Latvia is a source and destination country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and a source country for women, men, and children subjected to forced labour. Latvian women and girls are forced into prostitution overseas, in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (UK), as well as within Latvia. Latvian men and women are subjected to forced labour abroad, including in Denmark, Germany, Russia, and the UK. Latvian women in brokered marriages in Western Europe, particularly Ireland, were vulnerable to domestic servitude and sex trafficking. In Latvia, unemployed adults, single mothers, people raised in state-run institutions, and individuals with mental disabilities are particularly vulnerable to being trafficked.
Latvia is rated as a Tier 2 Country by the US Department of State’s 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report indicating that the Government of Latvia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.
Phase 1 of Campaign
JASMA - YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND COOPERATION MULTICULTURAL UNION
The mission of JASMA is to develop potentials of young people, giving them opportunity to receive knowledge, skills and information, which is necessary for their active involvement into social, cultural, political, and economic life of society and for the realisation of young people’s ideas, potential and projects. JASMA's aim is to provide young people, regardless of background, nationality, ethnicity or sexual identity with information and support, and to educat young people with respect to democratic principles and tolerance.
Main objectives of JASMA:
- Support and development of social activity and initiatives of young people;
- Informing and education of young people in the areas of human rights and citizenship education,
- Development and promotion of the principles of volunteer work and non-formal education;
- Promotion of intercultural dialogue in society, especially among young people;
- Work toward solving problems of social isolation, gender inequality, and negative stereotypes.
KEY CAMPAIGN ACHIEVEMENTS:
- The Latvian campaign and materials have been developed by the TLG lead partner, JASMA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. 30 teachers and youth workers participated in a Ministry of Education seminar introducing the film and materials.
- The film has been shown on screens in 150 minibuses in Riga over 31 days, playing once every 15 minutes. The film was screened 960 times a day, with a total of 29,760 screenings over the course of the 31 days. Knowing the number of passengers using the minibus network in Riga, a conservative estimate can be made of 9,000 people per day and 63,000 people over the course of 31 days who will have seen the TLG film through this coverage.
- The TLG film has been screened at youth centres, schools and bars with more than 300 young people participating in these events.
Phase 2 of Campaign
RESOURCE CENTRE FOR WOMEN 'MARTA'
The Association Resource Centre for Women “MARTA” is a non-profit organization that promotes mutual support, understanding and solidarity between women, regardless of age, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. The goal of the MARTA Centre is to facilitate gender equality and to promote the advancement of women`s rights and socioeconomic situation in Latvia. The MARTA Centre works at all levels to combat trafficking in human beings, domestic violence and other gender based discrimination.
The MARTA Centre:
- Provides advice on individual rights
- Facilitates the social integration of low-income women
- Secures support services for victims of human trafficking and violence
- Develops broad cooperation between similar organizations
- Facilitates a network of cooperation between women's organizations in Latvia and abroad
- Influences and monitors processes of political development.
KEY CAMPAIGN ACHIEVEMENTS:
- The second phase of the Latvian TLG campaign was launched at an event on EU Day Against Trafficking in Human Beings, October 2013. The British Ambassador, representatives of the Ministries of the Interior, Justice and Welfare, and representatives of the State Police and State Inspectorate for the Protection of Children's Rights spoke at the event.
- MARTA used the TLG film in their summer youth camps in 2013. The youth camps are for 13-16 year old young people in which the young people generate and carry out activities to promote anti-violence whilst supervised by an adult. MARTA estimates that the TLG film was used as part of a discussion on trafficking with 2000 young people.
- At least five further events were carried out by young people attending MARTA's summer youth camps, including screenings in a main train station and at a festival, and using the film to inspire forum theatre workshops.
- The TLG film has been used to raise awareness of human traffikicking in boarding schools and youth centres with at least 200 young people participating.
- 16 of MARTA's youth leaders have used the TLG film in events with more than 300 young people.
- The TLG film has been used by MARTA in meetings with politicians and Embassies to advocate for clearer anti-trafficking legislation.