Washington, DC, Jun. 06 – Iran is a source, transit, and
destination country for women and girls trafficked for the purposes of sexual
and labour exploitation, according to the 2005
annual Trafficking in Persons Report released by the United States’ Department of State.
The DoS Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in
Persons noted that “the Government of Iran does not fully comply with the
minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking”.
“Internal trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation and children
for forced labor also takes place”, it said, adding that such practices are
fueled by an increasing number of vulnerable groups, such as runaway women,
street children, and drug addicts.
In April, a number of government officials and security officers were
arrested during raids on at least five houses used as brothels in and around
the town of Neka (northern Iran).
Many runaway girls, some as young as 13, were being forced into prostitution
by several organised child prostitution rings. A
number of officers from Iran’s notorious State Security Forces
(SSF), commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and heads of a
number of local government departments and institutions were among those
rounded up in the raids.
The girls were also arrested pending judicial sentencing.
The DoS report said that Iran should also take steps to enhance
protection measures for trafficking victims, including ensuring that those
who are punished for trafficking are not victims.
“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”, the report also noted.
“Afghan women and girls are trafficked to Iran for sexual exploitation, and for
sexual and labor exploitation in the context of forced marriage”, it added