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Wednesday 18.10.2017 | Name days: Rolanda, Rolands, Ronalds, Erlends
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Latvians become victims of human trafficking most often in England, Ireland and Holland

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Latvia is a country of origin for many victims of human trafficking. However, it could become a transit and destination country as well, the manager of Drošā māja* organization Sandra Zalcmane warns.

Аuthor: Evija Trifanova/LETAEven though Latvia’s legislation provides harsh punishments for human trafficking activities, the number of victims of this illegal trade increases every year. In 2007, only 2 people received rehabilitation services, in 2008 – 7, in 2009 – 10, in 2010 – 9, in 2011 – 11 and 30 in 2012. Eight people have already applied for rehabilitation in the beginning of this year. According to Zalcmane, recruitment for human trafficking in Latvia is mostly carried out via the Internet – in social networks. This allows the recruiter to remain anonymous. Often the recruiter is actually a friend, relative or acquaintance. “Knowing that we’re dealing with someone close to us, their word being the most convincing. We trust them. But we never know just how true the promises of our relatives or friends truly are”, – the specialist says.

There have been several cases in the practice of this organization when a friend who encouraged his friend to leave for foreign countries was actually forced to do so, because the actual recruiters threatened the safety of his family. There was also an instance when a girl who was tricked into fictive marriage with a foreigner was not allowed to leave until she had recruited another girl from Latvia to sign a fictive marriage certificate.

The number of human trafficking cases within Latvia’s territory is currently low in comparison to the number of Latvian citizens used in human trafficking abroad, according to statistics. Of the total of 30 identified victims of human trafficking only one was involved in prostitution in Latvia. The other 29 victims were provided with aid, helping them return to Latvia.

Countries where Latvian citizens become victims of human trafficking include England, Ireland, Holland, Greece, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Cyprus, Sweden, USA, Switzerland and Russia.

The most popular form of human trafficking in Latvia is fictive marriage.

The specialist believes that the number of potential victims can be reduced by discussing this problem with children at schools, in a specific form to every generation. “Slave traders are ruthless and merciless – the use men, women and children alike. They come up with new schemes every year”, – the manager of Drošā māja adds.

*Drošā māja organization provides state funded rehabilitation services for victims of human trafficking.

Ref: 102.109.109.7489


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