Thousands of elementary schoolgirls have in the past 10 years been forced to wear chadors under a “National School Hijab Plan”. Based on the statistics provided by a state center,
nearly 18,000 young girls between the ages of 7 to 12 were warned or praised by the mullah stationed in their girls’ elementary school regarding wearing chadors. This institution said in 2011 alone, 1,440 individuals in Tehran and 826,000 individuals underwent teachings of female seminary school students in the cities of Mashhad, Urumieh, Isfahan, Shiraz, Kashan, Sari, Shahr Rey and were forced to wear chadors or the veil.
The exact numbers of girls under the age 18 who were arrested or warned for not abiding by hijab regulations have never been officially declared. However, remarks made by security officials confirm measures are taken against children who don’t fully abide by Islamic hijab regulations. For example, Reza Hosseini, the police commander in the town of Garmsar, said 82% of women arrested from March to September 2007 for improper hijab were between the ages of 16 to 26.
Furthermore, according to Alireza Afshar, social deputy of the interior minister, 67% of all those arrested during the months of May and June 2010 for not abiding by hijab laws were between the ages of 16 to 20. A report published in 2010 by Iran’s police force states 8% of women arrested for “mal-veiling” were less under the age of 15, and 46% were between the ages of 16 to 20.
Girls temporarily arrested for violating hijab regulations, are held alongside criminals accused of drug charges and other convicts, and they are insulted during their detention. Girls under the age of 18 being detained and mistreated for not abiding by hijab regulations is a violation of articles 1 and 38 of the Child Rights Convention, as it places them under legal procedures similar to adults.
Despite the fact that based on Islamic laws, girls under the age of 9 are not obligated to abide by Islamic hijab, rules imposed in schools are forcing girls to wear headscarves from the age of 7. Over 6 million girl students under the age of 18 who are considered minors under international standards, are obligated to wear head-to-toe chadors and pants.