Each week True Crime Diva highlights a missing persons case that has little or no information available regarding the circumstances of disappearance.
There is literally no information out there on this case, which is why it is featured as the Missing Person of the Week. It breaks my heart to think this child vanished and appears to have been forgotten.
Gullar Qurbanova was just shy of turning 13 when she disappeared on March 15, 1999 from Balajari, Azerbaijan. She has not been seen since and may have been taken abroad illegally.
According to the U.S. 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report, Azerbaijan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Women and children from Azerbaijan are subjected to sex trafficking within the country and in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, Russia, Iran, and Sweden.
The Azeri media publishes a substantial number of articles about how Iranian traffickers come to these regions and take advantage of the poverty of the population, get married, or, actually, buy so-called “wives” who are often minors. The fate of these “wives” is unknown, but it is not difficult to guess that in most cases, they are sold on to brothels in
Iran and other Muslim countries, or that they are used as slaves or servants. It is difficult to say how many such Azeri “wives” now live in Iran, Afghanistan or other Muslim countries (Yunusov, 2013).
This has been going on in Azerbaijan since the 1990s, so there is a possibility that Gullar was taken by traffickers. I doubt her fate will ever be known.
The 2014 Trafficking In Persons Report. 2014. Ebook. https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2014/index.htm.
Yunusov, Arif. 2013. The Problem Of Human Trafficking In Azerbaijan. Ebook. European University Institute. http://www.carim-east.eu.