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Human Trafficking
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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                              

Republic of Latvia

Latvia's economy experienced GDP growth of more than 10% per year during 2006-07; but entered a recession in 2008 as a result of an unsustainable current account deficit and large debt exposure amid the softening world economy.

The current account deficit and inflation remain major concerns.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Latvia.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of child prostitution are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got started, how they survive, and how some succeed in leaving.  Perhaps your paper could focus on runaways and the abuse that led to their leaving.  Other factors of interest might be poverty, rejection, drug dependence, coercion, violence, addiction, hunger, neglect, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the manipulative and dangerous adults who control this activity.  There is a lot to the subject of Child Prostitution.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims

Shelter Association Safe House
6789 8343
Country code: 371-



Prostitution in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Jury Kalikov, Central European University International Policy Fellowship Program, Open Society Institute, March 30, 2003

[accessed 12 June 2011]

[scroll down]

MINORS IN SEX WORK - Three surveys can be used for the description of situation with minors in sex business in Latvia. A survey (Kurova, Zarina 1997) showed that nearly every fourth prostitute is younger then 18 years old. The peak of adolescent prostitution was in time of big economical changes in Latvia in the early 90s and in the mid-90s. Adolescent prostitutes work mostly in parks, markets; on train station and they offer services for very small amount of money, often for doze of drug or even food (Vavere, Mozalevskis, 2000)


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Country Monitoring Report [PDF]

Farida Mussayeva, ECPAT International, 2017

[accessed 2 September 2020]

Desk review of existing information on the sexual exploitation of children (SEC) in Latvia. The report looks at protection mechanisms, responses, preventive measures, child and youth participation in fighting SEC, and makes recommendations for action against SEC.

Human Rights Reports » 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 10, 2020

[accessed 2 September 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - The law prohibits the commercial sexual exploitation of children, the sale of children, offering or procuring a child for prostitution, and practices related to child pornography. Authorities generally enforced the law. Through September police initiated 92 criminal proceedings for the sexual exploitation of minors younger than 16, a 12-percent drop from 2018. Through September the ombudsman received one complaint of sexual violence against children. The purchase, display, reproduction, or distribution of child pornography is punishable by up to three years in prison. Involving a minor in the production of pornography is punishable by up to 12 years in prison, depending on the age of the child. The minimum age for consensual sex is 16.

The Department of Labor’s 2003 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2004

[accessed 17 February 2011]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Statistics on the number of working children under the age of 15 in Latvia are unavailable. However, the commercial sexual exploitation of children is known to exist. Prostitution by both boys and girls remains a problem. It is estimated that up to 15 percent of prostitutes in Latvia are children between 8 and 18 years old. Victims from Latvia are trafficked to countries in Western Europe, including Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Spain, Greece, Italy, and UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 26 January 2001

[accessed 17 February 2011]

[47] The Committee notes with concern that prostitution is rapidly spreading among minors and that the only rehabilitation programs available are short term.

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action

ECPAT International, November 2001

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[B] COUNTRY UPDATES – LATVIA – Although the Latvian government approved the National Program for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children 2000-2004, no information has been received concerning its implementation.  Last year a case of child pornography and prostitution involving 200 children was uncovered, and it is estimate that 30 per cent of the prostituted children on the streets in Riga are girls.

Latvia Bans Child Models

BBC News, 10 March, 2000

[accessed 13 June 2011]

Latvia has banned under-18s from working as models or taking part in beauty contests, in reaction to a child prostitution and pornography scandal that has rocked the country. The scandal, which allegedly involves members of the government, broke last year when directors of a local beauty contest and model agency, were arrested for procuring boys and selling pedophile videos.

PPAT-Estonia - Project for the Prevention of Adolescent Trafficking in Estonia

The International Organization for Adolescents IOFA in collaboration with NGO Living for Tomorrow, and AIDS-I Tugikeskus AIDS Information & Support Center

[accessed 13 June 2011]

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - At the Women & Democracy Conference held June 2001 in Lithuania a number of youth serving organizations began a dialogue to discuss their shared concern about how to address the recent increase in youth trafficking in their countries.  The Project for the Prevention of Adolescent Trafficking in Latvia (PPAT-Latvia) emerged as a model program for preventing youth from becoming victims of human trafficking through education and awareness rising.

The Incidence of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in the Baltic Sea Region

The Baltic Sea States Support Group, Prime Minister's Office • S-103 33, Stockholm SWEDEN, March 1998

[accessed 13 June 2011]

Although statistical data on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children are lacking in every country in the Baltic Sea Region, it is learned that in Latvia the number of prostitutes is approximately 3,000, and that about 10-12% of the prostitutes are juveniles. Furthermore, 30% of these juvenile prostitutes are under the age of 16. They are the ones most in demand in the brothels. All prostitution in Latvia is said to be organized.

Reports to Treaty Bodies - Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 2001

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 13 June 2011]

The Committee recommended that the government implement the National Program for the Prevention of Sexual Violence for 2000-2004, in particular its rehabilitation and reintegration aspects; undertake a study of commercial sexual exploitation and abuse of children in order to understand its scope and causes and to develop programs for monitoring the problem and to prevent and combat it.




Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 9 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Child prostitution remained a problem. During the year the police reported that, due to the imposition of severe penalties for rape and sexual exploitation of minors, the reported incidence of child prostitution sharply declined. According to the police, previous estimates that 12 to 15 percent of prostitutes were between the ages of 8 and 18 were exaggerated and during the year noted that there were only a few reported cases. Nevertheless, legal protections for offenses committed against children were rarely enforced in the case of child prostitutes.

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