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The pale blue burqas of Afghanistan are infamously iconic, but not every woman wears one. Eqbal This short report is based on field observations and research inside Iran and paints the picture of the situation of Afghan migrant workers in Iran and the continuation of their exploitation. Eghbal – If they find work, they will be paid much lower wages compared to their Iranian counterparts.

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Job hunting from my parents’ house in rural New England, I missed being abroad and craved an adventure.

A family friend who is a government-relations consultant had recently launched a small strategic consulting firm in Kabul.

Many aspects of life were culture-rich and exhilarating, but others were difficult and isolating.

A typical day could include interacting with the Afghan government; dining with clients in front of heaping piles of rice and naan; or going to various embassies, yet—since we lived and worked in a high-security compound for safety—I spent much of my time there, and every opportunity to go out into the city was a thrill.

If they want to visit their families, they can only do so by paying smugglers who transport them across to Afghanistan and then back to Iran – this is the typical story of Afghan migrant workers in Iran.

The population of Afghan refugees in Iran is estimated around three million with only 500,000 registered refugees – many of whom have to renew their status and pay the re-registration fees annually.

The people smuggler’s fee is around 0 each way, per person.

Woman in Kabul " data-medium-file=" After graduating from college in Scotland, I returned to the US but struggled to find a job in the fields I studied: Persian and Arabic.

Therefore many of those who come to find work do not even try to apply for temporary residency status card – a process that the refugee has to pay fees for and carries the risk of deportation.

As a consequence of Afghan nationals looking for jobs inside Iran and as consequence of Iran’s rigid system of work permits for foreign nationals, Afghan worker without passports have no choice but to rely on people smugglers for their transportation in and out of Iran.

This system of registration dates back to 2003 when the Iranian Bureau of Alien and Foreign Immigrants’ Affair (a Bureau within the Interior Ministry) re-registered Afghan nationals who had migrated to Iran in 80s and 90s.

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