©Translated by WFAFI 2004 All Rights Reserved, for usage please contact info@wfafi.og

The price of Iranian girls after entering the Persian Gulf trafficking market

May 2004


SINA News Agency – Sociologists have called this decade a decade of explosion of social destruction in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The trafficking of women and girls is perhaps the most tragic aspect of all the social damages.  As sex workforce in this market, women and girls are lured in various ways by different rings inside and outside of the country.  


Many experts have noted, the presence of Iranian girls as prostitutes in surrounding Arab countries of Persian Gulf is alarming while damaging to the good name of the Islamic Republic of Iran.


The network of traffickers entrap young and attractive run-away girls and widows with deceiving promises of a better and prosperous life including marriage to rich men; then they are smuggled across boarders legally and illegally.


Traffickers send these girls to Dubai, Kuwaiti, and Sheikhdom of the Persian Gulf. Even other neighboring countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan are hosting these girls.


Upon arrival to these countries, women and girls are taken to hotels, motels, casinos, and clubs as maids or prostitutes; or they are taken to the houses of affluent men as temporary or permanent wives of the riches. The networks’ profit is collected in various forms of payments including checks and promissory notes.


These women and girls face coercion and threats while being stranded in strange countries, yet the hope for a flow of income keeps them from returning home.


These rings and networks are supported by certain people (officials) who create fraudulent documentation in order to transfer these women and girls across borders, place them in different countries, and use them for their business.


The enormous profit of this business creates a tremendous interest in these rings. At the same time, weak laws or lack thereof, has made combating the business of human trafficking, especially women and girls, very difficult. The arbitrary punishments for traffickers range from fines to prison terms based on the preference of the court.


Ali Farsad, a high ranking lawyer of Iran’s Ministry of Justice, says: “It has been noticed that criminals active in these rings are even using legal avenues to escape punishment. This means that in most cases, these criminals use legal channels such as Sharia law to justify their activities. Repeatedly, we see the girls from deprived border cities who are sent abroad after getting married. Also in many cases they are sent abroad on the false promise of finding employment in other countries.”


On the issue of trafficking of women and girls, a military Colonel says: “The exact statistics on trafficking of women and girls does not exist in Iran. However, according to statistics at hand, 4,000 people are crossing the borders on weekly basis under various pretenses. We have no control over them. Just a little a while ago, a network of trafficking Iranian girls was discovered in the Persian Gulf countries. There was a large number of corrupt prostitutes among them. These notorious women used to identify young women and girls from the families with financial difficulties, then under the pretext of happiness for these girls in Persian Gulf countries, they offered a ransom to the families and in a matter of 3 weeks with legal official passports they transferred these girls to Dubai. After arrival in Dubai, through their network, they introduced these girls to Arab businessmen. Each girl was sold for $5000 profit for their families and ten times the amount for the traffickers. The buyers used these girls for their sinister business.”


The Colonel adds: “The girls who run away from home have no idea what the future holds for them. We have 200 missing girls in Tehran, as we speak and we only know of the fate of a few. There are many rings lurking for these young women and girls. They use these run-a-way girls for stealing, trafficking and for illicit drugs and sex. Most of all they use these victims for their organs.”


Every once in a while bodies of unknown girls are found here and there in large cities, particularly in Tehran. Some of these bodies are identified; however most of them are buried without being identified because no one comes to claim their body.


The dealers of human organs are also trafficking girls by promising them a better life and transporting them across borders. Once taken to another country, the traffickers sell the girls’ body parts for enormous amounts of money.


The Colonel adds: “A little while ago, we arrested 15 people responsible for the network of trafficking girls. There were 10 man and 5 women among them who used to entrap girls and take them to Dubai. This ring had two houses in the residential area in the north and center part of the city. The deceived girls were taken to these houses before departing Iran. This criminal ring identified attractive women in Tehran and after arranging all the details transported 50 young girls to the United Arab Emirate on monthly basis. What was most interesting about this ring is that most of the entrapment was done by a young man whose main job was a taxi driver. He drove around town and identified run-a-way girls and took them to these houses. Then other people in the ring take over the cases of these girls and arrange for their visa and passport to go to the UAE. The travel details took no more than a month and were arranged under the pretext of tourism. While waiting for passport and visa, these girls were promised a better and prosperous life and marriage to Arab Sheikhs. However, after entering UAE, they ring members handed these girls over to brothels and prostitution networks.”


Golnaz, an Iranian girl who returned home after months, says: “When they came to our house with a marriage proposal they said they were from Zabol but would like to live in Mashhad. I left my house to relocate to Masshad but found myself in Pakistan. They took me to a city where I was able to use the phone in the neighbors’ house and call to notify my family. As my family was trying to rescue me I was sold to many different clients. They kept me in a house during the day and did not allow me to leave the house. They beat me up badly several times because of my protests.”


This girl was sold for $500 to the network of sex traffickers.

©Translated by WFAFI 2004 All Rights Reserved, for usage please contact info@wfafi.og