An Introduction to History of Labour Inspection in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Since the arrival of modern industries to Iran in 1921, the construction and development of railways and roads, the establishment of cement, sugar, match and textile industries, accompanied by absorbing a number of work forces in those factories, together with the unbearable work conditions and low wages on one hand and continuation of this situation while news of labours protests at industrial countries kept coming to Iran, led to establish the first labour support regulation in Iran in 1923 . These regulations were developed as a by-law issued by the governor of Kerman and Bluchestan provinces and covered carpet weaver labours of these regions. This is in fact the first document available in Iran that regulates the working hours, age of labour and health conditions of workers and one may know it as the basis of work inspection system in Iran.

The by-law issued by the Kerman and Bluchestan governor on supporting carpet weaver labors contained following points:

1-The working hours of all labours at carpet weaving workshops should be eight hours a day. The employers of these workshops are not authorized to force labours to work more than these hours.

2- The labors will not work on Fridays and official holidays; however, they will receive the wages of those days as a one day work.

3- Boys younger than 8 years and girls younger than 10 years can not work in these workshops.

4- The boys and girls in workshops should be separated and establishing any mixed workshops is strictly prohibited.

5- In the girls' workshops, women may work as forewomen and employing male foremen in these workshops is strictly forbidden.

6- No employer is authorized to assign work to stick workers.

7- The workshops should not be built in damp rooms and the workshops should have window for sunshine light.

8- The carpet frames (workshops) should be 104 cm higher than workshop floor and the labours' place should be arranged in a way that enables children to work easily.

9- The head of welfare department or health agent of the municipality would visit workshops once a month and if health and sanitary conditions are not observed, they should report the case to authorities.

10- Those employers who do not observe the above mentioned legal terms will be sentenced to a penalty varying from ten to fifty Tumans. This penalty will be paid to the education department. The sentence might be one to twenty days of imprisonment.

11- The district municipality is in-charge of executing the decree and supervising on its execution.


In 1931, a number of labour and social policies for insurance regulations were approved among which, one might mention the indemnity payment to compensate losses to labours. Through years and completing labour laws and regulations, the first draft of labour law was approved by council of ministers in 1946 and in August of the same year, by approval of council of ministers, a new ministry, named ministry of labour and propagation was established to enforce labour law. To supervise execution of the law, a labour inspection department was established under supervision of general manager of labour inspection department.This organization started communication with International Labour Organization from its establishment date and invited the experts of ILO to develop new regulations and by-laws including work inspection. The experts of ILO were dispatched to Iran in the beginning of 1948.