Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Iran

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 3 June 2005
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Iran, 3 June 2005, available at: [accessed 26 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Iran (Tier 2)

Iran is a source, transit, and destination country for women and girls trafficked for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Women and girls are trafficked to Pakistan, Turkey, and Europe for sexual exploitation. Boys from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are trafficked through Iran to Gulf states, where they are ultimately forced to work as camel jockeys, beggars, or laborers. Afghan women and girls are trafficked to Iran for sexual exploitation, and for sexual and labor exploitation in the context of forced marriage. Internal trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation and children for forced labor also takes place. The internal trafficking of women and children is fueled by an increasing number of vulnerable groups, such as runaway women, street children, and drug addicts.

The U.S. Department of State's lack of access to Iran prohibits the collection of full and accurate data on the country's trafficking problem and its government's anti-trafficking efforts.

As best as can be determined from the limited information available, the Government of Iran does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In 2004, Iran conducted a study on trafficking of women from border provinces to the Persian Gulf, passed a law against human trafficking, and signed separate Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with Afghanistan, Turkey, IOM, and ILO. The government should develop and implement a comprehensive anti-trafficking national plan of action and appoint a national coordinator to oversee its overall anti-trafficking efforts. Iran should also take steps to enhance protection measures for trafficking victims, including ensuring that those who are punished for trafficking are not victims.


Iran made progress in its prosecution efforts during the reporting period. It passed a law against human trafficking. This new law, in conjunction with the prohibition against the trafficking of children, is expected to enhance Iran's overall abilities to combat most forms of human trafficking. In addition, Iran arrested and convicted a woman and her accomplice husband for trafficking young girls and women to work in a brothel in the northern city of Qazvin. It also arrested and convicted 20 members of a human trafficking ring in the city of Bileh Savar. The Iranian Border Force (IBF) arrested over 253 Pakistanis smuggled into Iran, some of them likely trafficking victims. This action showed a lack of adequate screening of illegal immigrants to identify trafficking victims.


Iran's protection measures for trafficking victims are weak. It is unclear whether the government distinguishes trafficking victims to provide them protection. The State Welfare Organization for Social Affairs reportedly assists victims and those at risk of trafficking through mobile and fixed social emergency centers. These centers provide counseling, legal services, and health care. The State Welfare Organization also manages temporary shelters for "troubled women" and facilities for young runaway girls. These facilities are available to trafficking victims as well.


During the reporting period, Iran increased its anti-trafficking prevention efforts. It improved its monitoring of the border with Afghanistan and Pakistan and held a conference on human trafficking. Iran also signed separate MOUs with IOM and ILO to enhance the capacity of its institutions and, among other things, to combat trafficking. Furthermore, Iran is reportedly planning to launch, in collaboration with IOM, public awareness campaigns against the trafficking of women and girls. The State Welfare Organization allocates modest funds to support 41 countrywide centers for street children that deliver care to thousands of children at risk for exploitation.

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