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The Plight of Iran’s Street Vendor Kids

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By The Free Iranian Staff


In the recent years, many cases of violence by municipal agents against kids who work as street vendors – including ones caught on video, have come to light. 

The video of the brutal and savage treatment a child street vendor at the hands of city municipality employees in Bushehr Province has be making the rounds, shocking and disgusting social media users.


The release of surveillance camera images to a local news outlet in the southern Iran confirmed the agent battering and physically abusing the child. The provincial governor has acknowledged the municipal agent ruthless behavior with the child; however rather than punish the man, he has, without proof, accused the child of stealing from a shrine and encouraged the acquittal of the agent, commending him for taking the child to task.

In most cases, the agents have not been charged, let alone convicted. This kind of violence is nothing new and for street vendor kids selling all kinds of products, has been common experience. In recent years however, as more and more incidents are caught on video and shared throughout social media, it has begun to gain attention.

A 2017 survey conducted in six of different provinces throughout Iran by Tehran University’s Faculty of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, 90 percent of these children are boys, half of whom were forced to leave school to help their families undergoing financial difficulties. Those surveyed said that harsh weather conditions, having to work outdoors as the most serious problem, followed by hunger, and finally by violence on the part of municipal agents and from time to time, average citizens.

Despite widespread violence against working children in Iran, there is no official organization or body to pursue the rights of these children.

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