Iran protests
Iran protests iStock

The United Nations' top rights body will hold an urgent meeting this week to consider launching an international investigation into the deadly crackdown on mass protests rocking Iran, AFP reported on Tuesday.

The UN Human Rights Council is due to host a special session on Thursday on "the deteriorating human rights situation", following a request by Germany and Iceland.

The meeting follows two months of protests in Iran sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 16, after she was arrested for an alleged breach of the country's strict dress rules for women based on Islamic sharia law.

At least 378 people, including 47 children, have been killed in the crackdown since Amini's death, according to the Norway-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR).

UN rights experts say thousands of peaceful protesters have also been arrested, including many women, children and journalists, and six people have so far been handed death sentences over the demonstrations.

During Thursday's session, diplomats will consider a draft resolution presented by Germany and Iceland calling on the council to create a high-level international investigation to probe all alleged violations connected with the ongoing protests in Iran, according to AFP.

The draft resolution, which could still change, calls for the investigators to "collect, consolidate and analyze evidence of such violations, and to preserve evidence," with a view to future prosecution.

The support of 16 of the Human Rights Council's 47 members -- more than a third -- is required to convene a special session.

Germany and Iceland have so far received the backing of 50 countries for their request for Thursday's session, including 17 council members.