Iraqi Kurdistan: Iranian girls subjected to sex trafficking

The U.S. State Department released on Tuesday the Trafficking in Persons Report 2017, saying Iranian girls were subjected to sex trafficking in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, especially in Sulaimani.

According to the annual report, in some cases the Iranian trafficking network and organized groups has facilitated exploitation in Iran, Afghanistan, the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR), Pakistan, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Europe.

The report referred to Iran as “a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.”

“Iranian girls were subjected to sex trafficking in brothels in the IKR, especially Sulaimani; in some cases this exploitation was facilitated by Iranian trafficking networks. In 2015, the media reported Kurdistan Regional Government officials were among the clients of these brothels.” the report said.

Some women who are vulnerable to sex trafficking include those who search for employment to support their families in Iran, the report read.

There were Iranian girls between the ages of 13 and 17 subjected to human trafficking and set for sale. “Younger girls may be forced into domestic service until their traffickers consider them old enough to be subjected to child sex trafficking.”

The report said that sex trafficking in which Iranian teenage girls were victims is on the rise in Tehran, Tabriz, and Astara.

“Temporary” or “short-term” marriages lasting from one hour to one week—for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation—are reportedly increasing in Iran.”

Shiraz and Iran were noted as being used by traffickers as a transit point to bring ethnic Azeri girls from Azerbaijan to the UAE for commercial sexual exploitation.


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