Human trafficking from Lithuania increases

  • 2009-03-23
  • TBT staff in cooperation with BNS

Nearly 20 percent of Lithuanian women sold into slavery are underage.

VILNIUS- Despite preventative measures bypoliticians, human trafficking volumes from Lithuaniaare rising.

Detective Chief Superintendent in charge of Metropolitan Police Clubs andVice Unit Richard Martin on March 20 communicated this tendency on a visit tothe Human Rights Committee under the Lithuanian Seimas.

Most women are brought to London from Thailand and Eastern Europe, and theirnumber is expected to rise with the approaching Olympic Games, said the UKofficer, also expressing concern over the hefty volumes of women traffickingfrom Lithuania.

Martin briefed Lithuanian MPs on the statistics covering a one day period insome parts of London, namely how many women and of what nationality were inthat time rendering prostitution services. In 46 apartments in Soho, hosted tenLithuanian women, nine from Kosovo and seven from Great Britain were found.

The situation is similar throughout other parts of London.

Metropolitan Police Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland said British officersover the past few years have rescued hundreds of Lithuanian women fallen victimto human trafficking, some of them underage. Culprits behind organizing sexslavery are sentenced, on average, for 18 years behind bars, he said.

A case was recently closed in London, convicting the perpetrator behindselling one Lithuanian woman as a sex slave and sentencing him to 18 years ofprison, said Martin. The officer noted the economic crisis is forcing people tosearch out additional ways to make money, dsying that the police would like tostop women from having to resort to becoming sex slaves by informing people inthe sending state of the dangers.

London's Metropolitan Police detectives have often received help fromLithuania's judicial system officers, noting there have been no obstacles tosharing information and pleading for help as their Lithuanian counterparts contributeto accumulating evidence.

About 20 percent of all persons from Lithuania fallen victim to sex slaveryare underage, Chairman of the Seimas Human Rights Department Arminas Lydekasaid, noting room for concern.

Lithuania is a transit state, en route for human traffickers hauling fromRussia and Belarus victims to better-off European Union member states, he said.

Lithuania should especially focus on this issue in year 2011, as it takesthe wheel at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE),Ombudsperson for children's rights in Lithuania Rimante Salaseviciute said.

According to information available to the Council of Europe, humantrafficking is the third most profitable line of activity in terms of organizedcrime.