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 Irans 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.