Monday, September 25, 2006

800,000 foreigners working illegally in Iran

Some 800,000 foreigners are working in Iran illegally, reported Iran Daily on Monday.

According to statistics recently released, illegal foreign workers receive a total of US$ 1.3 billion annually. Illegal workers come mostly from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

The report further pointed out that illegal workers commit irreparable damage to the job market as employment opportunities for citizens and legal residents are taken away by these illegals.

"The unemployment rate has reached 12.3% in Iran," it said, urging a policy of repatriation for illegal workers. READ MORE

It further said that the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs believes all illegal workers are employed by the private sector.

"If 100 million rials is required for creating each job opportunity, then illegal workers are occupying jobs worth a total of 80 trillion rials," it said.

The report further said that the government has granted work permits to over 11,000 foreign specialists from 47 countries, adding that these people have met Iran's industrial requirements and have helped upgrade technologies here.

The ninth government has placed unemployment alleviation high on its agenda.

Experts, including Labor House Secretary-General Ali-reza Mahjoub, say unemployment is the gravest challenge currently facing the country.

Illegal laborers usually work without a contract in Iran which excludes them from all social security and health benefits.