Human Trafficking from Lithuania Reported Increasing in UK
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 12:01 PM

In a report to the Lithuanian Seimas (parliament), a detective from the United Kingdom, Richard Martin, described an increase in human trafficking from Lithuania. Martin told Lithuanian MPs about the situation of trafficking in London, including the fact that several Lithuanian victims of trafficking have been found in the city over the past few years.

According to the United States State Department Trafficking in Persons Report of 2008, Lithuanians were trafficked in-country, as well as to the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands. Lithuania was also used as a transit point for women from Belarus, Russia, and the Ukraine.

Human trafficking cases are being tried in British courts. One case Detective Martin highlighted was of a Lithuanian woman who was sold for sex; the perpetrator was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Mr. Martin and the United States State Department confirm that the Lithuanian police do cooperate with other countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and Scandinavian countries to combat trafficking and share information.

According to the State Department report, Lithuanian law criminalizes discrimination based on sex, sexual harassment, rape, prostitution, and human trafficking. The country has 39 shelters for victims of domestic violence and 15 government-run day centers specifically for victims of trafficking. A shelter in Vilnius, for example, housed 160 victims by September 2008.

Compiled from: Human trafficking from Lithuania increases, The Baltic Times, 23 March 2009; 2008 Human Rights Report: Lithuania, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State 25 February 2009.