The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answers on 19th December 2022:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the number of children detained in prisons in Iran.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): The treatment of juvenile offenders in Iran falls short of international standards. The Iranian judicial system is deeply flawed with frequent and well-documented violations of fair trial rights. The use of death sentences against minors is also a regular occurrence. Because of the lack of transparency of the Iranian judicial system, it is difficult to calculate with accuracy the number of children detained in Iran. In recent months, we have observed a significant increase in the rate at which children are arrested and a disproportionate number who have died during the protests. This was also noted by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 17 October. The UK will continue to work with partners to hold Iran to account for its actions.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Iran regarding human rights violations against children in that country.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The UK is committed to holding Iran to account for the appalling treatment of children throughout the brutal crackdown of protests. The UK highlighted this issue at the UN Human Right Council on 24 November, at which we supported a successful Resolution to establish a UN investigation into the human rights violations committed by the regime during the protests. The Foreign Secretary also called out Iran’s treatment of children alongside his G7 partners at the meeting of Foreign Ministers on 4 November. The UK will continue work with partners at international fora to call on the Iranian authorities to abide by their obligations under international law and to improve the practices surrounding children in detention.