Abandoned children, a deeply troubling social crisis in Iran

Masoud Dalvand
4 min readSep 15, 2018

By Masoud Dalvand

I recently read a shocking report on the situation of abandoned children in Iran, which hurts the hearts of every human being. First, I’ll draw your attention to the most important parts of this report.

A report on the horrifying impact, caused by Iran’s regime, on abandoned children. This situation is worsening by the day.

One of the many tragedies the Iranian society is suffering from during the reign of the mullahs is the rising number of abandoned children. While facing an uncertain future, these children are abandoned in a variety of public places. The majority of them fall victim to a large number of malign social crises plaguing Iran.

The rising numbers are mind-boggling. Through the course of 2017, a total of 181 children were taken in by the Children Welfare Organization in Alborz Province, northern Iran.

According to the deputy of social affairs in the Welfare Organization of Khorasan Razavi Province of northeast Iran, one child is abandoned each day in the city streets or even the local holy shrine. Mashhad has the highest average rate of abandoned children throughout Iran, the official adds.

Over 580 babies were admitted to the special section of this entity in 2017, according to this same source, all abandoned or ill-treated by their parents.

Every day five abandoned babies are admitted to the special babies centers, according to the Tehran Province deputy of social affairs.

In the city of Isfahan alone, authorities are admitting 16 abandoned babies each month.

True statistics are obviously far beyond these numbers provided by the regime’s official sources.

The former director of welfare issues in Iran’s Ministry of Interior says around 950 to 1,000 babies under the age of three are abandoned each year in Iran. The Welfare Organization then becomes responsible for these cases. Many other babies are literally sold because their parents are too poor to afford to raise them. There are no official records and statistics on this increasingly troubling phenomenon.

The dark reality is that these babies’ parents, living in poverty, are so desperate that they are left with no option other than abandoning their newborns, hoping a children welfare society takes them in or they are adopted by families able to provide care for them.

Abandoned children in Iran

Head of Iran’s Social Trauma Society also considers poverty as the root cause of this dilemma. These babies’ families cannot afford their very basic needs and cannot even afford the cost of an abortion.

These abandoned babies/children face uncertain futures under a regime that has no plans on how to protect them. The government-run hospitals refuse to take in or provide treatment for any children whose parents are poor and not able to pay for their treatment. This leaves a large portion of Iran’s population deprived of health care, especially for their children.

The province of Isfahan is now witnessing this crisis reaching a critical point. All the while, the more deprived provinces of Kurdistan and Sistan & Baluchistan are experiencing even worse conditions.

There are, of course, no records on the increasing number of children being sold and purchased. Many such children fall victim to a mafia-like network, ending up living the life of crimes or even being traded for harvesting their body organs.

At the end of this disturbing spectrum, regime officials and their inner circle enjoy living luxurious lives. The so-called “aghazadeh” (loosely translated into the offspring of nobles) enjoy highly-equipped kindergartens or are sent to European and American schools.

A regime-affiliated website described these kindergartens with indoor heated swimming pools, multi-purpose gyms and sports centers equipped with rock climbing walls, ice skating rings, ballet classes, chess clubs, English and French classes, music courses and much, much more facilities. These are all for children under the age of seven.

The report adds one such facility is located in Zafaranieh of northern Tehran, charging 12 million rials a month, while another kindergarten in Saadatabad charges 10 million rials a month and a third such example, located in western Tehran, costs 6 million rials a month for each child.

Abandoned children are suffering from the reign of the mullahs.

But this is not the end of this bitter story. Children who have not been abandoned are now between the ages lower of 10 and between 10 and 15 years in their best children’s life years to study at school and their talents flourish because of the poverty caused by corruption, plunder, theft and exploitation caused by the rule of the mullahs’ dictatorship has been abandoned. Whether in the streets and medieval workshops and waste centers, they are busy with begging or hard working, and every day they are harassed and abused by regime repressive agents, and despite their high talent, they cannot go to school. This is also a huge humanitarian catastrophe in the country.

In Iran, children are abandoned because of poverty from the very beginning of their birth or at the higher age, are severely harassed and exploited. This horrible condition must end. But the solution is not in the corrupt and criminal regime, the solution is only to continue the ongoing nationwide protests and uprisings and to change this regime and establish freedom, democracy and justice in Iran.



Masoud Dalvand

Human rights activist and advocate of democracy, freedom, and justice in Iran. http://about.me/m.dalvand