Human trafficking in Iran

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Human trafficking in Iran is the phenomenon of human trafficking in Iran for the purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. As a slavery of the new age, it has a worrying development. The scope and spread of this phenomenon can be studied in four areas: smuggling of women and girls, smuggling children and boys, trafficking in organs, and finally ending up and exploiting the workforce of humans. The continuation of bondage and enslavement in conditions of fear and despair is a painful fate of trafficked victims, most of them being women and children[1].

U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons placed the country in "Tier 3" in 2017.[2]

Human trafficking spill[edit]

There are many widespread evidences that shows the increasing of prostitution and trafficking in women and children in Iran, especially in the northern areas of Tehran and other larger cities. However, after the 1979 anti-monarchy revolution, this was banned. But, women's self-sale was prevalent due to economic crises and the spread of unemployment.[1]

The State Department’s statement[edit]

According to a yearly report by the U.S. State Department on June 27, 2017, "Iranian girls aged 13 to 17 are targets of human trafficking gangs that are forcibly transmitted for sale and sexual services outside of Iran.".[3]

The Iranian authorities’ acknowledgments[edit]

According to a report from the National Security Police of the Tehran Grand Command, as well as reports from the Center of Women's Affairs and the Committee of the Organization for the Defense of Victims of Violence in 2003, the smuggling of border women and girls to the Gulf States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and even to European countries has expanded. Smugglers transmitted their victims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to Iran and then sent them to Europe. In 2003, the number of gangs detected and defused in the West Azerbaijan Province reached to 200. News shows that Iran is a source of trafficking in human beings, but the officials of the Iranian government refrain from providing accurate statistics for political and security reasons.[1] In this regard, Ali Sadeghi, the head of the Immigration Police and the Iranian government's police law enforcement passport, admitted in February 2013 that Iranian girls were being trafficked to the Arab countries of the southern margin of the Persian Gulf. At the same time, Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, commander of the country's police forces, said that the main destination is human trafficking from Iran, European countries, Australia and Canada. On the other hand, every year in Iran, the situation of children is worse and the age of prostitution is lower.[4]

Black market of selling human beings[edit]

The prostitutes are originally from Iran and a high percentage are smuggled into Arab countries. Many of these women are taken to tourist spots in the country, specially places like Mazandaran, Gilan, Pars province Tehran and Mashhad to service both Iranian and foreign sex tourists.[citation needed]

The government reportedly prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through its 2004 Law on Combating Human Trafficking, which prescribes severe penalties, often including death sentences for convicted traffickers. However, border officials may be complicit in trafficking offenses and Iran has not reported any disciplinary action taken against officials suspected of facilitating trafficking.[5] Furthermore, victims are arrested and may be punished for violations of morality standards such as adultery, defined as sexual relations outside marriage.[5]

According to the United States, the Government of Iran does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Lack of access to Iran by U.S. Government officials prohibits the collection of full data on the country’s human trafficking problem and the government’s efforts to curb it. Iran has not provided evidence of law enforcement activities against trafficking to the US government.[5] [6]

Human transit pathways[edit]

Iran is a country where traffickers are male and female for child labor. Organized groups are trafficked for women, girls and women for sexual exploitation in Iran itself, as well as in the United Arab Emirates and Europe. In 2013, smugglers trafficked women and girls to Kurdistan, Iraq for prostitution. Based on reports from 2009 to 2015 (2009-2012), smuggling and transferring girls through Iran and from Iran itself to the Gulf states and sending them to organized gangs to force them into prostitution and forced marriage.[7]

Behavior towards Afghan refugees[edit]

On June 27, 2017, the U.S. State Department released its annual report on human trade. According to this report, Iranian authorities and the Revolutionary Guards force Afghan refugees to fight in Syria and Iraq. The report also notes that Iran has become the source and destination of men, women, and children exposed to trafficking in women and forced labor over the past five years.[8]

Smuggling girls to Kurdistan, Iraq[edit]

In the annual report of the U.S. State Department on June 27, 2017, mentions the trafficking of human beings to Iranian girls who have houses in Kurdistan, Iraq, especially in Sulaimaniyah, for sex trade, and some have been taken there by smugglers.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c بررسي وضعيت قاچاق انسان در كشور
  2. ^ "Trafficking in Persons Report 2017: Tier Placements". Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  3. ^ "Trafficking in Persons Report 2017: Tier Placements". Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  4. ^ آمریکا: قاچاق انسان در ایران- گفتگو با حسین باقرزاد ه
  5. ^ a b c "Iran". Trafficking in Persons Report 2008. U.S. Department of State (June 4, 2008).
  6. ^
  8. ^ أميركا تتهم إيران بإجبار اللاجئين الأفغان على القتال في سوريا والعراقأميركا تتهم إيران بإجبار اللاجئين الأفغان على القتال في سوريا والعراق
  9. ^ «هم دولت و هم جامعه، در زمینه مبارزه با قاچاق انسان مسئولند»