Torture in  [Latvia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Latvia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Latvia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Latvia]  [other countries]
 

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                        gvnet.com/humantrafficking/Latvia.htm

Republic of Latvia

Latvia's economy experienced GDP growth of more than 10% per year during 2006-07; but entered a recession in 2008 as a result of an unsustainable current account deficit and large debt exposure amid the softening world economy.

The current account deficit and inflation remain major concerns.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Latvia

Latvia is a source and destination country for women trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Latvian women are trafficked to Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Greece, Ireland, and Japan for commercial sexual exploitation. Latvian teenage girls are trafficked within the country for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Latvia is a destination country for women trafficked from Belgium and Portugal for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation and for women from Thailand who may have been trafficked for the purpose of forced labor. - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009  [full country report]

 

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Latvia.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** FEATURED ARTICLES ***

Awareness of Human Trafficking Among Young People in Latvia

Alison Y. Boak, Kenneth W. Griffin, Debra Jones & Vita Karklina -- 29th Annual Conference, Global Health in Times of Crisis, 28-31 May 2002

72.3.236.96/conference_2002/abstracts/a5.php3

[accessed 17 April 2012]

CONCLUSIONS - While youth in Latvia are largely aware of human trafficking, most don't believe it really happens in Latvia. Furthermore, while the majority of youth are interested in working abroad, many don't know how to take basic precautions to ensure their safety. These findings suggest that awareness of the reality of trafficking needs to be raised among youth in Latvia and that young people need instruction on how to take appropriate precautions if they seek to work abroad.

From Ballroom Dancer to Stripper: Surviving Chicago's sex slave trade Series: Sex and Sorrow: The Modern Slave Trade

Annie Sweeney, Crime Reporter, Chicago Sun Times, August 7, 2005

www.ipsn.org/organized_crime/prostitution/surviving_chicago.htm

[accessed 17 February 2011]

To Z, Mishulovich's offer was exhilarating.  It was also a lie -- something she discovered shortly after landing at O'Hare Airport.  Put up in a cramped apartment with other Latvian women, she was watched constantly, beaten and threatened with being sold as a prostitute. Her passport was taken away.  And the dancing? Really it was stripping. For maybe $20 a night.  She was a virtual slave -- a sex slave, a victim of "human trafficking."

 

*** ARCHIVES ***

The Department of Labor’s 2003 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2004

www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/tda2003/latvia.htm

[accessed 17 February 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 in Latvia are unavailable. However, the commercial sexual exploitation of children is known to exist.  Prostitution by both boys and girls remains a problem.  It is estimated that up to 15 percent of prostitutes in Latvia are children between 8 and 18 years old.  Victims from Latvia are trafficked to countries in Western Europe, including Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Spain, Greece, Italy, and UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61658.htm

[accessed 17 February 2011]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – The country was primarily a source and transit point for trafficked victims. The main countries of destination were Germany, Spain, Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland, and the Nordic countries. There were reports, including from the European Police Service, that trafficking in women and girls for sexual exploitation abroad increased. Women, including well‑educated women, homeless teens, and minors graduating from orphanage boarding schools, were among those most at risk to be trafficked. Males were also trafficked. Trafficking within the country also occurred, and women from poor districts were often trafficked for sexual exploitation to Riga, Liepaja, and Ventspils. However, no criminal cases were initiated for trafficking in persons within the country.

Traffickers, primarily organized criminal groups, usually lured victims through false offers of employment for jobs such as dancers, bartenders, and babysitters in European countries. A large number of victims were drawn from the economically depressed areas of the country's eastern regions. While some victims were recruited through job advertisements or modeling and travel agencies, most victims were solicited through direct contact with traffickers. Traffickers often recruited their victims at cafes and clubs, and victims themselves recruited new victims for the traffickers

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 26 January 2001

www1.umn.edu/humanrts/crc/latvia2001.html

[accessed 17 February 2011]

[33] The Committee expresses its concern at the fact that the current legislation regulating adoption is out of date and does not guarantee adequate protection of the child involved, as recognized in the Convention.

From Ballroom Dancer to Stripper: Surviving Chicago's sex slave trade Series: Sex and Sorrow: The Modern Slave Trade

Annie Sweeney, Crime Reporter, Chicago Sun Times, August 7, 2005

www.ipsn.org/organized_crime/prostitution/surviving_chicago.htm

[accessed 17 February 2011]

To Z, Mishulovich's offer was exhilarating.  It was also a lie -- something she discovered shortly after landing at O'Hare Airport.  Put up in a cramped apartment with other Latvian women, she was watched constantly, beaten and threatened with being sold as a prostitute. Her passport was taken away.  And the dancing? Really it was stripping. For maybe $20 a night.  She was a virtual slave -- a sex slave, a victim of "human trafficking."

Warnings of human trafficking taught to children

Annie Sweeney, Crime Reporter, Chicago Sun Times, Riga Latvia, August 8, 2005

tvol.blogspot.com/2005/08/warnings-of-human-trafficking-taught.html

[accessed 17 February 2011]

She was 17, the daughter of unemployed alcoholics in a struggling country where good work can be difficult to find.  So she took a job that, though it required leaving the Baltic state, would help pay the family's bills.  She was going to pick strawberries in Finland.  But as her new employers drove across the Latvian border and into Estonia, everything changed.  She was ordered to take off her clothes and pose for photos that would be posted on the Web.  One snapshot shows her wearing only a black bikini bottom, coyly hiding behind an overgrown plant. Another has her arched against a cinderblock wall. If you didn't know better, you'd think she wanted to be there.  She made it to Finland all right, but as a virtual slave who was forced to work as a prostitute and give almost all of her earnings to her captors.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 2   Civil Liberties: 1   Status: Free

2009 Edition

www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2009/latvia

[accessed 26 June 2012]

Stop Violence Against Women – Country Page

The Advocates for Human Rights, November 13, 2003

stopvaw.org/Latvia.html

[accessed 17 February 2011]

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

U.S. Library of Congress - Country Study

Library of Congress Call Number DK502.35 .E86 1996

lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/lvtoc.html

[accessed 17 February 2011]

Cypriot held in Latvia on flesh trade charges

Cyprus Mail, March 8, 2005

www.cyprus-mail.com/cyprus/cypriot-held-latvia-flesh-trade-charges

[accessed 30 November 2010]

According to the Latvian police the suspect was allegedly involved in trafficking in women under the pretext of recruiting them as waitresses and cleaners when in fact they would be pushed into prostitution.

Prevention of Youth Trafficking Initiative

www.iofa.org/prevention.html

[access date unavailable]

IOFA AND YOUTH TRAFFICKING PREVENTION - PROJECTS IN THE BALTIC STATES

PREVENTION, INVESTIGATION, & REPATRIATION OF VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN LATVIA: This project provides training to encourage cooperation among law enforcement officials and NGO leaders in combating trafficking of young people in Latvia. Regional Trafficking Response Teams have been established in three regions.

STRENGTHENING SOCIAL SERVICE PROVISION TO VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN LATVIA: This project strengthens social service provision to victims of human trafficking by assessing current services, creating partnerships between service providers and a local shelter; and by ensuring that the shelter staff is properly trained to respond to victims' needs.

Trafficking Alert - Trafficking and the NGO Community

Vital Voices, Trafficking Alert, June 2002

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 8 September 2011]

[scroll down]

NEW YORK-BASED ORGANIZATION EDUCATES LATVIAN ADOLESCENTS ABOUT SAFELY WORKING ABROAD AND WARNS ABOUT TRAFFICKING - . PPAT integrates an educational module on human trafficking into the existing curriculum of teen centers in Latvia. Before traveling abroad, adolescents can receive consultations in the center in order to ensure safe travel. The centers keep copies of the young peoples' passports, and provide them with information about embassies and NGOs that can help if they find themselves in dangerous situations overseas.

Women’s Anti-Discrimination Committee Experts Urge Latvia to Update Laws to Protect Women from Domestic Violence

UN Information Service UNIS, New York, 14 July 2004

www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/pressrels/2004/wom1457.html

[accessed 17 February 2011]

COUNTRY MAKES FIRST PRESENTATION TO COMMITTEE; TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN, EQUAL PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL LIFE AMONG OTHER ISSUES RAISED - Turning to a related issue, experts expressed deep concern over the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of women trafficked or lured in to Latvia from other countries. Portugal’s expert lamented the apparent lack of programmes in place to rehabilitate those women once they were removed from harm. Granted, some cooperative initiatives were underway with neighbouring and transit countries, but the problem should be made a national priority. Other experts stressed the need to target and prosecute the client side of the equation -- usually middle-aged, married men.

Addressing that issue, Ms. Druviete said Latvia adhered to major international conventions and treaties aimed at preventing human trafficking. Also, the country had recently established the National Programme for Prevention of Human Trafficking (2004-2008), which focused on improving legislation, rehabilitating victims and raising awareness. To limit trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation, the Government had created a special police unit, strengthening its cooperation with neighbouring countries and cooperating with non-governmental organizations.

Finnish man faces charges of human trafficking in Latvia

Helsingin Sanomat International Edition, 19.2.2004

www2.hs.fi/english/archive/news.asp?id=20040219IE6

[accessed 17 February 2011]

A Finnish man in his 40s is suspected of human trafficking and pimping in Latvia.  The man is believed to have organised a circle of dozens of women from Latvia, Estonia, and Russia to work as prostitutes in several large Finnish cities. He was taken into custody in Latvia at the beginning of February.

Human trafficking is not often encountered in the Nordic countries and for the time being the Finnish penal code has no reference to this issue. However, this fault will be corrected soon.  The charges against the man will be heard shortly and if found guilty he will be sentenced under Latvian law. Any sentence is expected to be rather heavy - particularly as it is suspected that some kind of pressure was used and an international criminal organization was involved, and because one of the women was a minor aged 17.

Awareness of Human Trafficking Among Young People in Latvia

Alison Y. Boak, Kenneth W. Griffin, Debra Jones & Vita Karklina -- 29th Annual Conference, Global Health in Times of Crisis, 28-31 May 2002

72.3.236.96/conference_2002/abstracts/a5.php3

[accessed 17 April 2012]

CONCLUSIONS - While youth in Latvia are largely aware of human trafficking, most don't believe it really happens in Latvia. Furthermore, while the majority of youth are interested in working abroad, many don't know how to take basic precautions to ensure their safety. These findings suggest that awareness of the reality of trafficking needs to be raised among youth in Latvia and that young people need instruction on how to take appropriate precautions if they seek to work abroad.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery - Latvia", http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/Latvia.htm, [accessed <date>]

 

 

Torture in  [Latvia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Latvia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Latvia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Latvia]  [other countries]