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Human trafficking still a problem in Latvia

Oct 17, 2012
From wire reports

Human trafficking still  a problem in Latvia

RIGA - Despite preventive measures, the number of victims of human traffic is growing rapidly. 20 people so far in 2012. The Welfare Ministry has doubled the funding to combat this problem. Nevertheless, the number of criminal proceedings against the traffickers has not increased.

Human trafficking is more noticeable in Ireland, Britain, and Germany, according to statistics from Patverums Drosa maja (Asylum Safe House). The most widespread forms of human trafficking are bogus marriages, but there are also cases of sexual abuse, as well as work exploitation abroad, Diena writes.

Women from poor families engage in bogus marriages more often. Most of them are poorly educated or have light intellectual deviations. Reality, however, is often not as recruiters claim it is. Not only do those women never receive the promised few thousands of Euro, but are also subjected to violent treatment, their fictitious husbands start to control their lives. Many people are drawn to foreign countries by promises of work, completely unaware they will not receive any aid as immigrants.

The Latvian Embassy in Ireland received pleas from a number of potential human traffic victims. Most of them were fictitious brides and wives under the age of 20.
Repatriation of these women is not straight forward. In some cases, tickets home are purchased by their families, but most victims do not have the funds to return on their own. The government support system is not flexible enough, the advisor at the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in Ireland, Vija Busa said.

It was previously planned to approve amendments to related rules of the Cabinet of Ministers this summer. However, the Foreign Ministry and Welfare Ministry could not reach an agreement about who will take on the responsibility for all related expenses.

Until a solution is found, embassies will have to work harder to return the women back home. Current practice states every case should be reviewed separately.

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