Although Iran is both the second-largest economy and the second-most populous nation in the Middle East with all indicators pointing towards continued growth, the citizens of Iran still face a lot of oppression and human rights violations. Already this year there have been two public hangings, torturing of prisoners, discrimination against minorities, and the lack of important rights for women. Here are a few ideas for how to help people in Iran:
- Supporting the Center for Human Rights in Iran, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group based out of New York, in their bid to protect the rights of Iranians. The organization has letter-writing campaigns lobbying the 6,000 plus worldwide government officials it reaches to get involved in Iranian human rights. It also produces daily social media content on human rights in Iran that it hopes to have shared across social media.
- The National Iranian American Council is a nonprofit Washington D.C. organization that seeks to promote the voices of Iranian Americans, and to foster a better relationship between Iran and America through education and increased dialogue. The group provides plenty of material to familiarize oneself with issues affecting Iranians both in America and in Iran. The organization also accepts contributions to aid them in combating human rights abuses in Iran.
- Educating oneself on the various issues in Iran, particularly those surrounding human rights and poverty, to be able to take an informed stance.
- Sharing news and facts about the plight of the Iranian people can be another effective way of how to help in Iran, as it helps build awareness and public sympathy.
- Donating or volunteering with organizations like the U.N. that have programs dedicated to helping countries develop, such as the U.N.’s Educate A Child (EAC) program. The EAC program, implemented in 2012, has given over 700,000 children in Iran and other countries in the Middle East and Africa access to schooling they would not otherwise have had.
Although the U.S. and Iran have never had the best of relations, the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran signed onto has helped pave the way to improving relations between the two nations. Even so, the U.S. has maintained sanctions on Iran due to its continued human rights abuses and funding of terrorist organizations. TIME magazine reports that this action is beginning to have an impact.
Though knowing how to help in Iran can be a tricky task, writing to members of Congress and encouraging them to favor the retention of these sanctions and applying pressure to reform their laws, can help have an impact on U.S. policy and potentially help put a stop to human rights violations in Iran.
– Erik Halberg