(Persia Digest) – According to an Iranian official ‘out of the child laborers gathered from the streets 10 percent are Iranian and 90 percent are from other countries, most of whom are smuggled into Iran by bands of people smugglers.’

Large numbers of illegal immigrants cross into Iran from Afghanistan and Pakistan on a daily basis part of which are child laborers who are sent to large Iranian cities by organized bands.

Director General of the social and cultural affairs of Tehran Governorate, Fereshteh Marvasti, told ILNA News: “Some of these children are legal immigrants and some are illegal. Legal immigrants will be given assistance by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other organs if necessary. But illegal immigrant children cross the Iranian border with their families. If they come alone, this will be followed-up with the Afghan Embassy and the Foreign Ministry.”

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Marvasti reiterated: “As of today, most of these children are from Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are by far mostly from Afghanistan. Some are brought into the country by human smugglers and others have resided in Iran for years with their families.”

She stressed: “Investigations show that large numbers of these children were smuggled into Iran over the past six months. They spend the first few months of their life here by begging and working at traffic lights to pay the smugglers following which they send their income to their families. A percentage of the money is also paid to the band leaders.”

According to Marvasti, only 10 percent of child laborers are Iranian and 90 percent are smuggled to Iran mainly by human smugglers.

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