote justice in access to health care and treatment services, the basic medical insurance services for rural and nomadic communities are to be defined in amounts equivalent to those of urban communities.

254.20.4. All foreign nationals residing in the Islamic Republic of Iran are bound to possess an insurance policy covering all possible accidents and diseases during their stay in the country.

254.20.5. Provision of credits for medical insurance services in the annual budgets will be based on real per capita rates which are approved each year by the Council of Ministers.

254.20.6. The rules of procedure relating to this article will be drafted by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education within three months from the date of the approval of this law and submitted to the Council of Ministers for consideration and approval.

254.21. Under the provisions of Article 92, the Ministry of Health and Medical Education is obligated to provide for the urgent and unconditional treatment of the victims of car accidents in its health care and treatment centers.

254.22. To ensure the necessary funds for the provision of the said services, a duty amounting to 10% of the third party insurance premium will be deducted by commercial insurance companies and transmitted into the account of special revenues of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education. The expenses of the treatment of all traffic, road and car accidents will be provided from the funds of the same account and some other sources.

254.23. Based on the performance of each insurance company providing basic insurance services, these sources will be distributed by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education every six months.

Article 93 reads

255. This includes:

255.1. To regulate the medical drug market, lists of legally allowed drugs are released every year by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education. Supply and prescription of any drug out of this list is forbidden.

255.2. Sale of drugs (non-prescription drugs whose list is announced by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education are excluded) to end users outside pharmacies is forbidden.

255.3. To ensure the quality of medical drugs, all pharmaceutical companies are bound to use quality control mechanisms and employ the related experts to control the quality of their products. For that purpose, the related companies are allowed, in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, to use 50% of the funds falling under the provisions of the act on amending paragraph “2” of note “2” of article “5” of the law on retraining the medical community (1992) within the framework of annual budgets.

255.4. Article 94 of the 4th development plan has reinstated article 194 of the law of the 3rd development plan and its amendments in the 4th development plan.

Financial sources in the health sector

256. Investment in the health sector is known as a general strategy for development and poverty alleviation, and provision of effective financial sources for the health-care and treatment sector in order to ensure the access of all people to public and individual health services so that they can afford health-care and treatment expenses without economic pressure, have been provided for in the related laws.

256.1. The credits allocated to the health care and treatment sector during the decade (1997–2006) have registered an average annual growth rate of 22.8%; the highest growth rates, that is, 39% and 51%, relate to 2004 and 2005 respectively.

256.2. The credits allocated exclusively to the health sector have been, on average, 11.6% higher than the growth in the general revenues of this sector and 5.4% higher than the credits allocated to the medical insurance sector. On the other hand, the credits allocated to the medical insurance sector have shown a growth less than that of the exclusive revenues. This has caused people’s share of health-care expenses to rise gradually.

256.3. At present, per capita health expenses in the country are around 110 dollars.

256.4. The share of the health-care and treatment expenses of GDP in 2005, 2006 and 2007 has been 6.5%, 6.7% and 7% respectively.

Women’s status in the health and medical education sector

257. This includes:

257.1. To ensure women’s health and promote their participation in the health of the family and society, extensive measures have been taken by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education.

257.2. Based on the statistics of 2007, with over 95,000 personnel, women account for 55% of the total number of staff and 71% of the staff in the nursing and midwifery sectors of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education and the affiliated organizations. The number of sub-specialized women doctors, women dentists and women gynecologists employed in the Ministry of Health and Medical Education are respectively 197, 3,675 and 1,089. Also, the number of women with PhDs and professional doctorates in the Ministry of Health and Medical Education are respectively 5,545 and 347. Besides, 3,779 women are members of the boards of faculty of medical schools and universities of the country.

257.3. Access to different levels of education in medical and other fields is equal for Iranian men and women. The literacy rate in the population of women aged six and above is over 80%. Women account for 53.4% of the total number of university students across the country. This ratio rises to 78% in medicine and medical disciplines.

257.4. The number of women graduates in medicine and medical disciplines has been increasing. This number reached 90% of all graduates of such disciplines in 2007.

257.5. Based on the latest statistics, at present, some 20,892 general practitioners, 6,392 specialized doctors, 6,271 dentists and 5,135 pharmacologists are women in Iran. The ratio of women sub-specialized doctors has risen from 9% in the early years after the Islamic Revolution to over 30% in recent years.

257.6. At the managerial level, it is to be noted that in 1996 and 2001, the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, with 32.5% and 25.6% respectively of the total number of managers, had the highest number of woman managers among all ministries and other governmental organizations of the country.

257.7. The office for women’s affairs was established in 1993 with an aim to ensure that the plans of the country are gender-based and create equal opportunities for women. Since its inception, this office has carried out important activities including the execution of different programs and projects for improvement of women’s health, organization of different training courses for women, enhancement of women’s health NGOs, improvement of the nutrition and diet of girls and women and education of skills for interpersonal relationships for young couples.

257.8. On the other hand, the office for mothers’ health, too, has launched efforts to improve women’s health indicators. Based on the statistics of 2005, the provision of pregnancy care coverage (at least six visits) has risen from 60% in 1997 to 94.5% in recent years. This has reduced the ratio of delivery conducted by people without specialized training in the field to 1.7%. Also, as a result of such efforts, the ratio of deliveries conducted in maternity wards has surged to 92.8%.

257.9. At present, the mortality rate among mothers due to pregnancy and delivery problems (MMR) has reached 24.6 per 100,000 live births. Also, the ratio of cesarean section (deliveries) has increased from 35% during 2000–2005 to 42% in recent years.

General policies of the country for the realization of health-care and treatment strategies of the country

258. These include:

258.1. Reduction of gaps and inequalities in access to health-care and treatment services.

258.2. Implementation of executive programs to ensure people’s access to health care and treatment services.

258.3. Development of plans to raise the efficiency and quality of health services.

258.4. Promotion of public participation in the provision of health care and treatment services.

Performance, achievements and measures of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education during 2005–2009

259. These include:

259.1. In recent years, the Government has launched considerable efforts to improve public health and ensure equitable and broader access of different social groups to appropriate health services.

259.2. With the assumption of office by the 9th administration of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the “family physician plan” was given special attention and promoted. The numbers of physicians and midwives participating in the “family physician plan” have increased respectively 4.4 and 24 times as compared to the start year of the plan, that is 2005.

259.3. The considerable improvement of health indicators is one of the achievements of the family physician plan.

259.4. In the health sector, effective measures have been taken for the control, eradication and elimination of contagious and non-contagious diseases, resulting in great achievements including the reception of the certificate of trachoma elimination from the World Health Organization (WHO). Also, during this period, hundreds of health houses as well as urban and rural health-care and treatment centers and medical labs went into operation.

259.5. In the treatment section, considerable successes have been scored during the past four years including the improvement of spinal cord injuries and production of stem cells.

259.6. With the organization of the emergency network of the country, the number of urban and road emergency bases has risen considerably.

259.7. Also, the time for the arrival of ambulances at the accident scene and attending the victim has lessened. Also, specialized and sub-specialized treatment, organ transplantation and nuclear medicine have also seen considerable growth and advances in recent years.

259.8. To realize the objectives of articles 90 and 91 of the law of the 4th development plan on reducing the share of treatment costs paid by people and also on the promotion of justice in the access of rural and nomadic communities to treatment services, effective measures have been adopted.

259.9. The pharmaceutical industry of the country, too, has been witness to important achievements including development of anti-AIDS medical drug called IMOD and the medicine for the healing of sore feet in diabetics called Angipars and the production of Deferasirox for the treatment of anemia in thalassemia for the first time in the world.

259.10. Also, sophisticated pharmaceuticals for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (Interferon Beta) thalassemia, cancer and hepatitis C (Pegylated interferon, Interferon gamma, Erythropoietin beta) entered the market for the first time.

259.11. At present, over 95% of the pharmaceutical needs of the country are produced domestically while the supply of drugs and raw materials for production of drugs from abroad are facing major internal and international problems.

259.12. The shortage of medical drugs in the country considerably declined last year.

259.13. Also, during the same period, owing to the policies and efforts of the Government, pharmaceutical products worth over 250 million dollars have been exported to other countries.

259.14. Some 1,554 new pharmacies have been established in the country during this period to facilitate people’s access to drugs, meeting the projected targets in the 4th development plan. Production of medical equipment also posted a striking growth and quality control methods, too, were redefined on the basis of the latest international standards during this period.

259.15. With regard to medical education, it is worth noting that the quantitative and qualitative expansion of medical education centers has been one of the prime concerns of the Government. During 2005–2009, licenses were issued for the establishment of some medical schools and faculties.

259.16. Also, some specialized PhD and MS courses were established in different medical fields and student admission capacity for some specialized and sub-specialized medical courses was increased. Along with the quantitative growth, the promotion of the quality of medical education, too, received special attention. During this period, the plan for allocation of certain disciplines to local students, admission of high grade graduates to higher level courses without the need to pass the entrance exams, launching teleconference and telemedicine courses in some medical schools and long-distance virtual education plans have been realized. Also, education centers quality management units have been introduced in some universities of the country.

259.17. To slow down the trend of immigration of students for education in medical disciplines abroad, 12 international branches of medical schools of the country have been established and admission of students in the related disciplines has started. In addition to the promotion of the quality of medical education, medical technology and research, too, have received good attention during this period.

259.18. With regard to resource management and development, effective measures have been taken for the development of human resources in the areas of health care and treatment, developmental affairs as well as reforming, streamlining and quickening of the system. Also, to ensure the efficiency of scientifically oriented programs of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, the project “reforming the health system” has been put in place with a view to introducing a series of targeted changes for the improvement of the efficiency of services and promotion of justice in people’s access to health care and treatment services, protection of people against risk factors of diseases, reforming of the payment system etc.

Health care and prevention

260. These include:

260.1. During this period, some 430 health houses, 540 urban and rural health-care and treatment centers and 444 medical labs have gone into operation in the country.

260.2. Extension of the “family physician plan” which had started only few months before the assumption of office by the 9th administration to the point that, at present, over 25 million people in rural and urban areas with populations of under 20,000 people are under the coverage of this plan. Also, preparations have been made to extend this plan to cities with populations of over 20,000 people.

260.3. The numbers of physicians and midwives participating in the family physician plan increased respectively 4.4 and 24 times as compared to the figures of 2005 to reach 5,922 physicians and 4,823 midwives in the last years of the plan. Also, the number of pharmaceutical items used in medical centers surged 4.5 times to reach 270.

260.4. The health indicators posted a considerable growth during this period; the infant mortality rate dropped from 14.46 per 100,000 live births in 2005 to less than 12 per 100,000 live births in 2009.

260.5. The access of the urban and rural population to basic health care services increased from 92% in 2005 to over 95% in 2009.

260.6. To help settle the health-related problems of people living on the margins of cities, the Ministry of Health and Medical Education decided to extend the health volunteer scheme to all urban areas to the point that, at present, the said scheme is in place in some 42 universities and colleges, 385 towns, 2,830 active urban health centers and 3,705 villages. Currently, over 126,000 “health volunteers” are participating in this scheme, covering around four million families. Also, some 550 and 20,000 health liaison people representing nomadic and rural communities respectively are taking part in this scheme.

Prevention and control of contagious diseases

261. These include:

261.1. In the health sector, effective measures were taken to control, eradicate and eliminate contagious and non-contagious diseases resulting in considerable achievements, including the reception of the certificate of the elimination of trachoma from WHO. In view of such valuable achievements, for the first time, the control, eradication and elimination of contagious diseases were celebrated at the national level in February 2008.

261.2. In 2005, 70% of malaria cases were detected in less than 48 hours from the appearance of their clinical symptoms. This rate has now surged to 80%. Also, the treatment of 90% of malaria patients has started in less than 24 hours from the time of their detection.

261.3. To prevent and control AIDS, extensive efforts have been made, including the formulation of the second nationwide program for prevention and control of HIV and AIDS, development of AIDS watchdogs, increasing the centers providing HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment services as well as public awareness campaigns.

261.4. With the enhancement of immunization activities, at present, immunization coverage for all types of vaccine has reached the projected target of 98% of the population. Since 2006, a mobilization campaign started for the immunization of 18-year-olds against hepatitis type B which is now in the process of implementation.

261.5. The incidence of diseases common between humans and animals has posted a striking decline, so much so that the number of cases of Malta fever has dropped to 30 per 100,000 people, leishmaniasis to 35 per 100,000, anthrax to 2 per 100,000, hydatic cyst to 0.51, per 100,000 and rabies-related death to 10 per 100,000.

261.6. The rate of prevalence of leprosy during 2005–2008 was less than 0.02 per 10,000. So, even at the level of small towns, we are on the verge of the elimination of this disease (that is, the rate of less than 10 cases per 10,000).

261.7. The rate of detection of tuberculosis has dropped from 57% in 2005 to 67% in 2008. Also, the rate of the treatment of this disease reached 83% in 2007; due to the long period of the treatment of this disease, this rate has not yet been calculated for 2008.

261.8. At present, the incidence of tuberculosis has dropped to 13.9 cases per 100,000 people.

Prevention and control of non-contagious and special diseases

262. These include:

262.1. The “NCD risk factors surveillance” system which was established in the disease management center in 2004 has extended its activities across the country.

262.2. In 2008, the fifth round of such surveillance covering 30,000 samples collected from all over the country was launched and the risk factors patterns of these diseases in different regions were identified.

262.3. Execution of the program of dental and oral health for primary school students, children under the age of three and aged people by employing dentists in deprived regions, regulating the status of teeth and oral health workers and dentistry nurses, promoting public awareness with regard to teeth and oral health through the implementation of various educational programs, introducing special programs for controlling infection and improving the standards of the dentistry wards of health- care and treatment centers, provision of live pulp treatment, introduction of a performance-based pay system, purchase of dentistry services, privatization of health care and treatment centers, etc.

262.4. Purchase and distribution of 600 DABI units, distribution of seven million mouth-wash bottles, provision of fluoride therapy for milk teeth (96,518 cases), provision of fissure sealants (95,654 cases), treatment of the teeth of children under the age of 6 (159,261 cases), purchase and distribution of dentistry equipment, printing and distribution of 15,500 educational books, printing and distribution of 400,000 educational posters, pamphlets and tracts.

262.5. Increasing the number of blood dialysis centers from 304 to 377, increasing the number of peritoneal dialysis centers from 32 to 42, and promoting the quality of blood dialysis by using bicarbonate buffer from 20% to 85%, rise in the number of organ donors (brain-dead patients) from 118 to 203 cases, rise in the number of kidney transplantation cases from 61 to 197, rise in the number of heart transplantation cases from 16 to 52 and rise in the number of lung transplantation cases from 4 to 11 cases. The figures compared above are for 2005 and 2008.

262.6. Conducting some 7,625 kidney transplantation operations, purchase of 1,100 kidney machines, treatment of 1,200 people suffering from hepatitis type C, thalassemia and hemophilia free of charge and provision of free services to thalassemia, hemophilia and multiple sclerosis patients at medical university-affiliated centers.

262.7. Increasing the coverage of beta-thalassemia major from 98% to 100%, increasing the number of screened couples volunteer for marriage from 804,764 to 983,440, a rise in the number of identified carrier couples from 77% to 86% (from 2,850 to 5,144 couples), a rise in the number of visits to PND centers from 400% to 800%, reduction of the cases of beta-thalassemia major from 75% to 40% (from 352 to 97 cases).

262.8. With the introduction of the thyroid (hypothyroidism) screening scheme in 2004, the coverage of the screening scheme, which was 11% in 2004, rose to 92% in 2008 with the integration of this scheme into the health system of the country. Since the inception of this scheme, some 2.9 million infants have been screened and 6,300 infected cases have been detected and treated, preventing the mental impairment of such infants.

262.9. Formulation of the comprehensive plan for prevention and control of cancer and its tentative implementation in five medical universities, increasing the coverage of the cancer detection program from 70% in 2004 to 90% in 2005, selection of 30 poles for the treatment of common cancers in the country, provision of financial support for the treatment of 76,000 cancer patients with the credits provided for in paragraph (B) of note 15 during the past two years, formulation of the protocol of palliative medicine for patients with advanced cancer and selection of five palliative medical treatment centers in five medical universities of the country.

262.10. With the integration of diabetes prevention and control programs in the health system of the country in 2005, so far, two rounds of diabetes detection screening have taken place in the rural areas of the country. During this period, over nine million people were screened, which resulted in the identification of 300,000 diabetics and 97,000 pre-diabetics who are now under care.

262.11. During this period, a charity association for diabetics involved in illegal activities was censured and warned. The case of this association was taken by the board overseeing the activities of NGOs affiliated to the Ministry of Interior, which finally suspended the activities of this association and referred the case to the judiciary.

Family health and population

263. These include:

263.1. Nationwide implementation of the integrated monitoring and evaluation (IMES) system with regard to family health services in 2005 and production of a huge databank containing information about the indicators of reproductive health and the quality of services and support provided to society.

263.2. Analysis of the data of IMES, preparation and publication of a descriptive and analytical report thereon, redefining the plan for monitoring the support services of IMES provided at the level of towns and revision of reproductive health service standards and updating them in the light of the programs of the office of family health.

263.3. Implementation of the program for promotion of healthy life in old age since 2007 covering 37,000 aged people in 72 towns, teaching them needs-based standards.

263.4. Execution of the integrated old age care service program in 17 towns; under this program, old people are recalled to health-care and treatment centers and health houses to receive care for old age problems.

263.5. By the summer of 2008, some 88,000 old people were brought under the coverage of this program.

263.6. Extension of the coverage of general medical screening examinations to 100% of first grade primary school students, first grade lower secondary school students and first grade higher secondary school students and the establishment of the system of care and prevention of high-risk behavior among 6–18 year olds.

263.7. Redefining the school health ID certificate, introduction of a health ID certificate for students and soldiers, formulation of a youth health scheme; youth reproductive health certificate; and youth health strategic program.

263.8 Introduction of medicated and non-medicated painless delivery, the training of around 300 people as trained delivery agents to serve in remote and deprived areas of the country and holding of delivery preparedness courses.

263.9. Establishment of the maternal death care system and transfer of its responsibility from the health-care sector to the treatment sector of medical universities and extension of out-of-hospital care services.

263.10. Formulation and introduction of instructions for the breastfeeding of the infant in the very first hour of life, increasing maternity leave from four months to six months, and also increasing the number of child-friendly hospitals enforcing the ten steps for successful breastfeeding to 516 out of 627 eligible general and maternity hospitals.

263.11. To provide appropriate health services to middle-aged people, measures were taken during this period to establish the office for the health of middle-aged people. Of the activities carried out for that purpose mention can be made of the introduction of the integrated adult health program, designing and execution of the first phase of the pilot plan for provision of services to middle-aged women and also the designing and introduction of national days of men’s and women’s health.

263.12. Redefining the instructions for contraception and introduction of new contraceptive methods such as the use of Levonorgestrel and compound contraceptive injection.

263.13. Standardization of the education and services of vasectomy without surgery and the execution of the program for monitoring the quality of vasectomy services provided by physicians at the national level and also launching the international center for the education of vasectomy without surgery in Urumyeh.

263.14. Execution of the program for monitoring IUD services provided by midwives and the formulation of the package of two-layer services relating to family planning and its successful implementation.

Child health

264. This includes:

264.1. Provision of “the integrated care for sick children” education to over 48,000 health-care and treatment personnel in 2,200 training workshops in around 20,000 health houses and health-care and treatment centers in 329 towns.

264.2. Provision of “child health” education to over 48,000 health-care and treatment personnel in around 200,000 training workshops in 20,000 health-care and treatment centers and health houses in 305 towns; the coverage of the integrated healthy child care program in 2005 reached 95.8%.

264.3. Designing of the 1–59 month-olds care program started in 2006 and was introduced into the medical universities of the country at the beginning of 2007. This program was meant to identify the causes and intervene properly to prevent the death of 1–59 month-olds so that the survey of death causes can be conducted in an integrated care system.

264.4. Designing and printing of a child growth monitoring card based on the new curves provided by WHO, formulation of the draft document for the teaching of services related to child health and the coordination made among the related executive bodies for its enforcement, formulation of the draft document on child health, the draft document on child growth and development; the integrated program for promotion of child health (2008) and holding different training workshops relating to child health.

Improvement of nutrition pattern

265. This includes:

265.1. Measures have been taken to improve the oil consumption pattern by increasing the share of liquid oil distribution via the subsidized (coupon-based) distribution system, reduction of solid oil production, reduction of the share of saturated oil acid and trans in solid oil, enforcement of the instructions on oil consumption patterns at governmental centers, formation of the technical committee for improving the quality of oil production and provision of public and specialized education with regard to this matter through the mass media.

265.2. Extension of the coverage of the iron help program for 100% of higher secondary school girls and 20% of lower secondary school girls, formulation and introduction of instructions on between-meals, basket food of school buffet and free nutrition for boarding schools, and standardization of the nutrition education program taught in rural nurseries.

265.3. With the establishment of 17 refined and iodized salt production plants, at present, around 96.6% of edible salt is refined with an appropriate quantity of iodine; 98.7% of families are using iodized salt. Also, with the execution of the plan for prevention and control of disorders resulting from iodine deficiency, some 56.5% of school students are in an appropriate range of iodine reception which has resulted in the reduction of the occurrence of goiter disease by 6.5%.

265.4. Extension of the coverage of the program for intervention to improve children’s nutrition for one million children, provision of an appropriate food basket for 40,000 children suffering from malnutrition within the framework of the nutrition support program, reduction of 40% in the prevalence of malnutrition among children under the coverage of the program, reduction of the malnutrition rate among 3–6 year-old children of poor families in over 5,000 rural nurseries of deprived rural areas by 40% from 2007 to the present date and preparation of the malnutrition map for children under the age of 6 to improve their nutrition.

265.5. Increasing the number of nutrition counseling centers by 15%, increasing the number of nutrition education courses held for mothers of children under the age of 6 by 50% since 1985 to the present date, enforcement of the plan for enrichment of wheat flour with iron and folic acid at the national level from October 2006 to the present date, inclusion of the weighing curve of expecting mothers in the integrated pregnancy care program for the first time, and designing of the desirable contingency food basket.

Environmental health

266. This includes:

266.1. With the enhancement and promotion of the occupational and environmental health programs, at present, over 89.3% of rural families have access to healthy potable water and around 66.7% of them to a sanitary garbage collection and disposal system, which has risen by 45% as compared to four years ago.

266.2. With the enforcement of the public health promotion programs, at present, the numbers of public places observing sanitary standards and also the improvement of the public health of urban and rural areas have reached respectively 89.6% and 81.1%. Also, the desirability of hospital garbage disposal has risen from 60.7% to 77%.

266.3. Formulation of agreements with the ministries of trade, industry and mines on the enforcement of the by-law on amending the provisions of article 13 regarding the prohibition of smoking in public places and also in food production and distribution centers; also, the number of smoking treatment counseling centers has increased from 7 to 140 during this period.

266.4. Formulation of the rules relating to article 5 of the law on refuse management, adoption of the policy to make hospital refuse safe at the source via non-incineration methods and allocation of a special budget line for the regulation of hospital refuse.

266.5. Establishment of the environmental emergencies committee (EOC) for the first time in March 2007 in the related ministry and 40 medical universities and 311 towns and cities of the country with a mission to consider the impact of air pollution on health in medical universities based on the provisions of the integrated operational plan for reduction of air pollution.

266.6. Activating the commission of article 4 of the law on protection against radiation and referral of 1,765 cases of centers working with radiation to this commission, and also the holding of nine joint sessions between this commission and the Atomic Energy Organization in order to redefine the procedures for issuance of permission for jobs causing exposure to radiation.

266.7. Improvement of the environment and working conditions of inter-city restaurants and other public places by 15%, improvement of the indicator of the elimination of baking powder from the ingredients of traditional bread baking, updating the list of allowed toxins used in insecticides and pesticides, and also, the formulation of four guidebooks for controlling the health of potable water and swimming pool water.

266.8. Formation of some directives and instructions on preservation of environmental health including the rules of procedure for the preservation of the health of the school environment, the rules of procedure governing the operation of radiology centers, the directive for the observance of the cold chain in the transportation, storage and supply of dairy products, the guidelines for the control of the health of the environment and control of the refuse of hospitals, the instructions for ice sampling for biological tests, the instructions for the monitoring of PAH and MTBE in drinking water, etc.

266.9. Examination of water and wastewater indicators of the country, approval of the dew plan, promotion of the use of refined, iodized salt, participation in the complementary plan for the control of mice population in Tehran, participation in the specialized executive committee of climatic changes and the Kyoto Convention; greenhouse emission plan; and the executive adaptive plans for dealing with the phenomena originating from climatic changes, etc.

Promotion of labor health

267. This includes:

267.1. During 2004–2008, labor medicine and care for occupational diseases received special attention covering a much wider range of occupations. For that purpose, tens of workers, health houses and occupational health service centers were launched. Also, the number of employed workers with access to professional health equipment at the workplace rose from 38% to 41%, and the number of people enjoying the coverage of such services increased from 25% to 31%.

267.2. Increasing the number of plants and workshops on the visit list to 6,000, and the number of employed workers with access to professional examinations to 120,000. Besides, to improve the health of carpet weaving workshops by at least 20%, effective measures were taken to integrate carpet weaving health into BDN project in two towns, and also to provide for the medical examination and the registration of the occupational diseases of carpet weavers.

267.3. Reduction of the number of workshops with improper occupational bodily positions by 10%, reduction of the number of workers with improper occupational bodily positions by 2%, reduction of the number of workshops with improper occupational tools by 3%.

267.4. Formulation of some directives and instructions on labor health including the rules of procedure for the activities of private labor medicine clinics, labeling chemical substances, the instructions on the transportation, storage, supply and sale of chemical substances, occupational disease screening protocol, and the rules and regulations relating to the health of offices.

267.5. Formulation of the integrated labor medicine service program; the plan for the reduction and control of pollutants; the plan for classification and labeling of chemical substances based on GHS international standards; the program for control of noise pollution; the rules and regulations governing the health of administrative offices, the plan for control of atmospheric factors and lighting; the program for the medical examination of the drivers of heavy vehicles in cooperation with the Ministry of Roads; and the establishment of the modern health management system in schools.

267.6. As for the improvement of agronomy, several measures have been adopted including: control or elimination of harmful agronomic elements by 10%; developing agronomy software; obliging employers to observe the principles of agronomy; and equipping university medical labs with agronomical devices, etc.

267.7. Increasing introduction of the modern occupational health and safety management system (OHSAS 18001&H.S.E) in plants and factories and raising the awareness of experts about this system and encouraging employers to establish this system in their factories and plants.

267.8. Development of a databank of anthropometrical dimensions for workers of 20 to 60 years of age on the general dimensions of the body, determination of anthropometrical indexes for different Iranian ethnicities by gender, increasing workers’ occupational examination coverage, formulation of lighting standards in occupational environment and also development of identification sampling methods and analysis of dust, solvents, etc.

267.9. Formulation of the national index of chemical safety; execution of the strategy for integrated management of chemicals and toxins; participation in the formulation of executive directives of the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade; the program for prevention of chemical accidents; draft program for the integrated chemical safety management based on the international arrangement (SAICM) up to 2020 with special emphasis on the program for chemical safety and safety within the framework of the program for chemical safety.

267.10. As for the provision of farming health, the following measures have been taken: formulation of the farming health program, determination of farming health indicators, holding different farming health workshops, reduction of exposure to harmful factors in the farming sector, improvement of working methods in terms of human engineering factors and formulation of instructions on the registration of professional health information of farmers, etc.

Health care and treatment

Expansion of diagnosis/treatment services

268. These include:

268.1. During 2005–2009, some 47 new hospitals with 13,000 beds have gone into operation raising the number of active hospitals of the country from 809 in 2005 to 856 in 2008 and the number of hospital beds from 97600 in 2005 to 110,600 in 2008. Also, thousands of new special care beds have become operational during this period.

268.2. With the establishment of 83 new dialysis centers, the number of dialysis centers rose from 336 in 2005 to 419 in 2008. Also, the number of active dialysis machines has increased from 2,450 in 2005 to over 3,000. Furthermore, the number of organ and tissue transplantation centers operating in the country has reached over 90; every year, on average, some 2,000 kidney transplantation and 4,500 eye cornea transplantation operations are carried out in such centers.

268.3. In the treatment sector, great achievements have been made during the past four years including the repair of spinal cord injuries and production of stem cells. There has also been desirable progress in the provision of specialized and sub-specialized treatment, organ transplantation and nuclear medicine.

268.4. As for the realization of the provisions of articles 90 and 91 of the law of the 4th development plan on the reduction of the share of people of treatment expenses and promotion of justice in access to treatment services for nomadic and rural communities, some effective measures have been taken including the development of the plan for the progressive discount (progressive franchise charges) on payment of charges for the services provided to nomadic and rural communities; the said plan was sent for the final decision to the Office of the President, where it was approved with the replacement of the priority of preventive services (health insurance) for treatment insurance, which was also approved by the high insurance council.

268.5. Also for the realization of the objectives of article 90 of the 4th development plan, effective measures were taken to determine the intended diseases and to reduce to zero the share of patients of the treatment expenses of diseases such as common cancers, special diseases, acute diseases and also intensive care units (ICU) and neonatal intensive care units (NICU) services; such patients will be treated free of charge with minimum franchise charges in hospitals which are under the coverage of this plan.

268.6. Treatment of patients suffering from spinal cord injuries with the injection of Shuuan cells for the first by Iranian medical community. The specialized team for the repair of spinal cord injuries started its work 14 years ago in Tehran medical science university with a systematic research project based on tests and experiments on mice at labs. Following the success of the tests and experiments, the first spinal cord injury repair surgery was conducted on a war disabled in 2005; at present, every two weeks one such surgical operation is conducted in Iran. The spinal cord injury center of Imam Khomeini is now expanding its activities.

Reference and diagnosis laboratory

269. Establishment of the reference health and quality evaluation laboratory which has evaluated the quality of over 1,200 lab diagnosis products, over 40 items of lab equipment, dispatched 40,000 unidentified samples in labs to accredited labs, cooperated in 15 multi-centered research projects and presented 75 papers and abstracts of papers for publication in accredited domestic and foreign journals and congresses, held different training courses for experts and assistants in pathology section and organized a number of international bio-safety courses.

270. Of other activities of the reference lab mention can be made of the following:

270.1. 4,250 cases of evaluation of documents and issuance of licenses for producers and importers of lab products; 300 cases of inspection and supervision over the performance of such companies; 514 cases of examination of the technical qualifications of medical diagnosis labs and the issuance of the related licences; 498 cases of issuance of the agreement in principle for the equipment of medical diagnosis labs; 445 cases of issuance of foundation and technical qualification licences; 57 cases of examination and confirmation of technical qualifications and evaluation of the educational qualifications of applicants for laboratory order cards; and finally delegating its power to issue licenses for medical diagnosis labs to medical universities.

270.2. The reference lab has launched a mechanized system for the collection and processing of the information of medical labs, formed a databank of lab diagnosis products, evaluated and monitored the activities of the labs of medical universities, expanded and upgraded the databanks of the personnel and equipment of labs, established a care system for lab diagnosis products in order to evaluate the performance of such products in the labs, and revised the provisions of the related directives, instructions and rules of procedure.

270.3. As for the promotion of “quality insurance management”, the reference lab has adopted the following measures: definition of lab standards based on the model of accredited international standards, regulation of oversight of lab activities, accreditation of volunteer pioneer labs in the enforcement of lab standards and their encouragement with the awarding of quality qualification certificates, accreditation of reference labs of the country for under-care diseases with a view to creating a lab network and delegating the executive activities of quality evaluation program to scientific lab association and holding the necessary training courses for that purpose.

270.4. As for the promotion of “health lab management”, some activities have been carried out including: development of the structure and establishment of the system for rating lab services, designing the system for referral of lab services, enhancement of reference labs, boosting the family physician plan and rural insurance specially in the lab section, designing and enhancement of the position of labs in emergencies, supporting labs which deal with labor and environmental health, boosting the “addiction diagnosis in labs” program, and promotion of bio-safety program.

Promotion of mental and social health

271. These include:

271.1. Launching over 1,600 new mental health beds, raising the number of beds from 6,600 to 8,200 and the population under the coverage of the integrated mental health program from 30 million (40%) to over 40 million people (over 60%) during the past four years. Some of the achievements in the mental health sector are as follows:

271.2. Elimination of the stigma on mentally sick patients through the examination of the severity of the stigma and the factors involved in it, enhancement of the role of media in the promotion of public awareness with regard to such issues and adoption of the appropriate educational methods, prevention of the expansion of single-specialty mental health centers, allocation of 10% of the beds of general hospitals to psychiatric beds and holding the first conference on mental health.

271.3. Inauguration of a psychosomatic psychiatry ward in Imam Khomeini hospital on the occasion of the health week in 2009. With the opening of this ward, the first step was taken for the integration of psychiatry ward into the system of general hospitals.

271.4. Formulation of the country program on the promotion of standards of psychiatric clinics and hospitals and the adoption of some measures for that purpose including the execution of an initial research project on the evaluation of the necessary standards, drafting initial standards in view of the international standards and country limitations, holding the workshop on promotion of hospital services, preparation of oversight checklists and tentative enforcement of such checklists in eight psychiatric clinics.

271.5. Extension of the scheme for “integration of mental health into the primary health care system” in most rural and some urban areas through such activities as identification, treatment, monitoring and care for people with mental disorders under the coverage of the program, evaluation of the “integration of mental health”, preparation of the educational curricula on mental disorders for general physicians, and the curriculum of MPH mental health course, holding country workshops on mental health, etc.

271.6. Development and expansion of “life skills” and “child-rearing skills” education programs which had started respectively in 2003 and 2004; in 2007 alone, some 10,000 trainers, 110,000 trainees, 105,000 parents and also a large number of people from other sections of the population received the necessary education within the framework of these two programs.

271.7. Extension to eight provinces of the program for prevention of suicide which had started in 2001; of measures taken for that purpose mention can be made of the review of the texts used for diagnosis and treatment of depression, integration of the suicide prevention program into the family physician package, formulation of the integrated suicide prevention program for high-risk regions, registration and collection of data on suicide-related deaths, development of the system for coordinated registration of suicide data since 2008, tentative implementation of the “integrated suicide prevention in PHC” program and the execution of the comprehensive plan for prevention of suicide in student dormitories, etc.

271.8. Formulation of mental health law draft, drafting and tentative execution of aftercare mental health service protocol for patients with mental disorders, launching a community-based mental health center and continued mental and social support in emergencies.

Prevention and treatment of drug abuse

272. These include:

272.1. To treat drug abuse, 133 governmental methadone maintenance treatment units were established in medical universities covering 92,000 patients; besides, the necessary facilities have been provided for the establishment of drug abuse treatment centers in the non-governmental sector as well; seven centers have been introduced for the education of methadone maintenance treatment in seven medical universities. Also, with the establishment of 80 new smoking treatment counseling clinics, the number of such clinics has now risen to 140.

272.2. To treat psychotropic abuse, five psychotropic abuse treatment centers have been established in five big cities of the country in 2008. Also, the necessary arrangements have been made for the education of the staff of psychotropic abuse treatment centers. Furthermore, some courses have been held for the education of physicians with regard to the treatment of drug abuse, and also, the necessary instructions have been compiled for the provision of drug abuse treatment services.

272.3. Extension of the program for the integration of drug abuse prevention and treatment in the primary health care system from three towns in 2005 to ten towns in 2008, provision of individual counseling and group education services to 220,000 people within the framework of the “life skills and awareness” program (19.2% of the population under the coverage of the program), detoxification services used by 7,100 patients, and inclusion of this program in the primary health care system and the family physician plan.

272.4. Increasing the number of drug abuse treatment centers from 294 to 1,100, the number of drop-in centers (DIC) from 12 to 71 centers, the number of mobile help teams from 20 to 118, the number of agonist units from 110 to 1,000, and the coverage of methadone maintenance treatment from 78,000 people in 2005 to 92,000 people in 2008; distribution of free syringes, condoms and injection tools.

272.5. Execution of the plan for “the regulation of homeless injection addicts” in 2007 in coordination with the anti-drug headquarters and the participation of the police in seven provinces. Also, within the framework of this plan, screening and residence treatment of homeless addict services were provided by medical schools at seven provincial centers: under the plan, 13,221 and 2,145 patients received screening and treatment services respectively at compulsory treatment residence centers.

272.6. To prevent drug abuse, important measures have been taken which include: production and distribution of educational materials including booklets, CDs, posters, pamphlets, etc., launching an extensive public awareness campaign on the dire consequences of drug abuse, execution of drug abuse prevention programs in the dormitories of medical universities since 2005 covering 11,000 students to date, formulation of “the strategic plan for the prevention of drug abuse”, compilation of an operational program together with the educational materials for the prevention of drug abuse for target groups among school and university students, workers, war disabled and soldiers.

Enhancement of disaster and medical emergencies management

273. These include:

273.1. With the development of the country’s emergency network, some 931 urban and road emergency units were established, raising the number of such units from 683 in 2005 to 1,630 in 2008 showing a surge of 240%. Also, the time for the arrival of ambulances at the accident scene has decreased by 7, 10 and 13 minutes respectively in small cities, big cities and on roads.

273.2. Since 2005, some 1,835 new ambulances have joined the emergency service system, 750 of which were purchased only in 2008 raising the number of the ambulances of 115 emergency service units to 2,880, posting a rise of 270%.

273.3. The number of cities under the coverage of “air relief” has risen to 11 and the number of cities under the coverage of “sea relief” and “coastal relief” to 42 bases.

273.4. In line with the execution of the integrated universal emergency service education, the following measures have been taken: provision of first aid training to 15,000 people from different groups of society, education of first aid kit and resuscitation rules to 10,000 people including city taxi and bus drivers, holding 12 training workshops on the physical and mental health of the applicants for driving license examinations for police examiners, provision of preliminary and on the-job training courses for the staff of disaster management and medical emergency centers, education of the relief police, launching of MPH training courses with concentration on disasters and accidents, holding the first national Olympiad of medical emergency technicians, etc.

273.5. Launching “Emergency Operation Center (EOC)”, in 2005, formed as the steering and coordinating core of all activities relating to health care and treatment in emergencies, management of the employment of human resources and operational equipment of the health sector at sector and inter-sector levels in sensitive and critical conditions, and integrated management of rapid warning and reaction operations during crises such as the Lorestan earthquake, the Gunu hurricane and flood in the south-east of the country, the Kashan flood and the Sistan and Baluchestan epidemic.

273.6. Development of a triage system in the emergency sections of hospitals by 25%, completion of the databank on referrals to the emergency sections of hospitals by 70% and the reforming of the petition system of the emergency section of hospitals by 25%.

273.7. Development of the program for the prevention of disasters and accidents and the improvement of safety based on the model of safe society in preliminary health care (PHC), enhancement of accident care system, development and promotion of epidemiologic research on the priorities and causes of accidents, raising the awareness and participation of the political/social authorities of the country, in accident management, boosting the awareness and skills of the personnel of the health care system on control and prevention of accidents and promotion of intra-and-inter-sector cooperation in prevention of disasters etc.

Production of medical equipment

274. These include:

274.1. During 2005–2009, production of medical equipment saw a remarkable growth, raising the number of medical equipment production plants in the country from 350 to 450 registering a growth rate of 28%. Also, the number of items produced during this period rose from 450 to 550. Besides, over 85% of disposable medical accessories of lab kits, dentistry instruments and a large amount of medical equipment of very high quality are produced inside the country.

274.2. The volume of export medical items registered a two-fold growth to increase from 4.27 million dollars to 8.53 million dollars. Also, the production of different domestic diagnosis products has risen twofold to reach 600 items, raising the export of such products to 6,000,000 dollars at a growth rate of 62%.

274.3. Issuance of ID certificates for medical equipment companies and registration of international firms and companies: at present, 2,216 medical equipment companies are operating in the country, representing over 5,500 international companies based on the rules of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education.

274.4. During this period, quality control methods changed in line with the latest global standards and special attention was paid to the standards of the production and promotion of the quality and control of medical equipment to the point that, during the past year alone, 120 out of 550 of the items produced managed to meet the standards of the European union.

274.5. Regulating medical equipment exhibitions with emphasis on the provision of after-sale services, systematizing the services and the rating of medical equipment companies, monitoring and evaluation of the medical equipment production process and investigation of 4,000 complaints, inspection and regulation of the import, supply and distribution of medical equipment through the formulation of the related rules.

Supply of medicine and promotion of food safety

Supply of medicine

275. This includes:

275.1. The Islamic Republic of Iran has been quite successful in the production of a major part of its drug needs. Production of an anti-AIDS drug (IMOD), the drug for foot sores resulting from diabetes (Angipars) and Deferasirox for treatment of anemia in thalalessimia patients for the first time in the world were among such achievements. Also, advanced drugs for the treatment of multiple sclerosis patients (Interferon Beta) thalassemia patients (Deferasirox), cancer and hepatitis C (Pegylated Interferon, Interferon gamma, Erythropoietin Beta) produced in Iran entered the market. Besides, diagnosis kits for HIV, HCV, HBS, HTLV-I, II were produced for the first time in the country.

275.2. During the past four years, seven plants for the production of raw materials for pharmaceuticals went into operation, increasing the domestic production of pharmaceutical raw materials by 70%. This raised the number of pharmaceutical products to 2,416, posting a 260% growth as compared to 2005. In addition, at present, the number of domestically produced natural drugs has risen to 386, showing a 280% growth as compared to 2005. The number of pharmaceutical plants operating in the country has reached over 45.

275.3. At present, over 95% of the drug needs of the county are produced domestically. This is especially significant in view of the fact that we have been facing numerous problems in the supply of drugs and their raw materials from abroad. Last year, pharmaceutical shortage in the country registered a remarkable decline as compared to the previous year. Also, the export of pharmaceutical products during this period has reached over 250 million dollars. Furthermore, the ratio of domestically produced pharmaceutical raw materials to imported ones surged from 17% in 2005 to 21% in 2008.

275.4. The number of drug production units using biotechnology has reached 15 and the number of domestically produced biotechnological drugs has risen to 9 items, from 2 items in 2005.

275.5. As to the extent of public access to pharmacies, during this period, some 1554 new pharmacies were established across the country meeting the projected target of the Government, raising the number of operating pharmacies to 8,884 in 2008.

275.6. Drug and toxin information centers are responsible for providing the information needed by patients, physicians and pharmacologists through the drug distribution network; such information includes the side effects of drugs and the ways of controlling drug poisoning. During this period, 15 new centers were launched, raising the number of such information centers to 35 in the country.

Promotion of food safety

276. During this period, measures were taken to reduce the ratio of solid oil to the whole vegetable oil produced in the country from 85% in 2005 to less than 50% in 2005, decreasing Tran isomer in solid oil from around 30% in 2005 to less than 8% in 2008.

Medical education

Quantitative development of medical education

277. This includes:

277.1. In the medical education section, the quantitative and qualitative development of education has received special attention. During the past four years, licenses were issued for the establishment of some medical schools and faculties. Parallel to that, 23 new disciplines at specialized PhD and MS levels were established which included 17 specialized PhD and 6 MS Disciplines, raising the number of the disciplines at the said two levels from 205 in 2005 to 525 in 2008, posting a surge of 260%. Also, the number of students admitted at these levels registered growths of respectively 220% and 60%.

277.2. To meet the needs for specialized and sub-specialized doctors in medical fields was also increased; the capacity for admission of assistants at the said two levels rose respectively by 45% and 50%; admission to fellowship courses too registered a 62% rise during this period. This has raised the admission rate of sub-specialized assistant courses from 25% to 47%. The capacity for admission to professional doctorate courses and also specialized pharmacology rose from respectively 2,700 and 72 in 2005 to over 3,600 and 193 in 2008.

277.3. With the delegation of authorization for the issuance of licenses for continuous medical education programs to medical universities of the country, such programs have registered a remarkable growth to the point that the number of these programs have doubled during this period to reach 5,500 in 2008 from 2,740 in 2005.

277.4. To slow down the trend of emigration of Iranian students abroad and also in order to enhance exchanges and interactions with other countries in the field of medical education, 12 medical universities have established international branches; at present, some 1,592 students are studying in these branches.

277.5. To attend to the special needs gifted students (brilliant talents), a “Guidance Council for Brilliant Students” was established at the head office and also the branches of this office in 42 universities in 2007, which began to provide services to the interested students. The number of gifted students receiving services from this office has now reached 7,750.

Qualitative development of medical education

278. This includes:

278.1. Parallel to its quantitative development, the quality of medical education, too, has received considerable attention.

278.2. During this period, plans for admission of local students for certain disciplines, admission of students with high grades for higher levels of education without the need to attend entrance exams, launching teleconference and telemedicine courses in medical universities and also long-distance virtual education of medical sciences have been executed. Also, units for quality management have been established in medical universities.

278.3. To promote the quality of medical education and medical research activities, the “digital library for medical sciences” with advanced facilities and applications was launched in 2007. This library has enabled equal access to over 5,000 accredited medical journals and millions of medical articles and treaties.

278.4. Establishment of the “medical education evaluation center”, the “center for the affairs of boards of faculties”, the foundation and operation of the “permanent secretariat of Shahid Motahhari festival”, reforming general medical education programs, introduction of “advisor professor plan” for students from families of war martyrs and war veterans, the “plan for the admission of local students in certain disciplines” and scores of other measures taken to improve the quality of medical education during the past four years.

278.5. Formulation of the rules of procedure for admission of extra specialized PhD students, approval of the directives for the long-distance education of medical sciences at MS levels, admission of medical students with B.S. degrees to general medical doctorate courses.

278.6. Formulation of the by-law on the promotion of the members of faculty, the by-law on recruitment and employment of members of faculty, inclusion of the points gained on scientific discoveries and inventions by members of faculty in their promotion, formulation of the by-law on granting scholarship for foreign universities, the by-law on granting educational facilities to the members of the families of war martyrs, war-disabled and veterans, the by-law on gifted students (brilliant talents), the executive directives relating to the by-law on the admission of students with high grades to higher levels of education without the need to pass the entrance exam.

278.7. Formation of the “committee for registration of educational initiatives and innovations”, the “council supporting general practitioners council in its functions”, formulation of the by-law on the “implementation of the basic standards of the education of general practitioners courses, and delegation of the authority for the issuance of the degrees of graduates with special commitments to the related medical universities.

Research and technology

Development of medical research

279. This includes:

279.1. Parallel to the promotion of the quality of medical education, some activities were carried out in the medical research and technology sector as well. During this period, the number of medical research centers has doubled and reached 220. Also, the number of medical research networks has increased to 40, growing by 40%. The number of medical databanks, too, rose to 42 in 2008 from 30 in 2005.

279.2. Medical journals posted a 74% growth to increase from 4,672 articles in 2005 to 8,110 in 2008. Also, the number of medical research projects approved during this period rose to 6,816, showing a 22.5% surge. The number of clinical research centers, too, increased from 19 to 23 during this period.

279.3. With the recruitment of 1,020 new members of board of faculty and 1,800 researchers, the numbers of boards of faculty and researchers of medical universities reached 11,325 and 11,000 respectively. The number of medical scientific research journals, too, registered a 38% growth, rising from 103 in 2005 to 142 in 2008.

279.4. Medical research activities have improved Iran’s rating in production of medical research articles from 31 to 23 by producing eight articles. Also, based on the results of the evaluation of the research activities of medical universities, the number of Iranian articles indexed in accredited international journals has doubled to reach 7,157 in 2008.

279.5. Execution of the program for the establishment of the national research system, launching information network, execution of the plan for the evaluation of medical journals of the country, designing and development of the software for sharing library sources, launching the national bio-medicine and health system.

Information technology and statistics in medicine

280. This includes:

280.1. In 2006, a new executive approach was adopted in view of the needs of the country resulting in the formation of the center for the management of information technology and statistics in 2007 and the establishment of the “electronic health file” on a tentative basis in the same year. Over 200,000 new health files have been formed electronically in this program.

280.2. Formulation and approval of Iran’s Electronic Health System in the Council of Ministers, activation of the technical committee monitoring ISO 215 Iran’s Health computerized System, definition of standards for information systems of health-care and treatment centers across the country, making the required arrangements for the development of standard software for electronic health system, connection of 50 hospitals to Iran’s Electronic Health System and Iran’s health intelligent cards.

280.3. Development of the preliminary arrangements for the launching of electronic health research centers, completion of the health information technology section in the integrated scientific map of the country, introduction of the medical informatics discipline into universities of the country and the development of fundamental and developmental research activities in the field of electronic health.

280.4. Development of the RFP for studying the processes and regulating the integrated health information and statistics system, development of the arrangements for launching GIS in the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, regular collection of statistics from the health-care and treatment centers of the country, gathering information related to different diseases, designing the sketch of health statistics portal and publication of 15 statistical journals.

Cultural and student services

Development of cultural and student services

281. These include:

281.1. During this period (2005–2008), 30,000 square meters of dormitories with a capacity of 8,000 people were built for medical students, raising the number of medical universities’ dormitories to 328 with a capacity equivalent to 48,000 people showing a growth of 30% as compared to 2005.

281.2. Construction of over 34 sports facilities, 5 swimming pools and over 17 football fields, raising the per capita sports apace for students by 150%, development and equipment of concentrated sports centers in the medical universities of the country to develop and expand different sports fields; so far, three student sports Olympiads have been held in the country.

281.3. To improve the social and mental conditions of students, 85 psychological counseling service centers, 45 student counseling centers and eight telephone counseling lines have been launched in medical universities and also 280 student counseling workshops and seminars have been held during this period. Also, with the recruitment of 67 counseling experts, the quality of the services of student counseling centers has been promoted.

281.4. To expand cultural activities in the medical universities of the country, different programs have been executed including: cultural festivals, selection of model students (four years), formulation of the code of dressing for students, arranging book competitions and reforming and revising the activities of student cultural centers, etc.

281.5. Supporting student organizations and publications raising the number of journals of medical universities and the number of medical student organizations respectively to 125 and 471.

281.6. To develop and promote the Quranic culture in medical universities, activities such as the establishment of Quran research center, Quranic competitions festival, Quran skills training courses, etc. have been carried out, 58 mosques and student prayer rooms have been built and the annual capacity for the dispatch of students for the Hajj pilgrimage (Holy Mecca) has risen to 3,000 students, increasing by 200%.

Student welfare facilities

282. These include:

282.1. During the past four years (2005–2008), a total of 682 billion rials have been granted as loans to medical students, amounting to 170 billion rials, on average, for each year, rising by 68% from 121 billion rials in 2005 to 203 billion rials in 2008.

282.2. Granting tuition loans to students who pay tuitions (since 2005), goods purchase loans (since 2006), gifted students’ loans (since 2005) and assisting in the repair and maintenance of endowed student dormitories.

282.3. Mechanization of the system of facilities disbursement, administration of dormitories and repayment of debts on-line and also provision of the related information through the electronic network, brochure, etc.

282.4. Reception of 100% of the credits allocated for student facilities, the credit allocated for possession of capital assets, and also 100% of the special credits provided for each year along with the related directives for their execution and good performance.

Policy making and resource management

Policy making and inter-sector cooperation

283. These include:

283.1. Establishment and operation of the secretariat of the “health system policy making and reform council” which is intended to make the necessary coordination and assist in the formulation, execution, monitoring and evaluation of the general policies and programs aimed at developing the health system.

283.2. Implementation of the “health system reform project” aimed at creating a series of targeted changes for the improvement of the efficiency of the system, promotion of justice in public access to health care and treatment services, protection of people against the financial risks of diseases, provision of stable financial support and reforming the payment system.

283.3. Implementation of the “health system research and evaluation project” with a view to exploring the challenges and opportunities facing the health system of the country, analytical evaluation of polices and programs in order to develop a range of policy options and formulate executive short- and mid-term programs for the attainment of the objectives of the health sector and approaching the prospect of the 20-year vision of the country; the outputs of this project will be used to develop the framework of future research and capacity-building activities.

283.4. Formulation and implementation of joint two-year programs between the Islamic Republic of Iran and WHO in 2008 and 2009 for joint technical activities.

283.5. Launching the “center for documentation and strategic information of the health system” which is responsible for collection, classification, protection and publication of documents and information.

283.6. Holding and managing regular meetings of the chancellors of the medical universities and the heads of their affiliated institutions to decide national policies and plans and to foster inter- and trans-sector coordination and cooperation at the central and provincial levels.

Table comparing the performance of the health and treatment sector in 2005 and 2009

Area
Indicator
Unit
Sept. 2005
July 2009
Growth rate
Health
Health house
Number
16 940
17 370
430
Urban and rural health-treatment center
Number
4 560
5 100
540
Physician of family physician plan
Person
1 350
5 922
4.4
Midwives of family physician plan
Person
200
4 823
24
Patients visited in family physician plan
Million person
6
22
3.6
Mother mortality rate due to pregnancy and delivery complications
Per 100,000 live births
27
22
-
Infant mortality rate
Per 1,000 live births
14.46

-
Mortality rate of infant under the age of 1
Per 1,000 live births
20.84

-
Mortality rate of children under the
age of 5
Per 1,000 live births
26

-
Population under mental health program
%
40
60
20
Access of urban and rural population to primary health care
%
92
94
2
Sanitary garbage collection and disposal in rural families
%
44.9
66/7
16.6
Safe collection and disposal of hospital refuses
%
60.7
77
16.3
Screening of inborn thyroid deficiency
%
11
92
8.3
Drop in center
Number
12
74
6.2
Outreach mobile team
Number
20
125
6.2
Drug abuse treatment center
Number
294
1 100
3.7
Methadone maintenance treatment
Person
4 100
16 500
4
Agonist units
Number
110
1 000
9
People under the coverage of anti-retro virus care and treatment standards
%
77.8
87
9.2
Rate of prevalence of HIV among injection addicts in prison watch
%
3.24
1.75

People under HIV drugs
Person
156
302
94
Rate of incidents of leprosy
Per 100,000 people
0.11
0.05
-
Rate of prevalence of leprosy
Per 100,00 people
0.02
0.008
-
Treatment
Operating hospitals
Number
809
856
47
Total number of beds
1 000
97.6
110.6
13

Urban and road ambulance bases
Number
683
1 630
240%

Time of arrival of ambulance at the scene (city)
Minute
10
8
Two minutes improvement

Time of arrival of ambulance at the scene (road)
Minute
25
13
12 minutes improvement

Pre-hospital emergency service in traffic accidents
%
14.8%
52.2%
37.4%

Ambulances
Number
1 045
2 880
270%

Producers of medical equipment
Company
350
450
100

Producers of medical equipment products
Item
450
550
100

Export of medical equipment
Million dollars
4.27
8.53
200%

Medical lab
Number
4 233
4 677
444
Drugs
Production of pharmaceutical items
Item
906
2 416
260%

Number of pharmacies
Number
7 330
8 884
1 554

Production of natural drugs (medical)
Item
134
386
280%

Production of biotechnological drug
Item
2
9
450%

Production of raw materials of drug
Item
88
133
150%

Drug raw material production plants
Number
37
44
7

Drugs and toxins information centers
Number
17
35
200%

Sale of domestic drugs
Billion rials
8 337
14 744
4%

Export of drugs
Million dollars
47.6
61.3
29%
Education
Total number of students at different levels
1,000 people
21
26.2
24%

Capacity for the admission of professional students
Person
2 725
4 661
71%

Admission of PhD students (specialized)
Person
192
427
220%

Admission of specialized assistants
Person
1 453
1 803
24%

Admission of fellowship students
Person
115
187
62%

Admission of students at M.S level
Person
817
1 309
60%

Number of continuous training courses
Number
4 217
5 503
1 286

Number of new and revised educational programs
Number
13
67
510%

Cases of transfer of Iranian students from foreign to local universities
Number
94
163
170%

Number of specialized PhD courses
Number
24
39
62.5%
Medical research
Continuous medical training courses
Number
2 737
5 502
200%
Electronic libraries of medical universities
Number
23
42
180%

Medical research centers
Number
115
220
190%

Medical articles (in medical journals)
Number
4 672
8 110
170%

Research projects
Number
5 564
6 816
225%

Members of boards of medical faculties
Number
10 305
11 325
1 020

Researchers of medical universities
Number
9 209
11 000
1 791

Medical articles in Medline and Scopus
Number
5 883
6 841
16%

Medical research network
Number
8
11
3

Share of research of GDP
%
0.1
0.9
900%

Number of medical students at MS level and above
Person
36 430
40 139
3 709

Accredited scientific and research journals
Copy
103
142
38%

Registration of patients in medical fields
Case
4
209
5 200%

Iran’s rating in article production
31
23
8 rating improvement

Student loan
Billion rials
121
203
68%
Student and cultural affairs
Student dormitory capacity
1,000 people
40
48
8 000
Student
Number
595
653
58
Per capita open air sports space
Square meters
0.8
1.2
150%

Per capita covered sports space
Square meters
0.57
0.7
120%

Share of Haj pilgrimage for medical students
Person
1 400
3 000
210%

Specialized experts of student counseling centers
Person
149
216
140%

Students counseling workshop or seminar
Number
502
780
56%

Share of health and treatment of GDP
%
6.5
7
0.5%
Resource and management development
Office automation at the center
%
50
90
180%
Job training for managers
Man/hour
50
170
340%
Productivity rate
%
50

Ambulances purchased each year
Number
450
750
60%

Number of operating treatment institutions by their legal status and number of beds

Year province
Total
Affiliated to Ministry of Health
Private
Others
Institute
Beds
Institute
Bed
Institute
Bed
Institute
Beds
1991
639
85 810
454
64 024
118
9 038
67
12 748
1996
685
98 549
479
72 089
113
9 550
93
16 910
2001
717
109 152
479
76 167
119
11 191
119
21 794
2003
733
111 552
490
77 116
120
11 305
123
22 471
2004
738
112 590
493
18 591
123
12 051
122
21 948
2005
750
113 244
495
18 133
128
12 242
127
22 269
2006
773
116 474
505
19 772
128
12 594
140
24 108
2007
799
119 902
528
81 814
130
12 794
141
25 294

Physicians and doctors employed by the Ministry of Health (type of specialty)

Year province
Total
General physicians
Dentist
Veterinarian
Pharmacist
Specialized doctors
Total
Internal
Coronary heart
1991
17 453
8 754
1 541
99
1 064
5 995
528
170
1996
(4)19 585
9 057
1 748
22
1 179
1 179
801
188
2001
21 175
8 568
1 945
527
1 069
1 069
1 029
372
2002
212 496
8 693
1 911
527
1 083
1 083
933
390
2003
22 753
9 814
2 122
70
1 084
1 084
840
433
2004
24 661
10 705
2 279
65
1 107
1 107
852
475
2005
26 564
11 361
2 517
74
1 246
1 249
941
512
2006
29 937
13 485
2 786
81
1 327
1 327
1 102
604

Health care and treatment indicators (2005)

Indicator
Year
Unit
Number
% change
Pharmacy
2005
Number
6 679
4/7
Medical lab
2005
Number
4 212
2/1
X-ray clinics
2005
Number
2 119
3/6
Number of operating treatment centers(1)
(Hospital, hospital-maternity clinic, maternity clinic)
2005
Number
750
1.6
Number of active hospital beds(1)
2005
Number
93 002
2.1
Number of fixed hospital beds(1)
2005
Number
113 244
0.6
Ratio of occupation of active beds(2)
2004
%
64.4
0.3
Ratio of occupation of fixed beds(2)
2004
%
49.6
0.2
Ratio of active beds to population(1)
2005
1,000 persons
1.36
0.7
Ratio of fixed beds to population(1)
2005
1,000 persons
1.65
-1.2
Ratio of population to physician employed by the Ministry of Health
2005
Persons
3 214
-2.1
Number of identified HIV+ and AIDS cases(3)
2005
Persons
13 040
... (4)
Ratio of measles vaccination coverage for infants under the age of 1(3)
2005
%
94
-2.1
AIDS, HIV+ cases(5)
Tuberculosis incidents
2005
100,000 persons
14.4
-11.2(6)

(1) Excluding military and Revolutionary Guard units.

(2) In hospitals covered by the Ministry of Health.

(3) Figures belong to the end of the year.

(4) Percentage of change has not been calculated by the related authority.

(5) Not yet received by the time of the publication of the report.

(6) Percentage of change calculated on the basis of the information gathered in 2003.

Indicators of health care and treatment in 2007

Indicator
Year
Unit
Number
% change
Ratio of population to physician employed by Ministry of Health
2006
Person
2 829
-12.0
Active treatment institutions (hospital, maternity clinic)(1)
2007
Number
799
3.6
Operating rural health houses
2007
Number
17 151
0.1
Pharmacies
2007
Number
7 601
3.3
Medical labs
2007
Number
4 551
3.1
X-ray units(1)
2007
Number
2 292
2.9
Active hospital beds(2)
Fixed hospital beds(1)
2007
Number
119 902
3.3
Ratio of active beds to population(1)
2006
Per 1,000 people
1/4
2/6
Ratio of active beds to population(1)
2007
Per 1,000 people
1/7
0/0
Number of HIV + and AIDS cases
2008
Person
21 310
...
Tuberculosis incidents
2009
100/000 person
13/6
...

Source: Ministry of Health and Medical Education.

(1) Excluding military and Revolutionary Guard units.

(2) Information not received by the time of the publication of the report.

Mental health and provision of support for certain social groups including the disabled, aged people, women and children

284. These include:

284.1. To realize the provisions of articles 3, 21 and 29 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran on elimination of discrimination and provision of equal possibilities, material and intellectual, for all and also development of a sound and just economy based on Islamic criteria for creation of welfare, alleviation of poverty and elimination of any deprivation in housing, nutrition, employment and health sectors, extension of insurance and enjoyment of social security at times of retirement, old age, unemployment, disability and loss of guardian, provision of social support and services with the preservation of human dignity and values based on public participation and close collaboration of the related organizations in the development and expansion of rehabilitation and empowerment services, prevention of disabilities and social harms and assistance in the provision of the minimum essential needs for low income groups of the society, the State Welfare Organization was established in May 1980.

284.2. To achieve the said objectives, the State Welfare Organization provides specialized services in the following fields: social and cultural activities, rehabilitation, prevention of social harms and disabilities, entrepreneurship and employment, and development of rural welfare service network.

Social sector

285. The main purpose of this sector is to support and safeguard human dignity and values and ensure the socio-economic and cultural development of people and families who have been deprived of progress and development for one reason or another, and their personal, family and social lives have been somehow disrupted.

Missions and duties

286. They include:

286.1. To assist in the provision of the rental housing deposit for women breadwinners of families, payment of loans to help seekers and institutions for provision of housing.

286.2. To develop social service clinics and regulate charity institutions.

286.3. To help empower women breadwinners of families in the form of self-help groups and provide social services to families under the coverage of this organization.

286.4. To develop the program of “child care in the family” through non-governmental organizations.

286.5. To provide social insurance for housewives and pay the share of the employer’s insurance premium for women breadwinners of families and self-employed woman.

286.6. To establish houses for women seeking shelter (temporary settlement centers).

286.7. To help improve the nutrition of pregnant women and children of pre-school age under the coverage of free milk powder program for suckling infants of poor families.

286.8. To help improve the education and pay the tuitions of school and university students under the coverage of the organization and promote pre-school education.

286.9. To provide rehabilitation and job skills training facilities for poor families.

286.10. To survey and research the causes of social harms and aberrations and compile analytical reports on the reduction or rise of social aberrations.

286.11. To establish centers for intervention in individual, family and social crises.

286.12. To establish centers for identification and placement of street children.

286.13. To introduce a social emergency telephone line (123) to support people at risk of or suffering from social harms who are in need of immediate support, with priority given to children.

286.14. To protect the rights of children.

286.15. To develop the quantity and quality of cultural and educational services provided to children in all regions particularly in deprived areas and on the margins of cities.

286.16. To formulate and implement educational directives for the principals and trainers of nurseries.

286.17. To build the necessary facilities for children’s and young adults’ access to learning, teaching, cultural and educational services.

286.18. To promote the abilities and skills of children and young adults.

286.19. To provide round-the-clock care for children who have been deprived of an effective or competent guardian for one reason or another on a temporary or permanent basis.

286.20. To work with domestic and international non-governmental organizations dealing with activities related to children and young adults such as the “society for development and collaboration of nurseries”.

286.21. To implement insurance schemes to ensure the future of children under the coverage of the organization.

286.22. To identify and support orphans within the family in order to provide the necessary facilities for the development of their potentials and talents and promotion of the spirit of self-reliance in them.

286.23. To establish educational houses with an appropriate environment and a team of experienced experts to help children suffering from mental/emotional problems.

286.24. To execute the child-adoption program (the law for supporting children without guardians).

286.25. To establish centers for supporting people with gender identity problems in order to help them emotionally, socially and psychologically.

286.26. To build centers of health as guesthouses for street labor children (child shelters).

286.27. To rehabilitate women affected by social harms with a view to help them socially and mentally and ensure their safe reintegration into society.

The following bodies are responsible for following up the fulfillment of the said missions and duties

Office for family and women’s affairs

287. The purpose of the office for family and women’s affairs of the State Welfare Organization is to provide support and enabling services to people and groups that are deprived of a normal life for economic, social, educational or cultural reasons and are living in critical conditions and also to families suffering from social or family crises. The target groups under the coverage of this office are as follows: poor people and families, self-employed women and girls, women breadwinners of families and their dependents, and also all families suffering from or at risk of family or social crises.

Anti-poverty plans and programs and family empowerment

288. These include:

288.1. Women’s houses (temporary settlement centers).

288.2. Improvement of poor pregnant women’s nutrition.

288.3. Boosting and expansion of non-governmental organizations and institutions dealing with the affairs of poor women.

288.4. Supporting poor students under the coverage of the organization.

288.5. Feeding suckling infants with free milk powder.

288.6. Improvement of children’s nutrition.

288.7. Distribution of subsidized flour among service receivers.

288.8. Provision of social supports such as pensions, stipends and case-based supports.

288.9. Social insurance for women breadwinners of families.

288.10. Self-help groups of women breadwinners of families.

Women empowerment in support of family foundation

289. These include:

289.1. Execution of the plan for the empowerment of poor families and women breadwinners of families with an aim to identify the potentials, talents, interests, technical/vocational skills as well as the concerns and problems of service-receiving families.

289.2. The plan for the “establishment of temporary settlement and provision of social support for women without shelters.

289.3. Provision of appropriate opportunities for the access of women breadwinners of families to technical and vocational training facilities, their acquisition of skills, employment and empowerment.

289.4. Execution of the program for “creation of self-help groups supporting women breadwinners of families” in order to facilitate their participation in the solution of their social and economic problems at the national level.

289.5. The plan for teaching life skills to the children of the under-coverage families who are on the verge of marriage in order to reduce the divorce rate, promote life quality and consolidate family foundation.

289.6. Implementation of the plan for the promotion of human development indicators among women breadwinners of families in some provinces of the country.

289.7. Regulation of non-governmental organizations at the provincial level in order to identify and attract the participation of NGOs in social activities.

289.8. The program for the improvement of the nutrition of the under-coverage families to facilitate their access to appropriate nutrition in cooperation with governmental organizations.

289.9. Provision of medical insurance for service receivers from the State Welfare Organization and also the appropriate conditions for them to benefit from the advantages of medical insurance.

289.10. The plan for the establishment and development of social service clinics in order to expand and promote the level of services provided to poor sections of the society.

289.11. The program for supporting the nutrition of poor pregnant women in order to promote the level of nutrition health of such women during pregnancy and prevent the birth of deficient infants.

289.12. The program for supporting people with gender identity problems in order to provide social supports as well as treatment, legal and educational services to them.

289.13. The plan for regulating the affairs of street children with a view to identifying and placing them and providing the basic life and educational facilities for them and ensure the materialization of their rights.

289.14. Execution of the plan for the establishment of the social emergency telephone line (123) in order to support children (against physical and sexual abuse, etc.) and prevent domestic violence.

289.15. Implementation of the plan for the establishment of the center for intervention in the family at critical times in order to reduce the divorce rate, to preserve and protect family foundation and to reduce social harms resulting from divorce in all the provinces of the country.

289.16. The plan for the establishment of health guest houses (street children shelters) in order to prevent social harms and the spread of infectious and contagious diseases among such children and ensure the materialization of their rights.

289.17. The plan for the establishment of centers for the rehabilitation of women affected by social harms in order to provide facilities for the mental and social rehabilitation of women and girls at risk of or affected by social harms and also to prevent the expansion of social harms.

289.18. Establishment of girls’ health houses in different provinces of the country in order to keep and support girls in need of social support who do not have ethical problems and do not need rehabilitation services.

289.19. Establishment of the social emergency (individual, family and social crisis) intervention center in order to provide urgent specialized services to people affected or at risk of social harms to prevent their further deviation.

Women empowerment plans

290. They include:

290.1. Implementation of the plan for the promotion of human development indicators among women breadwinners of families (urban and rural).

290.2. Supporting low-income and vulnerable groups in the society with a view to facilitating their adaptation to social conditions which can help materialize social development of the country.

290.3. The plan for the promotion of life quality which is in line with the sustainable human development of women breadwinners of families in order to improve the social indicators of the target population and facilitate their access to material and intellectual facilities, both for the present and future times, for having an independent social life and a longer life with good health; the plan was executed tentatively in five provinces in 2001 and was extended to 13 provinces in 2006.

290.4. The plan for teaching common life skills to the children of help-seeking families (urban and rural) on the verge of marriage; this plan is meant to consolidate family foundation, reduce the divorce rate and consequently reduce the number of families affected by this social harm. The target population receives training around three axes (life, mental and social) that is, life skills, desirable social relations, practicing common life and how to reach common understanding in order to use such mechanisms to reduce to a minimum the problems of common life; this plan was implemented in 10 provinces in 2001 and was extended to 20 provinces by the end of 2004.

290.5. The plan for the rehabilitation of families under the coverage of the State Welfare Organization with a view to reducing to a minimum the problems of women breadwinners of families; it is necessary to provide protective, educational, psychological and professional services to people who receive services from social service providers in order to materialize the potentials and reduce the problems of the target population by using the referral system; under this plan, continuous and case-based financial supports are provided to help-seeking families.

290.6. The plan for the establishment of women houses as temporary settlement centers to support women without shelters; this plan, intended to provide temporary settlement and social services to women without shelters and to prevent their deviation and also to deter violence against women by the family or the society, was executed in 14 provinces in 2001 and has been extended to 30 provinces; at present, 31 women houses are operating in different provinces of the country.

290.7. The “self-help group” program supporting women breadwinners of families has been implemented since 2000 for the empowerment and promotion of social participation of women. Women who are the members of self-help groups develop their skills in such groups and launch joint economic enterprises and financial funds under the group. The success of this plan is dependent on the social, economic and cultural empowerment of families. By the end of 2006, over 550 self-help groups were established across the country. At present, some 650 families have been empowered by self-help groups.

290.8. The plan for regulating non-governmental organizations, intended to facilitate the execution of the 3rd development plan and reduce the Government’s intervention in executive affairs, was executed.

290.9. The plan for supporting and rehabilitating girls and women affected by social harms; under this plan, some centers have been established to keep girls and women affected by social harms and provide social and psychological services, technical-vocational and cultural training to them in order to facilitate their return to a normal healthy life through their reintegration into the family, provision of education and employment and the possibility of earning a legitimate livelihood, getting married and forming a family and also the provision of the minimum economic needs and settlement of their problems.

290.10. The plan for the establishment of health houses as centers which give coverage to girls who are at risk of social harms and are without any social and family support and provides special services to facilitate their acquisition of social and economic independence and also supports them in meeting their minimum economic needs and prevention of social harms.

290.11. The plan for the establishment of the center for intervention in social crises (individual, family and social crises); these centers provide round-the-clock specialized social, psychological, legal and other services to people affected by or at risk of social harms and also to follow up such services in case of need.

290.12. The program for employment of women launched by the Office for Family and Women’s Affairs of the State Welfare Organization; this program has targeted women breadwinners of families and their family members. This program mostly aims to make the necessary arrangements for the employment as well as the productive and sustainable activities of the families under its coverage in order to preserve their human dignity and provide economic and social security as well as relative self-sufficiency for such families.

290.13. The plan for the social insurance of housewives; this plan aims to cover all housewives of the country with priority to be given to housewives who are breadwinners of their families and are under the coverage of the State Welfare Organization. This plan was executed tentatively in 2002 in cities such as Roudbar (Gilan Province), Yasuj (Kohgiluyeh & Buyer Ahmad province), Kashmar (Khorasan Province), Urumiyeh (West Azerbaijan province), Ardestan (Isfahan province) and Nowshahr (Mazandaran province) for some 2,917 people. Under this plan, housewives may refer to the organization to deposit 50,000 rials each (50,000 rials will also be deposited by the Government for each housewife) on a monthly basis for periods of five, ten or twenty years in order to take advantage of the insurance benefits of this plan in the form of pensions. This plan was executed in all the provinces of the country in the following years covering a population of 300,000 housewives by the end of 2006.

Children and young adults

Policies

291. These include:

291.1. Expansion of nursery services, particularly in less-developed areas, and alleviation of child poverty.

291.2. Paying attention to the needs of young adults and provision of the necessary conditions for their social participation by relying on the capabilities of local communities in deprived areas.

291.3. Improvement of the life quality, health and food security, poverty alleviation, provision of support for vulnerable groups and promotion of justice through the expansion of services in deprived areas particularly with regard to child-rearing skills and integrated growth and development of children.

291.4. Promotion of knowledge and awareness of parents in deprived areas with regard to child-rearing skills and integrated growth and development of children.

Plans for the development of children and young adults

292. They include:

292.1. The plan for the establishment and expansion of nurseries in deprived areas, on the margins of cities and in high-risk areas; to implement and attain the objectives of the 4th development plan, the State Welfare Organization has managed to provide the necessary conditions for the access of only 7% of children to learning-teaching opportunities in nurseries in deprived areas in spite of the extensive efforts launched to attract the participation of the private sector for that purpose. Also, it is to be noted that families living in deprived areas of the country account for a large part of the population who cannot use the services of nurseries due to the high costs of these institutions and in spite of their mother’s employment: these children are mostly left on their own in the streets exposed to numerous social harms. Thus, it is necessary for the Government to support the education of children under the age of 6 in order to create sufficient motivation not only for the participation of private and non-governmental organizations in the fulfillments of their duties but also to make some savings in the general budget of the country.

292.2. The plan for the provision of counseling services to children and young adults in nurseries: in view of the vulnerability of children and the necessity of preparing the ground for the realization of their talents, teams of psychologists and social workers are established in nurseries to contribute to the growth and development of children.

292.3. The plan for the regulation of cultural and educational services to children and young adults in deprived areas of big cities in cooperation with non-governmental organizations; creation of an appropriate cultural and educational environment is a social requirement and an inalienable right of children and young adults who are the human capital of the society and the provision of a healthy environment together with the necessary facilities contribute to their growth and development.

The measures taken by the Government for the attainment of the said objectives are as follows

293. These include:

293.1. The plan for the development of emotional intelligence of young adults.

293.2. The plan for the harmonization of educational curricula.

293.3. The plan for good parenthood; this plan, which is intended mostly to empower parents by raising their awareness about the integrated growth and development of children, has been formulated by the Office for the Affairs of Children and Young Adults.

293.4.

293.5. The plan for the regulation of the affairs of young children of women prisoners; in view of the physical structures of prisons, young children of women prisoners suffer irreparable damage, which requires the establishment of nurseries in order to support, care for and educate such children.

293.6. The plan for the oversight and evaluation of the activities of pre-school education centers.

293.7. The plan for the education of the principals and trainers of nurseries.

293.8. The plan for the development of educational aids in nurseries.

293.9. The plan for the development of social and cognitive skills of children under the age of 6 with addicted parents through the services of nurseries.

293.10. The plan for the reduction of the size and regulation of 24-hour governmental and non-governmental service centers; in 2006, the number of 24-hour governmental service centers was 150 and the number of children residing in the governmental service centers totaled 41,160. Also, the number of 24-hour non-governmental centers and the number of children residing in such centers reached 241 and 5,124 respectively during the same period.

Performance of the programs of the office for the affairs of children and young adults in 2005

Plan
Unit
Performance in 2006
Regulation of the cultural/educational services to children and young adults in deprived areas of big cities
Person
2 800
Assistance in the establishment and expansion of nurseries in deprived areas
Center
50
Regulation of counseling services to the children and family in nurseries
Person
9 500
Assistance in dental and oral health of children under the age of 6
Person
4 700
Empowerment of children and families
Person
78 000
Community-based empowerment of young adults in deprived areas
Person
10 000

Table comparing the performance of the office for the affairs of children and young adults in 2006

Plan
Unit
Performance
1
Regulation of cultural-educational services of children and young adults in deprived areas of big cities
Person
15 000
2
Assisting in the establishment and expansion of nurseries in deprived areas
Center
92
3
Regulation of counseling services to children and families in nurseries
Person
17 500
4
Assisting in the provision of dental and oral health for children under the age of 6
Person
172 400
5
Promotion of emotional intelligence
Person
4 000
6
Harmonization of educational curricula
Person
1 710
7
Community-based empowerment of young adults in deprived areas
Person
3 150
8
Advancement of high interests of children through integrated support for nurseries
Person
20 000
9
Improvement of nutrition of children under the age of 6 in rural nurseries
Person
6 855

Table comparing the performance of the plans for children and young adults in 2006 by percentage

Plan
Quantitative object growth
Credit growth by %
1
Regulation of cultural services of children and young adults in deprived areas of big cities
535/71
214/29
2
Assisting in the establishment and expansion of nurseries in deprived areas
184
230
3
Regulation of counseling services to children and families in nurseries
184/2
184/2
4
Assisting in dental and oral health of children under the age of 6
366/80
183/40

Table of the performance of programs for children and young adults in 2005 and 2006

Indicator
Unit
2005
2006
1
Number of private nurseries
Urban
Service center
4 866
5 336
Rural
4 017
4 236
2
Number of public nurseries
Urban
Service center
172
170
Rural
956
905
3
Number of self sufficient nurseries
Service center
397
391
4
Number of children covered by public nurseries
Urban
Person
312 597
261 574
Rural
81 943
102 017
5
Number of children covered by public nurseries
Urban
Person
12 563
8 562
Rural
31 914
27 148
6
Number of children covered by self-sufficient nurseries
Person
28 514
23 727

Quasi-Family

294. The office for Quasi-Family Affairs was established, on the basis of the law, and in line with the objectives of Articles 21 and 29 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the integration of welfare policies to promote social justice and support all citizens of the country against social, economic and natural disasters with an aim to plan and formulate, coordinate, supervise, and evaluate social service norms and standards and expand the coverage of welfare programs particularly for the protection and promotion of the rights of children without guardians.

Mission of the Office for Quasi-Family Affairs

295. The mission of the office is to provide round-the-clock care for children who are deprived, for one reason or another, on a temporary or permanent basis, of effective competent guardians.

Target community

296. Children without guardians and parentless children including abandoned children whose parents are not known, children whose guardianship has been entrusted to the State Welfare Organization due to the death of a parent, children whose parents have been ruled by the court to be incompetent to care for them, children whose guardianship has been entrusted to their mothers who cannot care for them due to remarriage and children whose parents (legal guardians) are in prison.

Plans of the Office for Quasi-Family Affairs

297. These include:

297.1. The integrated plan for supporting and caring for children within the family.

297.2. The plan for provision of social support for children.

297.3. Assisting in the maintenance of children without guardians by the substitute family.

297.4. Assisting in the maintenance of children without guardians by non-governmental institutions.

297.5. Assisting in the development and expansion of non-governmental institutions in deprived areas.

297.6. Establishment of houses for preparing children who are on the verge of being discharged from care centers.

297.7. Provision of social support for discharged children.

297.8. Provision of social support for children under the coverage of the State Welfare Organization who are engaged in academic education.

297.9. Supporting the development of the talents of gifted children without guardians.

297.10. Provision of education services to children and young adults with emotional and behavioral problems in educational institutions.

297.11. Supporting the rehabilitation of discharged children who are on the verge of marriage.

297.12. Promotion of job security for non-governmental employees.

297.13. Assisting in the establishment of non-governmental children and young adults’ houses.

297.14. Expansion and promotion of social services to children under care within the family by non-governmental organizations.

297.15. Opening of future bank accounts for children without guardians who are under the coverage of the State Welfare Organization.

297.16. Training of the principals and trainers of non-governmental houses for children without guardians.

297.17. Training of child-adopting families.

Quasi-Family program

298. It includes:

298.1. This program has provided for the care of one to three children within the competent families of the volunteer relatives (other than the relatives who are related to children by blood or marriage) and also the oversight of their living conditions by the State Welfare Organization. The Quasi-Family program is one of the major forms of supporting children without guardians. The purpose of this program is to prevent the long stay of children in 24-hour care centers, boost the patterns of care for children within the family, advance and continue deinstitutionalization in provision of 24-hour care services and oversight of the living conditions of children within competent families; this program is now in force in all provinces of the country.

298.2. The plan for supporting disabled children without guardians; this plan is intended to eliminate discrimination against disabled children without guardians. The general purpose of this plan is to realize the following: provision of equal opportunities, deinstitutionalization, and integration of support services for disabled children without guardians. Based on the existing statistics, at present, some 533 disabled children are under care along with other children without guardians in 24-hour care centers in 30 provinces of the county based on the existing standards for provision of rehabilitation services.

298.3. Use of non-camp methods in national plans which is meant to separate and rationalize different sectors.

298.4. The plan for the regulation of the affairs of children of prisoners: based on the formal statistics, at present, over 600 children are living with their mothers in prisons. According to the same statistics, girls outnumber boys and children under the age of 2 account for a considerable number of the children of prisoners. In view of these problems, development of an appropriate program for the exit of these children from the environment of prisons and regulation of their lives and their relations with their mothers seems indispensable. The general purpose of this plan is to formulate appropriate executive policies and phased programs which are easy to evaluate in order to support the rights of these children irrespective of their race, nationality, ethnicity, etc. in an integrated manner.

298.5. The plan for the regulation of the affairs of children without guardians of foreign refugees; Iran is host to a considerable number of children belonging to foreign refugees and also many children born to Iranian mothers who are at risk for lack of competent guardians. The arrangements for the execution of this plan were made during negotiations with officials in charge of foreign nationals in 1999.

298.6. Volunteer guardian plan: this plan is intended to attract public participation in different forms including financial, social, etc. in the promotion of the quality of services provided by the State Welfare Organization through the defined channel of charitable help of benefactors to children who are under care in 24-hour care centers or live with their families or their relatives.

298.7. The plan for the introduction of a relief telephone line (direct line); children without guardians who are under care in 24-hour care centers are more at risk due to their improper living conditions and the possibility of being abused; abuse means any violation of the rights of children including physical, mental, emotional and social mistreatment of children or ignoring their essential needs. Since the introduction of this relief telephone line, over 500 cases of telephone contacts by children under care in children’s and young adults’ houses or by children who live with their families or by others who have been somehow dealing with children have been registered; this plan is being executed in Iran with the cooperation of UNICEF.

298.8. The plan for the creation of self-help centers for children discharged from care centers; this plan is intended to prepare the ground for the participation of such children in the solution of their own social and economic problems and their empowerment and also for the material and intellectual empowerment of the target community.

298.9. The plan for the establishment of a counseling service center for discharged children; young adults who spend their childhood years in care centers are more vulnerable to the problems and pressures of life, which might put their lives at risk and cause them to suffer emotional and social problems. In view of these problems and in order to improve the mental health of such young adults and to prevent harms such as addiction, suicide and criminal behavior among them, it is necessary for them to develop the required abilities and skills to solve their problems.

298.10. The plan for the education of life skills: familiarity with life skills helps young adults to develop the skills needed to successfully manage the teenage period and enter adult life. By participating in such life-skill training courses, children will learn how to deal with their problems and attain their wishes and goals. Such courses also create a constructive relationship between the wishes and the needs of young adults such as their education, and the profession they choose in the future.

298.11. The plan for the regulation of the affairs of street children with the cooperation of UNICEF: the executive program for the said plan was signed in August 2000 between the office of social affairs of the Interior Ministry and UNICEF. This plan was intended to enhance the efforts launched to support and guarantee the rights of street children.

298.12. The plan for the regulation of the affairs of street children was approved in June 2002 by the social council of the Interior Ministry. This plan was intended to ensure the rights, empower, improve the living conditions, promote the knowledge and life skills, and identify the potentials and talents of street children, to remove them from harm’s way and provide the necessary social services for them by attracting and putting them under temporary care or helping them get care within the family, activating 24-hour care centers of the State Welfare Organization and municipalities (temporary settlement centers, shelters, centers for intervention in crises and long-term care centers). So far, a budget equivalent to 40 billion rials has been allocated for the regulation of the affairs of street children.

Measures adopted by the State Welfare Organization to help families covered by the provisions of the law on supporting women and children without guardians

299. Provision of financial support in the form of self-sufficiency means, cash or other kinds of assistance (regular or case-based), cultural and social support including educational and training, employment, counseling and social services to help solve the problems of these people and also to help them marry and form families.

Regulation of the affairs of victims of social harms

Executive programs

300. To support and rehabilitate girls and women affected by social harms; the purpose of this program is to provide the necessary facilities for the mental and social rehabilitation of girls and women at risk of or victims of acute social harms and to prevent further exposure to social harms or deviation of help seekers who gather at these centers. The target groups of this program include girls and women who are at risk of social harms including those who have left their families due to tense living conditions at home, seduction, etc., or have been expelled from the family due to differences or misunderstandings, and are now without effective guardians or the social and mental skills and abilities or sufficient economic means to form an independent life of their own and are likely to fall victim to social harms, and also girls and women who are victims of social harms, including those who earn their livelihood through prostitution and also those who engage in illegitimate sexual relations due to weak morals and values.

300.1. Girls and women in need of support and rehabilitation are first examined by an expert team from the center for intervention in crises (individual, family and social) and, in case of being eligible, are sent to support and rehabilitation centers which care for them in accordance with their legal duties or include them in their care programs and provide specialized social, psychological, technical-vocational and cultural services to them in order to facilitate their return to a normal healthy life through their reintegration into the family, and creation of the facilities to educate them, help them form an independent life, earn a legitimate livelihood, marry and form a family and also assisting in the satisfaction of their needs and solution of their problems.

Health houses

301. Health house refers to a center which supports girls who are at risk of social harms and lack the necessary family and social support and helps meet their minimum economic needs, protects them against social harms and prepares the ground for gaining their social and economic independence through the provision of services in different sectors. The purpose of this plan is to support and care for girls who are at risk of social harms, prepare the ground for their education, employment, self-sufficiency and independence, identify and develop their potentials and talents and protect them against social harms.

301.1. Girls in need of support and care are examined by expert teams from centers for intervention in crises (individual, family and social) and are sent to health houses, in case they are found eligible. The maximum period of time that these girls are under care is six months, which can be extended up to one year if confirmed by the expert teams. During this period, all the necessary efforts will be made and the necessary services will be rendered to enable these girls to reintegrate into their families or join their relatives or to be discharged on other safe conditions in order to shorten their stay at the care centers as much as possible.

Identification and empowerment of street children

302. To safeguard the rights of street children, minimize their exposure to social harms and improve the quality of their life, street and labor children are brought under the coverage of this program up to the age of 18. Such children are introduced for admission to care centers by the related fixed and mobile bases, the related judicial authorities, Government and non-governmental institutions including the center for intervention in crises, social emergency telephone line (123) or come to such centers on their own.

The role of charity and non-governmental institutions

303. In recent years, to reduce the involvement and intervention of the Government in many public affairs, effective steps have been taken to promote public participation and enhance the role of non-governmental institutions in provision of public services. Thanks to such efforts, at present, NGOs are responsible for the provision of over 60% of the services relating to the care of children at 24-hour care centers. By leaving the responsibility for some programs to NGOs and purchasing their specialized services as partners, the pace of the implementation and the attainment of the objectives of such programs have accelerated. Also, the office responsible for the affairs of people affected by social harms, which was a Government-run institution since its inception, has ceded some of its centers to NGOs since 2000 (during the 3rd and 4th development plans) based on the rules of procedure relating to Articles 26, 28 and 88 of the law on the regulation of some financial regulations of the Government.

Provision of rehabilitation services to people with disabilities

304. The main axes of activities include:

304.1. Procurement of rehabilitation equipment for and provision of rehabilitation services to people with disabilities.

304.2. The plan for the periodic visits of people with spinal cord injuries by mobile rehabilitation teams at home.

304.3. The scheme for the education of life skills to disabled children and children suffering from autism, education of the family and awareness of the society.

304.4. Enforcement of the related standards and regulations in governmental and non-governmental sectors.

304.5. Harmonization of IQ tests across the country.

304.6. Encouraging and granting subsidies for the care of children with mental deficiencies within the family by providing for and financing the treatment and rehabilitation expenses of such children.

304.7. Assessment of the needs of provinces for non-governmental care institutions in view of the factors of population as well as supply and demand.

304.8. Allocation of the part of the capacities of care centers for the temporary use of families with children suffering from mental deficiencies.

304.9. Involvement and use of non-governmental institutions in the regulation of the affairs of people with disabilities.

304.10. Establishing and supporting workshops specially designed to help people with mental deficiencies.

304.11. Art therapy and holding art festivals for people with mental deficiencies.

304.12. Provision of services to patients, disabled and old people in day and 24-hour care centers and also at home with the formation of follow-up teams.

304.13. Empowerment of old people through the help of urban and rural welfare networks.

304.14. Undertaking the secretariat tasks of the national council of old people and following up its decisions.

304.15. Job placement and employment.

304.16. Provision of social support.

304.17. Examination and Formulation of the axes of the activities of day and 24-hour care centers providing services to the disabled, old people and people with chronic mental diseases.

304.18. Supervising and monitoring the regulation of the activities of governmental and non-governmental institutions and the families concerned with people with disabilities.

304.19. Enabling the disabled to regain their individual independence through the provision of the six services known as CBR.

304.20. Ensuring the provision of the expected services and care at non-governmental centers for people with physical movement and spinal cord problems.

304.21. Provision of medical, nursing and health services to people with disabilities.

304.22. Provision of rehabilitation services (physiotherapy, labor therapy, etc.) needed to maximize the movement of people with disabilities.

304.23. Provision of psychological counseling services to and examination of the mental and psychological problems of help seekers and their families and rendering the required mental and social support to the affected people to enable them to cope with their problems.

304.24. Provision of individual, family and group counseling and social services.

304.25. Provision of educational services such as the teaching of everyday life activities and skills, city travel and other personal care and also nutrition counseling in order to improve the nutrition of help seekers.

304.26. Teaching the use of rehabilitation aids (wheelchair, stick, walker, etc.) to people with spinal cord problems.

304.27. Teaching the skills of decision-making, problem solving, creative thinking, effective relationships, coping with the injuries and harms and controlling mental trauma and stresses.

304.28. Provision of professional training courses on computer, artistic activities, etc. tailored to the needs of help seekers.

304.29. Provision of training to the families, friends and service providers of help seekers.

304.30. Provision of the necessary services and care at non-governmental day-care centers.

304.31. Organizing sightseeing and pilgrimage tours for people with impaired sight.

304.32. Organizing training courses on foreign languages such as English, Arabic, German, French, etc.

304.33. Provision of counseling services to people with impaired sight on marriage and family affairs.

304.34. Provision of cash and non-cash facilities to help seekers on different occasions.

304.35. Organizing cultural courses such as book-reading (reading poem books by great Iranian poets like Shahnameh by Ferdowsi, Mathnavi by Mowlawi, etc.).

304.36. Establishment of craft-training workshops.

304.37. Organizing ceremonies and rituals on national and religious occasions.

304.38. Publication of periodicals (newspapers, weeklies, monthlies, quarterlies) in Braille.

304.39. Organizing conferences and seminars on matters related to the blind.

304.40. Organizing choirs, orchestra and theatre activities, etc.

304.41. Coordination with municipalities and other public authorities to improve the environment for the daily travel of the blind and presentation of limited educational programs on the promotion of public culture with regard to people with disabilities via national media.

304.42. Raising the awareness of public authorities about the problems of the blind.

304.43. Realization of the provisions of the comprehensive law on the rights of people with disabilities.

304.44. Provision of different types of loan such as marriage loan, self-employment loan, etc.

304.45. Provision of the necessary services for people with impaired hearing at family and child care centers.

304.46. Coordination of educational programs relating to people with hearing problems.

304.47. Education on the skills of communication as well as speech and language concepts under the supervision of audiometric experts and speech therapists with concentration on the skills of listening and a combination of hearing, language and speech skills.

304.48. Introduction of assistant trainers for cooperation with educational trainers on the education of people with impaired hearing.

304.49. Provision of training courses on arts and crafts (painting etc.) by experienced trainers.

304.50. Provision of audio logic counseling and organizing audio-training courses with exercises provided by audiometric experts.

304.51. Solving the problems of children with impaired hearing and their families and the provision of the necessary mental and social support to them by psychologists.

304.52. Examination and treatment of speech problems and the provision of the necessary training to trainers of children with such problems by speech therapists.

304.53. Organizing sessions of counseling for parents of children with impaired hearing attended by the related experts.

The necessary services and cares offered at public day care centers for the blind

305. Cultural services

305.1. Conversion of books into Braille texts.

305.2. Conversion of books into cassettes/CDs.

305.3. Scanning of student materials.

305.3. Provision of library services (distributing or lending books to help seekers either in person or by mail).

305.4. Publication of periodicals (dailies, weeklies, monthlies, quarterlies, etc. in Braille or voice texts).

306. Educational services

306.1. Organizing computer courses on ordinary or special software for the blind.

306.2. Providing different types of software to applicants.

306.3. Establishment of a two-way communication channel with the blind.

306.4. Organizing sewing, handicrafts, pottery, doll making, flower making, carpet weaving, cooking and typing courses.

306.5. Teaching artistic activities such as music, chorus activities, painting, mosaic making, theater, etc.

306.6. Teaching the skills of moving and direction finding.

306.7. Teaching Braille.

306.8. Organizing literacy courses for illiterate blind adults.

307. Welfare services

307.1. Provision of counseling and social services.

307.2. Job placement and employment for the blind.

307.3. Granting stipend to students who pay tuitions.

307.4. Provision of rehabilitation equipment and services as well as educational aids.

Rehabilitation services tailored to the needs of people with disabilities are offered in a wide range of areas as follows

308. Social rehabilitation services

308.1. Provision of social services to help seekers and their families based on their social and economic conditions and the guidance of social counsellors.

308.2. Improvement of urban environment and public places for their activities.

308.3. Provision of counseling and guidance services through psychological workshops.

308.4. Provision of pre-school education services to children with severe disabilities.

308.5. Assisting in the education and complementary education of children with disabilities.

308.6. Provision of financial services and aids to people with disabilities such as housing and marriage facilities, bank loan, necessary home appliances etc.

308.7. Provision of special education to people with hearing, sight and mental deficiencies (at centers for daily rehabilitation courses).

308.8. Attending to the needs of people with physical-movement disabilities and old people.

308.9. Provision of 24-hour care services to aged and disabled people (physical-movement and mental deficiencies; those who are not capable of attending to their daily personal needs and activities, those who are without guardians and those who have mental deficiencies and may endanger the mental health of their families and also those who are not capable of being identified).

308.10. Professional rehabilitation services

308.11. Professional rehabilitation services are provided in a gradual, integrated and coordinated manner and include professional education and guidance and also the selection of a suitable profession provided to help people with disabilities to find and maintain their jobs. Thus, professional rehabilitation services are provided in such a way as to ensure that people with disabilities can gain their social and economic independence and secure their dignity and social status. The following activities are included in professional rehabilitation services.

308.12. Professional evaluation of disabled job applicants seeking professional services.

308.13. Provision of professional counseling and guidance services to people with disabilities.

308.14. Provision of technical and vocational training courses at workshops under the coverage of the State Welfare Organization.

308.15. Introducing people with disabilities for technical and vocational training courses held outside the State Welfare Organization.

308.16. Provision of job interest and professional talent evaluation services.

308.17. Maintaining continuous inter-and-cross-organizational relations of State agencies to facilitate the employment of people with disabilities.

308.18. Raising the awareness of society about the professional abilities of people with physical disabilities.

308.19. Cognitive evaluation in order to determine the type of education and profession suitable for each person with physical disability.

Medical rehabilitation services

309. These include:

309.1. Medical rehabilitation services provided to ensure the self-sufficiency of people with disabilities. Rehabilitation services are offered in all rehabilitation clinics in teamwork; apart from the physician who provides the medical treatment service, other experts present in the team participate in the rehabilitation process depending on the needs of the help seeker including physiotherapist, labor therapist, speech therapist, audiometric expert, technical orthopedic expert, nurses and psychologist. In the rehabilitation process, both simple and sophisticated tools are used. And with such tools, a series of counseling techniques and methods such as labor therapy, speech therapy and audiometric techniques are employed for the rehabilitation of people with disabilities.

309.2. In the process of rehabilitation, depending on the needs of the help seeker, rehabilitation aids such as hearing aid, wheel chair, stick, walker, waving mat, etc. and, in some cases, more sophisticated means are used.

309.3. Of the measures so far taken to promote rehabilitation services mention can be made of the following:

309.4. Establishment of a databank on rehabilitation equipment.

309.5. Formulation of the necessary standards for the operation and administration of rehabilitation clinics in terms of manpower, place and rehabilitation tools and spaces.

309.6. Oversight and monitoring of the quality of the services of rehabilitation clinics.

309.7. Oversight and monitoring of the quality of the services provided by physicians, nurses and rehabilitation specialists at care centers.

309.8. Monitoring the observance of sanitary conditions as well as nutrition and medication standards at care centers.

309.9. Assessment and procurement of rehabilitation equipment and aids needed for care centers.

309.10. Preparation of educational bulletins on the latest findings and the use of rehabilitation tools.

309.11. Organizing conferences on rehabilitation, education and standards to harmonize the activities of rehabilitation clinics.

Community-based rehabilitation

310. These include:

310.1. Community-based rehabilitation has been raised as a means for the integration of rehabilitation into health and treatment services and complementing the rehabilitation process in local communities.

310.2. The process of community-based rehabilitation process in Iran began in 1993 with the translation of 30 educational pamphlets of WHO. It was first introduced into two regions named Byarjmand and Mayamei in the city of Shahroud and has since been extended to 20 towns in 14 provinces of the country.

310.3. The most important measures taken within the framework of community-based rehabilitation process are as follows:

310.4. Education of health workers, technicians, specialists and physicians who offer services within the health-care and treatment network.

310.5. Identification of persons with disabilities and provision of educational and rehabilitation services needed in health houses.

310.6. Provision of specialized services with the cooperation of the specialists of the State Welfare Organization.

310.7. Provision of rehabilitation aids needed by help seekers.

310.8. Improvement of the residences of disabled help seekers to ease their troubles.

310.9. Assisting in the solution of the employment problem of identified persons with disabilities.

310.10. Providing financial support to identified persons with disabilities.

Provision of services to people with disabilities

Some statistics relating to the care centers and the daily services provided by them to help seekers

311. These include:

311.1. 195 physiotherapy units with 52,024 cases of service reception.

311.2. 114 speech therapy units with 23,376 cases of service reception.

311.3. 100 audiometric units with 51,633 cases of service reception.

311.4. 24 family and deaf child units with 1,247 cases of service reception.

311.5. 46 optometric units with 34,347 cases of service reception.

311.6. 79 literacy and social rehabilitation units with 1,561 cases of service reception.

311.7. 17 artificial limb units with 7,962 cases of service reception.

311.8. 106 Technical-vocational units with 4,479 cases of service reception.

311.9. 375 Non-governmental rehabilitation units with 14,000 service receivers (the services of these centers are subsidized by the Government).

312. 24-hour service centers for disabled and aged people:

312.1. 74 centers for the care and rehabilitation of people with disabilities – 9,125 cases of service reception.

312.2. 18 centers for the care and rehabilitation of aged people – 1,725 cases of service reception.

312.3. 144 private centers for the care and rehabilitation of people with disabilities – 8,734 cases of service reception (the services of these centers are subsidized by the Government).

313. Other services provided for assisting in the rehabilitation of disabled and aged people included:

313.1. 94,889 people receive financial grants for caring for help seekers at home.

313.2. 631,430 cases of provision of non-continuous financial support for caring for help seekers.

313.3. 242,056 cases of provision of rehabilitation aid.

313.4. 1,052,159 cases of provision of social and counseling services.

Supporting old people

314. Old people aged above 60 account for 6.6% of the population of the country, which amounts to 4.5 million people. The number of old people in Iran is predicted to reach 9 million by the year 2021.

The number of Government and private centers caring for old people in Iran

315. These include:

315.1. The numbers of private and 24-hour service centers for old people run by boards of trustees are respectively 65 and 38.

315.2. Also, the numbers of private and day care centers for old people run by boards of trustees are respectively 3 each.

315.3. The numbers of old people cared for in private and 24-hour service centers are 3,038 and 4,445 respectively, comprising a total of 7,500 old people.

315.4. The number of State-run centers caring for old people is 22 centers which cover some 2,200 aged people.

Subsidies allocated by the Government for the care services provided to old people

316. These include:

316.1. The subsidy grants allocated for each old person cared for in 24-hour service centers in Tehran and other cities amount to 520,000 rials and 500,000 rials respectively. The subsidy grant allocated for each old person cared for in day-care centers (non-governmental) amounts to 280,000 rials in Tehran and to 260,000 rials in other cities.

316.2. The subsidy grant allocated for each old person in governmental care centers amounts to between 1.2 million rials and 1.5 million rials. Also, some 6,000 old people who are cared for at home receive a subsidy. The total amount of subsidies granted to governmental and non-governmental care centers for old people amounts to over 120 billion rials per year.

Measures taken to support old people

317. These include:

317.1. Establishment of “old people’s health office” in the Ministry of Health and Medical Education.

317.2. Formation of the “scientific board for old people’s health” with the participation of the representatives of the State Welfare Organization and Welfare and Rehabilitation Science University, the related health care and treatment authorities and some specialists under the supervision of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education.

317.3. Conducting a nationwide survey of the health of old people in 1998.

317.4. Raising the awareness of the public and decision makers about the needs of old people, the phenomenon of the aging of the population in the near future, and making the necessary cooperation between governmental and non-governmental organizations dealing with old people.

Compilation and distribution of educational materials

318. These include:

318.1. Translation, printing and distribution of some 15,000 books on how to care for old people (for medical staff).

318.2. Compilation and publication of sports and nutrition pamphlets on old people including the health care for old people strategy.

318.3. Translation, dubbing and distribution of films relating to health care for old people among all the universities and some related organizations of the country.

318.4. Producing and broadcasting some TV programs on health care for old people with the participation of authors and experts on the affairs of old people.

318.5. Production of a TV series (seven 10-minute sections) entitled “Ever green” in 2002.

318.6. Compilation and publications of a 4-volume book on “Healthy life in old age” in 2003.

Seminars and conferences on the affairs of old people

319. These include:

319.1. Holding a one-day training workshop on the health of old people and also a scheme for the examination of the health of old people for directors in charge of family health departments of all the universities of the country.

319.2. Organizing a one-day seminar on the purposes of the program for the health of old people for all the officials and representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations dealing with the affairs of old people with a view to making the necessary coordination between them.

319.3. Celebrating the international day of health, the health of old people.

319.4. Holding school student painting contests (for three days) on the health of old people on the occasion of the international year of old people by the health offices of schools with the cooperation of the general department of family health which was well received by students and their families.

319.5. Arrival of the advisor to WHO on the affairs of old people in Iran in August 1999 who was briefed for ten days on all the measures taken in the country to improve and promote the health of old people. Also, a 3-day training workshop was held with the participation of the representatives of all the governmental and non-governmental organizations dealing with old people to help develop national policies in the related ministries.

319.6. Holding a country workshop on healthy lifestyle for staff experts and physicians in 2003.

319.7. Formation and operation of ten associations for old people.

The role of international cooperation and assistance in the realization of the provisions of article 12

320. This includes:

320.1. Cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the related international agencies such as WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNHCR which has been going on for a long period of time.

320.2. The cooperation of the related international organizations and agencies has been effective in the formulation of the strategic policies relating to health, use of new mechanisms and methods of health care and the conduct of pilot operations on innovations which occur in the health sector.

Regulating the treatment and rehabilitation of people with chronic mental diseases

321. These include:

321.1. The country plan for the regulation of treatment and rehabilitation of people with chronic mental diseases which commenced in 2000 following the approval of paragraph 5 of article 192 of the law of the 3rd development plan by the parliament.

321.2. The related rules of procedure for the execution of this plan were drafted by the State Welfare Organization (which was then under the Ministry of Health and Medical Education) and proposed by the Minister of Health and Medical Education to the Council of Ministers, which approved it in July 2001 and served it on the State Welfare Organization for execution.

321.3. The State Welfare Organization formally started its activities in this regard by establishing the “committee for the regulation of treatment and rehabilitation of people with chronic mental diseases” in 2001 and formulated the related directives and issued the necessary licenses for the activities of non-governmental institutions interested in the provision of treatment and rehabilitation services to people with chronic mental diseases.

321.4. With the establishment of non-governmental 24-hour care centers, as well as day care centers, and also the arrangements for visits at home, activities for the provision and monitoring of treatment and rehabilitation services for children suffering from autism were promoted.

Prospect

322. The “committee for the regulation and rehabilitation of people with chronic mental diseases” of the State Welfare Organization is committed to identify and provide full rehabilitation services to all such patients across the country through its inter-and-trans-sector measures.

Mission

323. The “committee for the regulation of treatment and rehabilitation of people with chronic mental diseases” provides for the treatment and rehabilitation services needed for people with mental diseases based on scientific methods and patterns and in line with the provisions of paragraph 5 of article 92 of the law of the 3rd development plan (reinstated in the law of the 4th development plan) and paragraph (F) of article 97 of the law of the 4th development plan through policy making, planning and expansion of the activities of the non-governmental sector for the provision of rehabilitation services of target groups (people with chronic mental diseases, families and society) within the framework of the policies decided by the directorate for the rehabilitation services of the State Welfare Organization.

Final goal

324. These include:

324.1. The final goal of this section is to promote the abilities and life quality of people with chronic mental diseases.

324.2. The committee for regulating the rehabilitation services given to people with chronic mental diseases has made the necessary arrangements for such services to be provided either during the day or round the clock or even at home through 143 rehabilitation service centers which include 14 day care centers, 90 24-hour care centers, 16 integrated care centers, 18 home service centers and 5 centers on autism.

324.3. The numbers of the clients of day care, 24-hour care, integrated care, and home-care service and autism centers have been respectively 1,737, 6,088, 1,856 and 198.

324.4. Out of the total number of 24-hour care centers, 30% and 48% provide respectively first-degree (top) and second-degree services. Also, out of the total numbers of day care and autism centers, 47% provide first-degree (top) services.

324.5. Some 16,331 patients have benefited from financial support for the treatment and rehabilitation services they have received at home.

324.6. Also, 6,828 patients have received case-based financial support.

324.7. In general, 3,791 and 6,088 patients have received day care and 24-hour care services respectively with 75% benefiting from the financial grants provided for such services.

324.8. In 2007 alone, nine 24-hour care centers, two integrated care centers and twelve day care centers (including day care, care at home and autism) were established.

324.9. So far, 33,038 patients have benefited from the services of the organization and 57,688 patients have been identified and are in line to receive such services.

The main programs of the committee for the regulation of rehabilitation services

325. These include:

325.1. Increasing the quality of services provided to patients with chronic diseases.

325.2. Expansion of day care, home care and autism centers.

325.3. Providing coverage for patients with chronic mental diseases who are still on the line to receive services from the organization through the execution of community-based support system for the families of such patients.

325.4. Screening of children for the symptoms of autism.

325.5. Founding managed production units.

325.6. Development of inter-sector cooperation particularly cooperation with the judiciary for the resolution of the problems of patients with chronic mental diseases who have committed offences through the creation of protected judicial centers.

325.7. Changing the service evaluation indicators based on the quality of rehabilitation services.

325.8. Completion of the referral cycle of patients with chronic mental diseases by exploring the possibility of the tentative establishment of intermediate houses for such patients.

325.9. Activating the central committee for the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with chronic mental diseases.

325.10. Providing coverage to patients with chronic mental diseases who are in line to receive rehabilitation services from the organization.

325.11. Provision of funds for the execution of programs intended to regulate the affairs of patients with chronic mental diseases.

325.12. Execution of the plan for the empowerment of patients with chronic diseases.

325.13. Implementation of the community-based program for supporting the families of such patients.

325.14. Execution of the plan for screening children suffering from autism.

325.15. Formulation of the scheme for the establishment of intermediate houses.

325.16. Follow-up of the provisions of the 3rd development plan on inter-sector cooperation with the Ministry of Health on the regulation of the affairs of people with chronic mental diseases.

325.17. Finalization of the provisions of note 3 of article 7 of the plan on the formation of a databank of patients with chronic mental diseases in the State Welfare Organization.

Statistics and data collected by the center for the regulation of rehabilitation and treatment of people with chronic mental deficiencies

Number of treatment and rehabilitation centers for patients with chronic mental diseases

G114289004.jpg

Number of day care and rehabilitation centers for patients with chronic mental diseases from 2001 to 2008

G114289005.jpg

Number of 24-hour care and rehabilitation centers for patients with chronic mental diseases from 2001 to 2006

G114289006.jpg

Number of patients with chronic mental diseases receiving services from different care centers

G114289007.jpg

Number of service receivers from 2005 to 2008

G114289008.jpg

Credits allocated to the service coordinating committee from 2005 to 2008

0

50000

100000

150000

200000

250000

2005

2006

2007

2008

94288

110011

133516

243256

Number of patients who have received or are in line to receive services

G114289009.jpg

G114289010.jpg

G114289011.jpg


Indicator
Number
1
Number of patients
7 043
2
Patients in 24-hour care centers
6 088
3
Patients in day-care centers
1 737
4
Patients under care at home
1 856
5
Patients in autism care centers
198
6
Patients under subsidized care at home
16 331
7
Patients receiving case-based care
6 828
8
Patients waiting to receive 24-hour care
3 511
9
Patients waiting to receive day care
2 922
10
Patients waiting to receive care at home
7 533
11
Patients waiting to receive autism care
555
12
Patients waiting to receive subsidized care at home
24 319
13
Patients waiting to receive case-based care
18 848
14
Total number of care service receivers
33 038
15
Total number of patients waiting to receive care
57 688

Cultural and preventive affairs

326. The main goal behind the activities in this area is to reduce social disabilities and harms. The programs in this area aimed at the achievement of this goal are pursued through the following organizations. The mission of the Office of Prevention of Disabilities is to protect and promote physical and mental health, and reduce the burden of disabilities on the society. The most important plans and programs of the office include the following, which are based on increasing awareness, empowerment and sensitization of the public, decentralization, and support for needy classes, with a view to timely interventions to promote health:

326.1. The program to prevent amblyopia and other eye disorders: the program for screening and early diagnosis of amblyopia and other eye disorders began in 1995. Currently, the program covers children throughout the country between the ages of three and six in kindergartens and those between four and six who do not attend kindergartens. It is conducted in October of each year. The aim of the program is to reduce the spread of eye disorders such as refractory defects, strabismus, etc., through early diagnosis and treatment during the golden age, i.e. under five years of age. Creation of public awareness and encouraging parents to take their children to ophthalmologists and optometrists at an early stage in order to control children’s eyesight is among the key strategies of the program.

326.2. In addition to the above, starting in 2007, with a view to the objectives of the program, namely, increasing the population covered by the program as well as spreading its coverage to rural and deprived regions of the country, attempts were made to utilize modern equipment and methodologies in order to cover children of lower age groups. Based on the planning undertaken, through the two new strategies of establishment of permanent stations for optometry and use of eyesight screening equipment, necessary measures are taken to provide these services to various groups of the public throughout the year.

326.3. Permanent optometric stations using E charts and eyesight screening equipment, with the aim of promoting the visual health of children between two and six years of age, are active throughout the year. Other objectives of the stations include increasing access for families, increasing the extent of follow-up, the institutionalization of the program, and increasing the quality of the program. In line with increasing the follow-up of sick children, the organization provides financial assistance to needy children with amblyopia and other eye disorders, for eyeglasses and surgery.

326.4. The program for awareness building in regard to social harm and disabilities in urban and rural areas: the program, which started in 1996, is aimed at increasing awareness among low-educated individuals in urban and rural areas of the country through utilization of ordinary methods such as teaching textbooks and using educational films. The program is provided in cooperation with the Literacy Movement Organization, the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad, and rural complexes, among others. To date, the program’s curriculum has consisted of 11 textbooks on prevention of social harms and disabilities. However, in 2008, five more textbooks were compiled to be added to the program, which are currently in the final stages of preparation and publication.

The population covered by the program for prevention of social harms and disabilities in 1997–2007

Year
No. of persons
1997
6 382
1998
18 452
1999
24 951
2000
39 510
2001
84 486
2002
116 206
2003
109 488
2004
255 290
2005
262 891
2006
429 073
2007
520 972

326.5. The program for timely screening, diagnosis, and intervention of hearing of infants and sucklings: early detection of diseases, prior to the appearance of the signs and symptoms of the disease, known as screening or secondary prevention, is a health-care necessity in the country. The program for timely screening, diagnosis, and intervention of hearing of infants and sucklings, which started in provincial capitals in 2005, is aimed at diagnosing hearing disorders and impairments, such as speech, communication, cognitive, social, vocational and economic disorders. The program consists of three parts: screening, diagnosis, and intervention. Each part has its own timetable and executive activities. In case of successful implementation of each part within its appropriate timetable, based on the evidence, it may be possible to indentify, on a yearly basis, a minimum of 3 to 5 thousand sucklings suffering from hearing disorders.

326.6. Based on the data received from various provinces, from 2005 to the present, 233,156 infants and sucklings have been covered by the program. In the years, 2005, 2006, and 2007, the number of infants and sucklings covered by the programs were 21,315, 75,116, and 136,725 respectively; which indicates the increasing extent of the program’s coverage over the years.

Program
No. of persons under coverage
in 2005
No. of persons
under coverage
in 2006
Percentage of increase
No. of persons under coverage
in 2007
Percentage of increase
Timely screening, diagnosis, and intervention of hearing of infants and sucklings
21 315
75 116
253%
136 725
83%

326.7. Toward the end of 2007, with a view to increasing the participation of the non-governmental sector and expanding the reach and quality of the program in provinces, 137 pieces of hearing screening equipment were purchased through the contributions of the non-governmental sector. It is hoped that, in the light of cooperation provided by the non-governmental sector, the extent of coverage increases from 11 per cent of live births in 2007 to 30 per cent by the end of 2008. Currently, 150 hearing screening teams, in 88 cities throughout the country, are active and providing service to the target group.

326.8. The country program for prevention of disabilities resulting from genetic disorders: the prevention of disabilities resulting from genetic and congenital disorders has many dimensions. Genetic consultation comprises the core aspect of these services. Genetic consultation is a process consisting of diagnosing the disease and assessing the risk of its recurrence; providing information in regard to the outlook of the disease and its continuous care, and the method of inheriting the disease, methods of its diagnosis prior to the birth; and provision of guidance in terms of choosing the best and most effective way of dealing with the problem, and the need to cure or referral to other centers.

326.9. By increasing the level of the public’s knowledge and awareness, genetic consultation plays an effective role in the provision of prevention services. The best time for genetic consultation is prior to marriage. However, it may also be done prior to and during pregnancy, or after the birth of the first abnormal child. The comprehensive country program for prevention of disabilities resulting from genetic disorders is aimed at provision of high-quality, low-cost and accessible genetic consultation to the public, as well as the ultimate reduction of genetic and congenital disabilities. The program is currently carried out by genetic consultation centers.

326.10. The program started in 2007 with the establishment of genetic consultation centers throughout the country. Today, the program is expanding, such that there exist 127 genetic consultation centers throughout the country, 51 of which are State-run and the rest are private centers. In order to expand the provision of services to the clients of these centers and to provide assistance to low-income groups, subsidies are given to these genetic consultation centers. In 2007, 8,130 people received subsidies, 2,250 received ad hoc financial assistance for performance of genetic tests, and 5,422 received partial financial assistance for performance of genetic tests. To date, over 300,000 genetic consultations have been provided and over 700 specialists have received special training.

Comparison of data on the program for prevention of disabilities resulting from genetic disorders (2008–2009)

Year
No. of genetic consultation centers
Gov. centers
Private centers
No. of trained specialists
No. of clients
1999–2000
68
X
65

2000–2001
70
X
50
44 000 (1998–2001)
2001–2002



193
27 000
2002–2003
70


120
28 000
2003
107
57
50
90
25 000
2004
103
53
50
110
36 833
Gov.
24 838
Private
11 995
2005
124
52
72

46 974
Gov.
26 972
Private
20 002
2006
121
52
69
40
41 358
Gov.
23 484
Private
17 874
2007
123
54
69
70 Eastern Azerbaijan – Khorasan Razavi
47 681
Gov.
23 643
Private
24 038
2008
128
51
77


326.11. The program for prevention of mental disorders resulting from congenital hypothyroidism: congenital hypothyroidism is one of the most preventable causes of mental retardation. It is caused by a deficiency of thyroid hormone in newborn infants. Iran has a higher prevalence of this disorder (1 per 950) as compared with the world’s average (1 per 4,000). In most cases, the diagnosis and treatment of the disorder in the first week of life will result in normal physical and mental growth, and the child will not encounter any mental problems in the future.

326.12. In line with this objective, the cultural and prevention department of the State welfare organization carried out a program, between 2003 and 2004, to determine the share of congenital hypothyroidism as a cause of retardation in the country. The program determined the prevalence of congenital hypothyroidism in the total population under study as 0.96%, and 0.6% and 1.2% in the control and target groups respectively. In both groups, the prevalence of the disease was twice as much among girls as compared to boys. After the completion of the program, throughout 2005, a screening program for congenital hypothyroidism was carried out in Khuzestan province for 4,500 infants. Later, a country-wide program was carried out in cooperation with the department of well-being of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education. In 2007, some 95 per cent of the newborn population was covered by the program.

326.13. The awareness program for prevention of disabilities resulting from landmine explosions in contaminated areas: Few weapons invented during years of war and conflict are as lethal as landmines. They are the most widespread, lethal and longstanding cause of contamination faced by humans.

326.14. In regard to the cost-effectiveness of awareness activities, it suffices to say that, with the cost of clearing one unit of landmines it is possible to educate 1,000 people. Given the high numbers of deaths and physical and psychological damages caused by explosion of landmines in western provinces of the country, and with a view to reducing physical and motion disabilities, the office for prevention of disabilities decided to design and implement the program for prevention of disabilities resulting from the explosion of landmines. In light of the fact that, until 2000, there existed no experience of such program, use was made of experiences of other countries afflicted with this problem; i.e. a wide range of material was searched through the Internet and compiled and translated. As a preliminary need assessment, site visits were made to contaminated cities and villages in Kordestan province, which provided a broad picture of the situation of the region. It should be noted that the statistics for the dead and injured from landmine explosions were extracted from the files of Commission on Article 2. Next, questionnaires were designed and completed, in cooperation with specialists in the province, to collect primary information on the at-risk population in accordance with priority, dangerous neighborhoods in terms of landmine explosions, the typical and traditional methods of establishing communication with the local people, etc. The analysis of the completed questionnaires determined the at-risk groups, in order of priority, to be students, herders and farmers.

326.15. Next, the specialists in the disabilities office embarked on preparing educational contents for students at elementary, junior high school and high school levels, as well as a promotional and awareness poster, with the motto of “A Safe Life with Landmines”, and an educational game for children aimed at active education and indirect communication of information to other family members. Throughout these years, the office for prevention of disabilities has been engaged in education and awareness building among the target community, in cooperation with the prevention units of the welfare organizations in contaminated western border provinces, the demining center of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Education, and other related organizations.

326.16. The first phase of the program, in 2003, was carried out in 115 urban and 523 rural schools, at all school levels throughout Kordestan province, which covered some 34,000 students. Reeducation, in the form of reading, drawing, etc., was carried out in February 2004, which covered 37,833 students. By the end of the program, increase in awareness levels was estimated at 30 per cent. Six months after the completion of the program, the number of injured dropped by 80 per cent, mainly among students. Of course, the impact of mine clearing activities during the same period must also be taken into account.

326.17. In the second phase of the program, in 2007, in five contaminated western border provinces of Western Azerbaijan, Ilam, Kordestan, Kermanshah, and Khuzestan, 121,494 students at all levels were given education.

326.18. In the third phase of the program, in 2008, in addition to increasing the coverage for students, it was decided to educate 5,000 herders and farmers in Kermanshah province.

Data on the awareness program for prevention of disabilities resulting from landmine explosions in contaminated areas

Province
No. of students in the province
No. of students covered
by program
% of total students covered by program
Kordestan
237 831
35 786
15
Ilam
25 608
3 112
12
Khuzestan
193 000
29 300
15
Kermanshah
78 890
30 767
39
Western Azerbaijan
95 216
22 529
24
Total
360 545
121 494
19

326.19. The program for increasing the mental capacity of sucklings: The main goal of the program is to increase the mental capacity of children and prevent secondary mental retardation. In line with this objective, necessary education, through illustrated books, is provided to the trainers at kindergartens and nurseries, and mothers with suckling infants, up to 18 months of age. Program evaluation is carried out through questionnaires administered to the target group before and after the education. Studies have indicated that, through proper education, IQ levels in later years may be increased by 10 points. The program is designed in three phases. The first phase, as a pilot, was implemented in Shahryar district in Tehran province. In the second phase, in 2007, all the nurseries affiliated with the organization, 322 trainers, 157 child assistants, and 259 child-hosting families were provided with training. In 2008, all children under the age of two in kindergartens throughout the country were covered by the program.

326.20. The program for prevention of burns: Throughout the world, burns are a major cause of death and injury among children under the age of 10. Burns are the second leading cause of death after traffic accidents. Studies show that 90 per cent of burns among children are caused by negligence and lack of awareness. Therefore, the program for prevention of burns was first carried out in Qazvin province, as a pilot, in 2007, in kindergartens and pre-schools for children between the ages of four and six; through educational books, drawing, posters, and special books for parents. The program aims to create and strengthen informed behavior in terms of avoiding hazards as well as sensitization of parents. In 2008, the program was implemented in the five provinces of Qazvin, Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiyari, Markazi, and Zanjan.

326.21. The program for prevention of smoking in preschools: Smoking reduces IQ and causes many fetal and physical damages. The program is aimed at increasing awareness among preschool children in regard to smoking cigarettes and its consequences. It was first piloted in 2007, in the form of indirect education, in provincial cities of Shahryar, Robat Karim, and Karaj, in Tehran province. The educational material comprised story books, drawing books, educational books for parents and puzzles. The program is to be implemented in the five provinces of Qazvin, Qom, Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiyari, Markazi, and Zanjan, in 2008.

326.22. The country program for prevention of amblyopia and other eye disorders in children between the ages of three and six, in kindergartens and preschools, and between the ages of four and six who visit optometry stations.

326.23. The country program for timely screening, diagnosis and intervention of hearing in infants and sucklings.

326.24. Establishment of a country-wide network of genetic consultation and provision of genetic consultation services.

326.25. The awareness program for prevention of social harms and disabilities in urban and rural areas of the country.

326.26. Programs for prevention of physical and motion disabilities, increasing of mental capacity, prevention of mental retardation, prevention of smoking among children and young adults, education on prevention of burns among children, and preventive awareness regarding disabilities resulting from landmine explosions.

326.27. Community-based prevention of addiction in urban and rural neighborhoods, and work and educational (kindergartens, preschools, elementary schools, junior high and high schools and universities) environments.

326.28. Treatment and rehabilitation of addicts through treatment centers, outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation, residential centers, and community treatment centers (T.C.).

326.29. Implementation of harm reduction programs for reduction of the health and social consequences of addiction, prevention of spread of AIDS in the country through the education of high-risk addicts and their families, establishment of drop-in centers (DIC) and mobile service provision teams, and methadone treatment programs.

326.30. Employment and empowerment of addicts under treatment.

326.31. Improvement of consultation services (in person and via telephone), with a view to the regional needs of clients, and scientific and educational needs of counselors in consultation centers.

326.32. The national program for life skills education (LSE) for preschools, elementary schools, junior high and high schools, universities, adults, and work environments; pre-marriage education (PME); family life education (FLE); assistance providers for mental health, and stations for social health and life skills education. All of these programs make use of approaches based on public participation, cooperation with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and empowerment of community-based organizations (CBOs), and active education.

327.33. Research, compilation, and education of standards and methodologies of prevention programs, and implementation of participative planning methodologies in prevention programs.

Report on performance of treatment and harm reduction from 2003 to the first 6 months of 2008 (number of centers)

Type of center
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
Outpatient (Gov.)
86
86
51
51
50
48
Outpatient (non-Gov.)

374
457
491
568
595
Inpatient (non-Gov.)



31
35
32
Community treatment
15
24
24
27
26
25
Drop-in
2
11
28
71
83
86
Mobile team


47
95
128
118
Shelter



10
25
27
Outpatient (Gov.) with MMT



32
39
29
Outpatient (Non-Gov.) with MMT



242
430
479
Drop-in with MMT




28
30

Report on performance of treatment and harm reduction from 2003 to the first 6 months of 2008 (number of clients)

Type of center
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
Outpatient (Gov.)
28 443
23 625
27 354
30 585
28 693
12 858
Outpatient (non-Gov.)
53 300
95 534
152 455
169 653
190 464
64 289
Inpatient (non-Gov.)

4 303
6 532
8 156
11 944
4 328
Community treatment
1 443
1 354
1 965
2 701
2 649
1 343
Drop-in


7 272
10 441
35 034
19 534
Mobile team



9 995
23 926
15 561
Shelter



2 828
2 258
2 622
Outpatient (Gov.) with MMT



2 038
10 424
2 174
Outpatient (non-Gov.) with MMT



13 670
51 929
27 896
Drop-in with MMT




4 697
2 614

Subsidies for addiction treatment in 2007

No. of centers
Amount of subsidies for methadone treatment, budget line item 503935 (rials)
No. of users of subsidies for methadone
treatment, budget line item 503935
Amount of subsidies
for psychological
and social work services, budget line item 503935 (rials)
No. of users of subsidies for psychological and social work services, budget line item 503935
207
7 829 441 092
21 141
339 687 160
1 513

Subsidies for addiction treatment in 2008

Total budget for subsidies for addiction
treatment, line item 102500
Total budget for subsidies for addiction
treatment, line item 131500
7 500 million rials
3 000 million rials

Small communities under coverage, from 2003 to the first 6 months of 2008

Small community
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
Urban and rural neighborhoods
247
454
675
873
907
965
Work environments
166
461
332
309
363
286
Educational environments
396
1 167
1 627
1 423
1 167
754
Total
809
2 082
2 634
2 605
2 437
2 005

Number of teams (public groups), from 2003 to the first 6 months of 2008

Small community
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
Urban and rural neighborhoods
739
1 309
1 309
1 265
1 265
Work environments
486
971
971
480
296
Educational environments
1 295
2 060
2 060
1 442
968
Total
2 520
4 340
4 340
3 187
2 529

Population under coverage, from 2003 to the first 6 months of 2008

Small community
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
Urban and rural neighborhoods
1 788 502
1 994 057
2 588 349
1 571 130
2 341 965
Work environments
99 137
180 298
171 093
197 939
152 632
154 452
Educational environments
187 944
1 118 292
492 741
474 456
442 087
270 062
Total
287 081
3 087 092
2 657 891
3 260 744
2 165 849
2 766 479

Measures relating to community-based prevention of addiction,

2003–2006

327. The community-based approach has been adopted by the office since 2002, with a view to preventing drug abuse and promoting social and psychological health. The program benefits from the active participation of all stakeholder groups (the public) throughout the process, i.e. identification of the problem, design of the intervention program, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. With a view to avoiding centralization, both at the headquarters and at the provincial level, the specialists at the headquarters are tasked with the preparation of scientific content and monitoring and evaluation, and the specialists in provinces act as facilitators. The public’s role is to plan, implement, and evaluate the program within small communities. The main strategies of the program include education, awareness building, research in small communities (educational environments: kindergartens, preschools, schools, universities; work environments; and urban and rural neighborhoods), skills education, mobilizing support, and empowerment.

328. The following participative activities with the above stakeholders were undertaken between 2002 and 2006.

Provincial performance of community-based prevention programs: quantitative performance in 2005

Educational environments
Work environments
Urban and rural neighborhoods
No. of educational environments
No. of teams
Population under coverage
No. of
work environments
No. of teams
Population under
coverage
No. of urban and rural neighborhoods
No. of teams
Population under coverage
1 627
1 634
492 741
332
411
171 093
675
749
1 994 057

Provincial performance of community-based prevention programs: quantitative performance in 2005

Small community
No. of small communities
under coverage
No. of teams (public groups)
Urban neighborhoods
418
486
Rural neighborhoods
257
276
Work environments
332
436
Educational environments
1 627
1 637
• Kindergartens, preschools
123
78
• Primary schools
320
273
• Junior high
456
480
• High schools
676
717
Universities
52
89

Provincial performance of community-based prevention programs: quantitative performance in 2006

Small community
No. of small communities
under coverage
No. of teams
(public groups)
Population under coverage
Urban neighborhoods
326
496
2 056 232
Rural neighborhoods
202
255
532 117
Work environments
207
266
197 939
Educational environments



• Kindergartens, preschools
825
1 179
342 323
• Primary schools
• Junior high
• High schools
Universities
41
49
132 133
Total
1 601
2 245
3 260 744

329. The population covered by the community-based program, in educational and work environments and neighborhoods, is 26,653,891 persons.

Prevention of social harms

330. The programs include:

330.1. The program for premarital education: In 2007, 90,000 persons throughout the country participated in premarital education workshops.

330.2. The program for family life education: The program was piloted in 2005. In 2006, 16,621 persons took part in family life education workshops.

330.3. The program for life skills education at various levels: The education of the ten life skills to various people in the society can increase their ability to encounter daily situations. The program began in 1998. The office, through training of over one thousand specialist educators and tens of thousands of teachers, is capable of providing life skills education to the following groups:

• Students in preschools, primary schools, and junior high schools (Collaboration in compilation of the strategic document on life skills education with the Ministry of Education)

• University students

• Adults, with emphasis on work environments

• Low-literate adults (the literacy movement; preparation of content and pilot implementation in the two provinces of Esfahan, and Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiyari)

Performance from 2004 to early 2008 (Number of persons)

Year
Student skills
University
student skills
Premarital education
Family life education
2004
245 000
35 000
1 800
2005
563 000
3 500
53 000
2 500
2006
834 750
5 400
80 000
3 750
2007
1 622 737
10 648
90 000
16 621
2008 (first 6 months)
1 680 000
20 000
50 000
8 500

Consultation activities and psychological services

331. The objectives behind the establishment of in-person (governmental and non-governmental) and telephone consultation centers are to promote the psychological health of the society, prevent and reduce social harms, and promote the culture of utilizing consultation services. The policy of the welfare organization, similar to that of the Government, is to promote non-governmental and reduce governmental centers. The following tables contain information on the number of in-person and telephone, governmental and non-governmental consultation centers and their clients.

AIDS prevention and control

332. This includes:

332.1. Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran is at a crucial juncture in terms of the HIV epidemic. The increasing prevalence of HIV among IV drug users has pushed the country from low to concentrated prevalence. This has created serious concerns in regard to the spread of HIV among IV drug users as well as among high-risk groups in the society.

332.2. In light of the consequences of the disease, such as destruction of families, increasing poverty, orphaning of children, psychological anxiety about illness and death, and increasing insecurity and decreasing social welfare, the State welfare organization, as the social and welfare institution tasked with creating grounds for the reduction of human suffering and promotion of the wellbeing of the society, plays a crucial role in the prevention and control of this disease.

332.3. The office for AIDS prevention and addiction affairs has carried out a wide range of activities over the years in order to prevent and control AIDS as well as to reduce harm. However, given the large number of programs and their variety, the formulation of the strategic plan for AIDS and the relegation of a large part of the program to the welfare organization, the inclusion of non-addiction-related activities in the program, and the need for coordination among various departments in the organization, the Committee for Prevention and Control of AIDS was established at the organization level, chaired by the head of the State welfare organization.

332.4. The Committee is comprised of general managers from related departments, and its secretariat is located within the department of cultural and prevention affairs. It was decided that subcommittees be established within the secretariat, comprised of specialists from various departments.

332.5. The three major strategies of the Committee are peer education, harm reduction, in regard to high-risk behaviors, and social support and positive prevention.

332.6. The Committee for Prevention and Control of AIDS, in addition to providing education to high-risk groups such as IV drug users and their families, special women, individuals with high-risk sexual behavior, and street children, focuses on AIDS prevention among those with high-risk occupations.

332.7. The Committee will concentrate on provision of special education to individuals under the auspices of the welfare organization, such as elderly and disabled persons, street children, and HIV positive addicts, as well as those with high-risk occupations. Also, through the provision of financial and social support to HIV positive individuals and their organization, the Committee will attempt to control AIDS using a positive prevention approach. It should be noted that HIV positive individuals are given added support by the organization.

332.8. The Committee will also attempt to create the necessary infrastructure for harm-reduction activities.

The programs of the Committee for Prevention and Control of AIDS

333. These include:

333.1. Education:

• Training of AIDS prevention trainers

• Training of peer trainers

333.2. Establishment of a country-wide AIDS prevention network among high-risk groups, using peer trainers and educators.

333.3. Distribution of health supplies.

333.4. Provision of consultation and voluntary AIDS tests (VCT).

The education approach

334. Throughout the world, education is considered as one of the principal approaches to confront social harms and promote health. In the strategic plan for AIDS prevention and control, as well as in the program of the International Monetary Fund, education is viewed as a pivotal activity. Given the welfare organization’s access to high- and at-risk groups, groups such as IV and other drug users, spouses of IV drug users, sex workers, and street children have become the key audience of the organization’s educational activities.

335. In light of the extent of the problem and difficulty of access to all individuals, peer education was placed on the agenda of the committee for AIDS control in the welfare organization.

336. Peer education is a process in which organized or unofficial educational activities are provided for peer individuals and small groups, within specified periods of time.

337. A peer educator is an individual who is no longer engaged in the high-risk behavior, and who educates his or her peers in positive behavior in regard to HIV/AIDS prevention.

338. The approach is based on theories such as social cognitive learning, which postulates that if persons similar to the individual have conducted the behavior and received a reward for it, the individual will be encouraged to follow the model.

339. Also, if those who no longer practice the behavior are similar to those who are still engaged in the behavior from a demographic point of view, and are satisfied with their avoidance, they transfer this sense of satisfaction to the individual still engaged in the high-risk behavior, who will think that he or she also is capable of a similar healthy behavior.

The social support approach

340. This includes:

340.1. The physical and psychosomatic symptoms as well as severe reduction in the social functionality of individuals with HIV result in irreparable damage to the afflicted individuals, their families, and other groups in the society.

340.2. To this should be added social stigma resulting from HIV infection, with its consequences such as discrimination, and inequality in access to and use of various health and social services.

340.3. These social consequences are more severe in societies with less awareness and inaccurate understanding of HIV and AIDS.

340.4. In such an atmosphere empowerment and strengthening of life skills in HIV- positive people as a means of accepting responsibility for confronting the spread of HIV is key to the success of programs, decreasing stigma and discrimination toward the affected persons, and the preservation of their rights and human dignity in the society, and work, education and life environments.

340.5. Fear of death, loneliness, stigma and discrimination, termination of employment, and disgrace in front of friends and family cause patients to hide their condition; a fact that results in further spread of the disease.

340.6. HIV positive patients are greatly vulnerable and, out of prejudice and fear of contraction of the disease, they are discriminated against with regard to housing, employment, and even health services. In light of the fact that there is no cure for AIDS, efforts with regard to prevention and support of the patients so as to provide them with a suitable life is among the most important measures to be taken.

340.7. Social support for HIV positive patients, in addition to providing a suitable life for them, can prevent many problems, diseases, and social and health consequences for the society.

340.8. The adoption of t+he strategy of positive prevention, i.e. the active participation of those who live with HIV/AIDS, in programs on prevention, education, and harm reduction, is one of the ways of dealing with this phenomenon. Positive prevention implies that the affected persons are to be empowered in such a way as to be sensitized in regard to the transmission of disease to their spouses, family, and society.

Performance

341. Organization of four country workshops; training of 1,300 peer educators for high-risk individuals; provision of AIDS prevention education to 80,000 high- and at-risk individuals; distribution of 4,750,000 syringes among IV drug users; organization of 180 classes by the specialist team for the training of peer educators for high-risk groups; training of 80 counselors for conducting consultation and voluntary AIDS tests (VCT); provision of counseling and voluntary AIDS tests (VCT), by the counseling center for behavioral diseases, for 3,750 high-risk individuals; education of healthy behavior to 3,750 individuals undertaken VCT; preparation of the strategic program for AIDS prevention and control, to be approved; preparation of a special education guideline for trainers of groups with high-risk sexual behavior; preparation of a special education guideline for peer educators of groups with high-risk sexual behavior; preparation of a special education guideline for peer educators of IV drug users; formulation of a proposal for the 8th phase of the IMF project for AIDS prevention; and the initiation of the 8th phase of the IMF project for AIDS prevention.

The department of cultural and prevention affairs

Row
Indicator
Unit
2002
2003
2004
1
Evaluation of physical and psychological health of preschool children
Child
1 070 000
1 070 000
1 080 000
2
Prevention of disabilities from genetic disorders
Person
25 200
32 400
36 000
3
Awareness program for prevention of smoking
Person
4 000
6 000
8 000
4
Prevention program for disabilities from landmine explosions (Villagers and students)
Person
225 000
615 000
1 490 000
5
Prevention of burns
Person

1 930 000
120 000
6
Prevention program for deafness
Person
1 600
32 500
58 500
7
Disabilities prevention education for rural vocational students
Person
44 000
46 200
49 500
8
Disabilities prevention education in step with Literacy Movement
Person
53 700
56 000
60 000
9
Disabilities prevention education in step with Literacy Movement
Person
80 000
80 000
80 000
10
Awareness and reporting program regarding factors causing blindness and impaired vision
Person
800 000
800 000
800 000
11
Disability prevention program in cooperation with Imam Khomeini Relief Committee
Person
11 850
17 600
22 450
12
Disability prevention program in cooperation with Red Crescent
Person
11 400
13 570
15 670
13
Implementation of the comprehensive addiction program
Province
13
26
52
14
Implementation of the awareness program for addiction prevention
District
19
38
76
15
Smallpox
16
Organization of specialized workshops for the addiction prevention group
Hour
1 920
3 840
7 680
17
Education of life skills to disabled persons
Person
2 733
3 955
5 710
18
Users of physiotherapy services
Person
9 931
111 141
116 944
19
Users of work therapy services
Person
34 867
38 160
42 207
20
Users of speech therapy services
Person
24 898
26 919
28 724
21
Users of hearing evaluation services
Person
95 455
111 486
120 079
22
Users of eye services
Person
107 499
152 757
176 821
23
Users of orthopedic and technical services
Person
25 347
26 678
28 058
24
Provision of rehabilitation equipment
Instance
160 205
167 630
176 959
25
Families with blind children using rehabilitation services
Family
30 207
30 317
30 418
26
Families with deaf children using rehabilitation services
Family
1 964
2 024
2 052
27
Families with children with physical and motion disabilities using rehabilitation services
Family
8 456
9 423
10 292
28
Disabled and elderly persons using financial and homecare services
Person
13 797
134 703
169 769
29
Blind persons using literacy services
Person
823
775
859
30
Blind disabled persons using literacy services
Person
591
661
754
31
Disabled persons (deaf, blind, mental, physical, motion) using technical/vocational training services (governmental/non-governmental)
Person
847
9 421
10 452
32
Disabled employed persons
Person
5 500
6 050
6 655
33
Disabled persons using social and social work services
Instance
1 554 321
1 813 734
192 723
34
Social rehabilitation of disabled persons
Person
15 687
15 597
19 968
35
Welfare organization centers fitted for handicap access
Per cent
2 469
695
520

Entrepreneurship and employment for disabled persons

342. The Department of Entrepreneurship and Employment is tasked with job creation by making use of resources and financial facilities provided by the organization and banks, leveraging new and creative ideas, and planning, organizing, leading and supervising the optimal utilization of potential resources of institutions and the non-governmental sector, in order to identify, educate, and promote the hidden capabilities of the target community, and create the necessary motivation for combination and alignment of existing instruments with the aim of transforming the non-productive and consuming society into a productive, active, and dynamic society through creating self-belief, with the ultimate goal of economic self-sufficiency and wellbeing.

The most important activities of the department

343. These include the following:

• Expansion of technical and vocational workshops for disabled persons

• Improvement of the quality of services provided by the organization, especially those relating to entrepreneurship, employment, and empowerment of the target population

• Formulation and supervision over the proper implementation of regulation and methodology of entrepreneurship and employment of the target population throughout the country

• Establishment of the committee on three per cent employment of disabled persons

• Marketing and organization of exhibitions of the products of target population

• Formulation of new and creative programs commensurate to the physical and psychological and scientific and vocational conditions of the target population

• Promotion of the culture of entrepreneurship and employment

• Expansion of consultation and guidance services relating to entrepreneurship and employment

• Expansion of cooperation with employers and producers in regard to the employment of the empowered target population

• Organization of technical and vocational education services for the target population

Performance in 2006 (millions of rials)

Technical/vocational training of target group
In-service training of specialists of employment department
Employment of disabled persons subject of 3% quota
Share of employer’s insurance
Employment facilities from all sources and agreements
Ongoing employment facilities
No.
Amount
No.
Amount
No.
Amount
No.
Amount
No.
Amount
No.
Amount
3 760
4 000
120
405
4 800
17 000
22 862
3 217 735
17 687
Given the needs of region and province, training has been provided by governmental and non-governmental centers
Provinces of Tehran, Yazd, Mashhad
75% of all individuals are in official employment and the rest are in the process
Aimed at sustainability of employment generated in previous years and in 2006
From facilities (agreements) of Ministry of Labor, Imam Reza Mehr Fund, allocated facilities and managed assets
Most employment programs have been submitted to banks and are in process of implementation
Number of employed using employment facilities
22 862
Number of approved employment programs using banking facilities
17 687
Number of employed using the 3% quota
405
Total number of employed and in process of employment
40 954
Total amount of employment budgets and financial resources
3 238 735 million rials

Employment facilities: programs and activities in 2007

Program/activity
Quantitative target
Total
Unit
Amount
Unit cost
30,435 employment and entrepreneurship programs



293 650
Provision of required support for expansion of non-governmental sector to support groups assisting women heads of household
Person
500
30
15 000
Payment of residual facilities to those under coverage who have died in current or previous years or been injured in disasters
Person
20
30
600
Cost of technical and vocational training for employment of the disabled and needy (women and children with no guardian)
Person
3 000
2
6 000
Provision of support for payment of employer’s insurance for disabled and needy persons employed in non-governmental sector
Person
10 000
5
50 000
Generation of employment for children under organization’s coverage, in governmental and non-governmental sectors
Person
300
30
9 000
Employment generation for target population in nomadic and deprived regions
Person
600
30
18 000
Provision of support to assistance seekers to join or establish assistance seekers cooperatives
Person
3 000
1
3 000
Payment of self-employment insurance for target population up to the amount of employer’s ceiling (23%)
Person
10 000
5
50 000
Provision of support for establishment of exhibitions of assistance seekers’ products in provinces and their operating costs
Case
33
200
6 600
Payment of the differential of interest and fees for employment facilities (subsidy) provided by banks
Case
4 000
2.5
10 000
Payment of the cost of employment generation by non-governmental centers
Institution
250
30
7 500
Provision of support for employment generation for single and head of household women and improved addicts
Person
2 000
40
80 000
Applied research and analysis of employment generation programs for target population
Case
33
150
4 950
Expansion of support and production workshops for target population in accordance with paragraph D of the comprehensive law on protection of the right of disabled
Workshop
33
1 000
33 000

Planning and expansion of the rural welfare services network

344. The improvement of the lives of the target population of the welfare organization is effected through suitable structures aimed at providing comprehensive welfare services in line with the goal of social welfare and justice.

345. The principal goals, strategies, and programs of the headquarters include the following:

345.1. Identification of the population in need of welfare services in the villages of the country and need assessment of services.

345.2. Designing of programs for provision of accessible and stratified services to the target population based on their real needs.

345.3. Prevention of social harms and disabilities, and reduction of their consequences.

345.4. Empowerment of the rural population through the implementation of empowerment programs and establishment of neighborhood groups.

345.5. Strengthening and utilization of existing organizational resources in rural areas, such as utilization of 1,250 rural welfare service complexes with 4,500 rural assistants.

345.6. Identification of social capital in rural areas and its utilization in executive programs.

345.7. Capacity building and sensitization in neighborhood structures in order to reduce Government supervision through increasing the participation of the rural population with a view to achieving sustainable development through the establishment of community-based organizations.

345.8. Implementation of several programs based on CBR, CBI, SHG strategies, and creation of sustainable employment in villages through micro finance, in collaboration with international organizations.

345.9. Identification of opportunities and domestic and foreign resources, and cooperation with international organizations with a view to an aligned progress toward development in the third millennium.

Statistics on the performance of rural welfare service complexes in 2006 (rials)

Row
Indicator
Statistics and performance
1
No. of benefit recipients under the coverage of social affairs services
70 980
2
Total amount of social affairs benefit payments
2 818 036 757 500
3
No. of individuals in line to receive social affairs benefits
60 727
4
Total amount of one-off financial aid paid by social affairs
859 660 821 000
5
No. of women assistants
151
6
No. of insured homemakers
4 963
7
No. of rural kindergartens
3 063
8
No. of welfare organization rural complexes with kindergartens
826
9
No. of children enrolled in kindergartens
32 889
10
No. of distributed dry milk packages
63 881
11
No. of families receiving basic foodstuffs
43 289
12
No. of prevention awareness courses
893
13
No. of participants in prevention awareness courses
41 516
14
No. of self-referred addicts
2 777
15
No. of referred addicts
1 588
16
No. of distributed prevention booklets
67 199
17
No. of consultation services provided in rural complexes
22 026
18
No. of children in amblyopia program
205 481
19
No. of persons covered by rehabilitation services
67 298
20
No. of persons in line for rehabilitation services
31 188
21
Total amount of benefit payments by rehabilitation affairs
3 204 977 607 200
22
Total amount of one-off aid paid by rehabilitation affairs
467 504 896 000
23
No. of distributed rehabilitation aid equipment
21 492
24
No. of persons with spinal cord injuries under coverage
1 251
25
No. of homes fitted for handicap living
995
26
No. of public spaces fitted for handicapped persons
340
27
No. of distributed rehabilitation booklets
7 736
28
No. of complexes implementing the CBR program
194
29
No. of job opportunities created for target population
1 836
30
Total amount of investment for employment generation
6 357 978 700 000
31
No. of housing units provided to target population
889
32
No. of leisure vocational classes
796
33
No. of participants in leisure vocational classes
17 730
34
No. of persons referred for specialized services
11 662
35
No. of home visits
25 476
36
No. of student financial aids
16 259
37
Total amount of student financial aid
431 694 657 400
38
No. of university student financial aids
1 650
39
Total amount of university student financial aid
409 802 426 800
40
No. of established CBOs
55
41
No. of sessions held with CBOs
1 145
42
Total amount of donations
123 694 777 200
43
No. of rural educational sessions
116
44
No. of participants in rural educational sessions
871
45
Total amount of rural complexes’ special income
104 889 963 500
46
Total amount of expenditures from rural complexes’ special income
31 332 577 500
47
Total amount of expenditure from capital budget of rural complexes
853 430 582 100
48
No. of meetings with experts of specialized departments
208
49
No. of meetings with other bodies and organizations
371
50
No. of training courses for expert liaisons with provincial cities
119

Articles 13 and 14: Education

Introduction

346. This report comprises of the following parts:

• Education

• Higher education

• The literacy movement

347. Each part focuses on related aspects, background, activities and achievements. Given the importance of education in the development of an effective human resource and its role in the level of development of countries, education has been defined at all levels of the life of Iranian citizens, such that every citizen, at any stage of life, may benefit from at least one of these sectors. This report will elaborate on the activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the area of education.

The legal standing and importance of education in the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran

348. Article 33 of the Constitution states:

“The Government must provide all citizens with free education up to secondary school, and must expand free higher education to the extent required by the country for attaining self-sufficiency.”

349. In line with this principle, the Ministry of Education is tasked with the provision of official education to citizens. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, education is mandatory and free.

The 4th 5-year development plan

350. Article 48 of the plan states:

“In order to promote a seamless link between educational levels with technological development, entrepreneurship, and creation of wealth in the country, the Government is obligated to undertake the following measures throughout the course of the 4th plan:

350.1. Creation of ground and provision of supports necessary for the establishment of non-governmental technology development companies and engineering services companies with the mission of generation, transfer and attraction of technology.

350.2. Formulation of regulations and provision of supports necessary to encourage the foreign parties to international contracts and foreign investment to transfer part of the related research and development activities to within the country and its undertaking in cooperation with foreign companies.

350.3. Adoption of necessary measures to reform the educational system of the country, and university entrance examinations with due consideration of educational performance in high school years, and securing the participation of universities, in order to promote creativity, innovation, risk taking, and entrepreneurship among the educated, and to create an impetus in the young generation for learning and independent research.”

351. Article 50 of the plan states:

“In order to appropriately meet the increasing demand for higher education, through optimal utilization of existing resources and support for public participation:

351.1. The executive organizations with affiliated higher education units are granted permission, in order to utilize their excess capacity, to recruit students at the bachelor’s level, with permission from the high council on the expansion of higher education, and receive one hundred per cent of tuitions and deposit it into the special income account.

351.2. In order to provide equal opportunity for education and increase the coverage for the student population (the ratio of the student population to the population of 18 to 24 years of age) to 30 per cent by the end of the 4th development plan, universities and higher education institutions are granted permission, through increasing the variety of methods of delivery of education, to hold courses such as night classes, classes in the second part of the day, distance courses, virtual education, joint programs with accredited foreign universities, and special courses.

351.3. The Government is granted permission to offer credit facilities in the form of interest-free long-term loans to student welfare funds and other related institutions, such that some of the students referred to in paragraph B of this article as well as the students in universities, institutions of higher education, and Payam-e Noor who are unable to pay tuitions, may use the facilities to pay their tuition and to repay them in installments after the completion of their education.

351.4. The Government is obligated, in order to provide assistance to the students of those non-profit non-governmental higher education institutions with permits from the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services whose student welfare funds are yet to be established, to temporarily provide additional budget, in excess of regular budget, to students’ welfare funds, to be made available to the students of these institutions in the form of long-term free interest loans. The users of these loans are to repay them in long-term installments following the completion of their education.

351.5. Payam-e Noor University is to be administered through collection of tuitions from students, public donations, and funds allocated from the general budget.

351.6. The Government is granted permission to provide subsidy for interest payments on banking facilities, from the general budget, to private sector and cooperative investment projects relating to the establishment and expansion of higher education facilities which conform with the regulations of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, and the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology. Priority in using these banking facilities is to be given to the establishment of non-governmental colleges, in order to expand two-year scientific-technical colleges.

351.7. The Ministry of Health and Medical Education, and the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology are obligated, in order to increase the capabilities of main governmental universities in regard to education and research as compared with accredited international universities, to formulate a special program and have it approved by the cabinet of ministers by the end of the first year of the plan.

351.8. Provision of general agreement and the required mechanism for private sector and cooperative investment in the establishment and expansion of universities and institutions of higher education is to be carried out by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, and the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology.

351.9. In order to prevent the inordinate flight of human, intellectual, scientific, and technical capital from the country, the Government is obligated, in the first year of the 4th development plan, while conducting studies and examining suitable strategies, to adopt necessary legal measures.”

352. Article 51 of the plan states:

“Paragraph B of article 154, and paragraphs A and B of article 144 of the 3rd economic, social and cultural development plan of the Islamic Republic of Iran, dated April 3, 2000, and its amendments for the 4th plan (2005–2009) are authorized.”

353. Paragraph A of article 154 of the plan states:

“In order to facilitate the utilization of the expertise and technical abilities of the faculties of universities and institutions of higher education, and to align university research with the scientific and specialized needs of the country:

353.1. Permission is granted to universities and institutions of higher education in the country to establish governmental scientific and research services companies with special regulations and in accordance with the law of trade.”

354. Paragraph A of article 144 states:

“In cases where non-governmental real and legal persons incur costs to construct, expand, or equip educational and sports facilities, dormitories, cafeterias, libraries, and student and university student dormitories affiliated with the Ministry of Education, and universities, and institutions of higher education, within the framework of decisions of the planning and development council of the province, and in universities and institutions of higher education within the framework of their master or development plan, these costs may be considered as legitimate expenses for taxation purposes.”

355. Paragraph B of article 144 of the plan states:

“Real and legal persons who transfer their property, such as buildings, residential homes, orchards, lands, and inheritance, to the Ministry of Education, universities, institutions of higher education, Basij resistance force (including the hierarchies), seminaries, the Islamic Azad University, research centers affiliated with universities, and the physical education organization, are exempt from the payment of all fees and transfer taxes.”

356. Article 52 of the plan states:

“The Government is obligated, in order to ensure equal access to education opportunities, especially in less developed regions, expand knowledge and skills, increase the productivity of human capital, especially for girls, and quantitatively and qualitatively expand general education, to implement those of the following that do not entail legislative measures:

356.1. Promotion of necessary ground for the implementation of education for all.

356.2. Establishment of mandatory education up to the last year of junior high school, commensurate to the available resources and in phases, in regions determined by the Ministry of Education, such that this is fully realized by the end of the 4th development plan.

356.3. To adopt measures, in addition to funding the regular budget of the education sector, in order to promote the financial and administrative independence of educational units (schools), in order to make optimal use of capital and executive potentials of the non-governmental sector in developing capacities and productivity.

356.4. To implement necessary reforms in regard to curricula and improvement of mathematics, science, and English language education.

356.5. Improvement of the professional capabilities and skills of teachers through formulation of professional teacher standards, in terms of knowledge, behavior, and performance, using international experiences with a view to the local conditions of the country.

356.6. Increasing the work motivation of teachers through promoting their professional standing and reforming their pay system in line with their productivity and quality of their services.

356.7. Formulation and implementation of the system of scientific assessment and ranking of teachers, and promotion of their teaching level.

356.8. Planning for the formulation of the education program for promotion of health and methods of healthy living.

356.9. Formulation and implementation of the strategic plan for literacy in the country, with a view to geographical, ecological, social, and cultural conditions in various regions of the country, based on the approach of attracting the participation of the public and non-governmental organizations, such that by the end of the 4th development plan all those under the age of thirty will have become literate.

356.10. Utilization of information technology in the formulation and implementation of educational programs and curricula at all levels, and equipping schools throughout the country with computers and access to the information network.

356.11. Continuous updating of the knowledge and skills of staff of the Ministry of Education in regard to information and communication technology.

356.12. Forecasting of the required facilities and resources for the renovation, retrofitting and standardization of educational spaces, especially schools for girls, and formulation of support mechanisms for school-building philanthropists.

356.13. Formulation and implementation of necessary regulations for provision, recruitment, and maintaining of required human resources for less developed regions of the country, such as issuance of recruitment permissions within the framework of Table 9 of this law, procurement of educational services, and welfare measures.

356.14. Provision of suitable measures to eliminate education deprivation through the expansion of 24-hour schools, village-centrism, centralized dormitories, distance and media learning, provision of food and health for students, and other expenditures of 24-hour schools, and the construction and expansion of educational and sports spaces and facilities with a view to gender, and formulation and implementation of required programs for the expansion of kindergarten and preschool education, especially in bilingual regions.”

357. Article 151 of the 3rd development plan states:

“In order to coordinate the policy making in regard to vocational education, both official and unofficial, including associate and scientific-applied degrees, under the auspices of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, and the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, high school technical and vocational education, under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, short-term technical and vocational education, under the auspices of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, in-service training for Government employees and specialized professional management training, under the auspices of the State organization for administrative and recruitment affairs, the high council on apprenticeship (articles 5, 6, and 7 of the law of apprenticeship, approved by the former senate and national assembly), the State high council on coordination of technical and vocational training (approved by the Islamic consultative assembly in 1980), and the high council on scientific and applied education (approved by the high council on cultural revolution) will be dismantled and the coordination headquarters for technical and vocational training will be established, headed by the first vice president and comprised of the Ministers of Education; Labor and Social Affairs; Science, Research and Technology; Health and Medical Education; and Agricultural Jihad; and the head of the organization for planning and budget; the secretary general of the State organization for administrative and recruitment; and the head of the center for women’s affairs. Other ministers will attend the meetings, as required. The head of the planning and budget organization will be the secretary of the headquarters. Other responsibilities and authorities of the aforementioned councils will be relegated to related ministries. The decisions adopted by the headquarters shall be binding for all ministries and councils following approval by the cabinet of ministers.”

358. Article 55 of the plan states:

“The Government is obligated, in order to promote knowledge and skills, reform the education pyramid of the workforce, increase the capabilities of the human capital, reduce the gap between the level of knowledge and skills of the workforce with international standards, and create new employment opportunities for young people, to formulate and implement mechanisms for the technical, vocational, and scientific-applied education system of the country, relating to the following areas, within one year from the date of approval of this law:

358.1. Implementation of necessary legal measures in order to establish a policy making body for technical, vocational, and scientific-applied education, with a view to global and domestic experiences, as the main institution in charge of approving visions, strategies, and macro policies of the sector, until such time as the establishment of the coordination headquarters for technical and vocational training referred to in article 151 of the 3rd economic, social and cultural development plan of the Islamic Republic of Iran, dated April 6, 2000.

358.2. The continuation of the system of apprenticeship and internship for all official education (secondary and tertiary), and unofficial technical, vocational, and scientific-applied education.

358.3. Formulation of the system of standards and skill evaluation of the workforce in the country, based on an international approach.

358.4. The master plan for human resource development required for this sector, including recruitment, motivation, promotion, education, improvement, and retention.

358.5. The system of support for governmental and non-governmental institutions and companies in regard to the promotion of technical, vocational, and scientific-applied education, especially in less developed regions.

358.6. Renovation and rebuilding of the structures and facilities, as well as improvement of the quality of technical, vocational, and scientific-applied education, and expansion of centers for technical and vocational, and information and technology education, with maximum participation of the private and cooperative sectors, and international cooperation.

358.7. Utilization of the resources and facilities of governmental and non-governmental sectors in the promotion of technical, vocational, and scientific-applied education.

358.8. Need assessment and forecasting of the required human resources with bachelor’s degrees, and the provision of required permits and support for the establishment and expansion of education centers with bachelor’s degree programs, in the private and cooperative sectors, such that required capacity is available by the end of year four of the plan.”

The document on Iran’s 20-year development outlook

359. The document states:

“By leaning on the infinite divine power, and in the light of the faith and resolution of the nation, and the planned and astute efforts of a group, and in line with the realization of the ideals and principles of the Constitution, in the 20-year outlook the Iranian society will have achieved such characteristics: ...Advanced and capable knowledge, and generation of science and technology, based on a major share of human resources and social capital in national product.”

General policies of the 4th development plan of the country

360. In the section on cultural, scientific, and technological affairs, the following pivots are underlined in the chapter on education and knowledge generation:

360.1. “9. Organization and mobilization of facilities and capacities of the country in line with increasing the share of the country in the global generation of knowledge.”

360.2. “10. The reform of the education system of the country, including the primary and secondary education, technical and vocational education, tertiary education, and increasing their effectiveness in order to supply the required human resources for achieving the objectives of the Outlook.”

Executive strategies and guidelines

361. In order to achieve the above objectives, the following strategies and guidelines were implemented:

361.1. Paying for the educational costs of deprived areas and allocation of a larger share of Government resources to regions that are farther behind in education as compared with other regions.

361.2. Placing heavier focus on girls’ education.

361.3. Taking into consideration the climatic and gender differences in educational planning, and increasing the practical aspects of education contents with a view to climatic needs such that they will exert greater influence over the economy and the everyday life of these regions.

361.4. Creation of suitable conditions and provision of necessary facilities to encourage experienced teachers to serve in deprived regions.

361.5. According greater emphasis to applied research projects, especially those relating to official and unofficial educational policies, and utilization of their results in planning, policy making, and decision making, and expansion of research activities in provinces.

361.6. Review of the contents of curricula, and elimination of unnecessary subjects with a view to reducing their number and improving the quality of education of core subjects.

361.7. Reducing the repetition of core courses through utilization of suitable executive and educational methods.

361.8. Strengthening the scientific aptitude of talented students in deprived regions with a view to preparing them for entering universities and higher education institutions.

361.9. Receiving partial paym