Social Harm Under Scrutiny at Top Level

Having reliable data on the social problems will be instrumental in planning and taking effective measures.Having reliable data on the social problems will be instrumental in planning and taking effective measures.

All government bodies must present a report on their progress in addressing social harm in their respective jurisdictions at the next session of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution to be held soon, Mokhber Dezfouli, council secretary, said on Saturday.

“Specific details regarding the measures taken and the progress made must be provided in every area under question,” he said.

In 2013, the Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei had directed the Interior Ministry to prepare a report on the status of social harm in the country, following which the Department of Social Harm at the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare began to prepare an atlas on social harm, in which status charts were drawn up for 15 types of social harms across the 31 provinces. The atlas was completed in January.

Earlier this year, the Leader censured the government’s performance in social services, stressing that the nation is lagging 20 years behind in addressing the ensuing problems. Underscoring the need to control social harm, in particular addiction, he gave all executive bodies six months to investigate the root problems of social maladies and address them.

The atlas known as the National Roadmap of Social Harm has been developed in collaboration with all relevant authorities, and is a collection of existing social maladies classified by geographical distribution such as cities, towns and districts. It has also identified high-risk areas and the origins of the problems, ISNA reported.

A number of social ills have been placed on high priority. Addiction, social marginalization (of those living in unofficial settlements), divorce, poverty, and moral corruption have higher priority.

The responsible bodies will have to report on their progress at the upcoming session of the council in the presence of Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli.

 Alleviating the Situation

“Having reliable data on the social problems around the country will be instrumental in planning and taking effective measures to alleviate the situation,” Dezfouli maintained.

Previously, 10 ministries were taking measures sporadically and independently to deal with various types of social disorders, but failed to make headway due to lack of coordination and overlapping responsibilities.

Earlier this month, the Interior Ministry set up a ‘Social Affairs Organization’ after the proposal was approved at the National Supreme Administrative Council under the auspices of First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri. It will basically have a supervisory and overseeing role in the implementation of executive policies on social harm reduction;

Prior to this, the Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs had compiled and published the Atlas on Women and Family Issues to facilitate decision-making for the target groups.