Torture in  [Estonia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Estonia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Estonia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Estonia]  [other countries]
 

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                        gvnet.com/humantrafficking/Estonia.htm

Republic of Estonia

Estonia, a 2004 European Union entrant, has a modern market-based economy and one of the highest per capita income levels in Central Europe.

Estonia's economy slowed down markedly and even fell into recession in mid-2008, primarily as a result of an investment and consumption slump following the bursting of the real estate market bubble.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Estonia

Estonia is a source country for the trafficking of women to Norway, the United Kingdom, and Finland for the purpose of forced prostitution. Estonian men were trafficked within the country for forced labor, specifically forced criminal acts and to Ukraine for forced labor in the construction industry.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   [full country report]

 

 

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

*** FEATURED ARTICLE ***

Ambassador Joseph M. DeThomas' opening remarks at The Estonian Women's Studies and Resource Centre Conference Radisson SAS Hotel, Tallinn Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Embassy of the United States, Estonia, February 18, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 5 September 2011]

It should not be that up to twenty thousand people a year are trafficked into my country. It should not be that their fate is shared by perhaps 800 thousand people a year trafficked in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. It should not be that the third largest source income for organized crime (after the sale of drugs and guns) is the sale of human beings. Some number of those human beings is Estonian. I do not know how many, but I know that it should not be that any Estonian is lost to this practice.

Second, we need to protect and rehabilitate victims. One of the great obstacles to ending this practice is that, once they are entrapped, the victims are treated as lawbreakers. This gives the traffickers a weapon of coercion. It means that law enforcement authorities tend to ignore their charges and fail to protect them so that they can testify. It means that victims feel trapped by a lack of opportunities for rehabilitation.

Third, we need to prevent the crime. Criminals do not kidnap the majority of victims of trafficking in Europe, nor do friends or relatives sell them into their fate. (This does happen on a massive scale elsewhere in the world.) They are duped into participating. Many young women, boys and girls are duped into believing they are being recruited to honest work abroad. Once they accept offers from these recruiters, they are trapped. This is happening as we speak in this country. We need to warn and educate people about this practice.

 

*** ARCHIVES ***

Protection Project Country Report on Estonia [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

www.protectionproject.org/human_rights_reports/report_documents/estonia.doc

[Last accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - Estonian women are trafficked for several purposes. Often the women are forced to work in prostitution, as domestic workers, nannies, dancers, striptease dancers, or waitresses or to become brides for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation.  Women and minors respond to job opportunities that they see in newspapers or hear about through acquaintances. Young girls are also lured by recruiters posing as boyfriends.   The victims of trafficking from Estonia are often members of the Russian-speaking community in the northeastern portion of the country.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 1   Civil Liberties: 1   Status: Free

2009 Edition

www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2009/estonia

[accessed 26 June 2012]

Stop Violence Against Women – Country Page

The Advocates for Human Rights, September, 2008

stopvaw.org/estonia2.html

[accessed 4 February 2011]

U.S. Library of Congress - Country Study

Library of Congress Call Number DK502.35 .E86 1996

lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/eetoc.html

[accessed 4 February 2011]

Project for the Prevention of Adolescent Trafficking

The International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA), NGO Living for Tomorrow, and AIDS-I Tugikeskus AIDS Information & Support Center,  November 30, 2001

www.policy.hu/kalikov/DATABASE%20ESTONIA/PPAT-_Estonia.html

[accessed 4 February 2011]

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - This project proposes to replicate in Estonia the successful Project for the Prevention of Adolescent Trafficking in Latvia (PPAT-Latvia) currently sponsored by the United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM).   PPAT-Estonia is being developed in response to a growing body of evidence which indicates that 1) trafficking is a burgeoning problem in Estonia, 2) the problem of trafficking is not being adequately addressed in Estonia, and 3) victims of trafficking in Estonia tend to be under the age of 25.  The goal of this project is to prevent the trafficking of adolescents in Estonia by raising awareness and educating youth about the issue of human trafficking and forced labor.  The project will also focus on building the capacity of local youth serving NGOs to educate youth on the issue of human trafficking and work to increase the cooperation between NGOs and the Estonian government on the issue of combating human trafficking.

Ambassador Joseph M. DeThomas' opening remarks at The Estonian Women's Studies and Resource Centre Conference Radisson SAS Hotel, Tallinn Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Embassy of the United States, Estonia, February 18, 2004

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

[accessed 5 September 2011]

It should not be that up to twenty thousand people a year are trafficked into my country. It should not be that their fate is shared by perhaps 800 thousand people a year trafficked in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. It should not be that the third largest source income for organized crime (after the sale of drugs and guns) is the sale of human beings. Some number of those human beings is Estonian. I do not know how many, but I know that it should not be that any Estonian is lost to this practice.

Second, we need to protect and rehabilitate victims. One of the great obstacles to ending this practice is that, once they are entrapped, the victims are treated as lawbreakers. This gives the traffickers a weapon of coercion. It means that law enforcement authorities tend to ignore their charges and fail to protect them so that they can testify. It means that victims feel trapped by a lack of opportunities for rehabilitation.

Third, we need to prevent the crime. Criminals do not kidnap the majority of victims of trafficking in Europe, nor do friends or relatives sell them into their fate. (This does happen on a massive scale elsewhere in the world.) They are duped into participating. Many young women, boys and girls are duped into believing they are being recruited to honest work abroad. Once they accept offers from these recruiters, they are trapped. This is happening as we speak in this country. We need to warn and educate people about this practice.

Joint East West Research On Trafficking In Children For Sexual Purposes In Europe: The Sending Countries [PDF]

Edited by: Muireann O’Briain, Anke van den Borne, and Theo Noten, ECPAT Europe Law Enforcement Group, Amsterdam, 2004

www.childcentre.info/projects/traffickin/dbaFile11169.pdf

[accessed 4 February 2011]

[page 30 & 31] MIGRATION - The desire of young people to change their future by migrating and working abroad is another risk factor. Many children are not aware of their rights, lack information and do not know the legal procedures for travelling abroad, and the risks related to migration. The search for adventure, idealised notions about living abroad, and success stories from those who return from abroad encourage risk-taking. Very importantly, the reports note the risks to children who may have migrated normally with their families or voluntarily on their own, but who end up in foreign countries without any protections, and so become extremely vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking. They get involved in petty crime and move into prostitution as a survival strategy, or because they are found by someone who will exploit them. Many people, and especially young people, are migrating because of the lack of opportunities for them in their own countries. The fall of the ‘Iron Curtain’ and the links with countries of the European Union have opened up both borders and travel opportunities, and at the same time the increasing gap between rich and poor, the growth of international organised crime, and corruption, provide their own incentives or opportunities.

Another issue highlighted in some reports is the lack of migration policies on the part of governments which would help young people to migrate safely. The Belarus report mentions that less than 5% of those who want to leave the country had adequate information about employment outside the country. The Estonian, Romanian and Ukraine reports also refer to this lack of information among young people trying to emigrate. In such circumstances, it is not surprising that young people are vulnerable to sexual exploitation. On the other hand, research among 24 victims in Moldova by an NGO, CIVIS, found that half of the young people had known about trafficking, but had hoped it would not happen in their cases. Most, however, said that if they had been informed about the dangers, they would have avoided the experience.

Trafficking In Children For Sexual Purposes In Europe: The Sending Countries. Estonian Country Report

Child Centre for Children at Risk in the Baltic Sea Region, January 12, 2003

www.childcentre.info/projects/traffickin/estonia/dbaFile10778.html

[accessed 4 February 2011]

Aire Trummal has composed the Estonian country report TRAFFICKING IN CHILDREN FOR SEXUAL PURPOSES IN EUROPE: THE SENDING COUNTRIES (2003). Like in other post-soviet countries, Estonian sex industry started to vigorously develop after the re-independence in the middle of 1990s when the number of brothels and those involved in prostitution increased tremendously. Drug trafficking, prostitution and excise fraud are the main income sources of the organised crime today (Saar, Markina, Ahven, Annist, Ginter 2002:85-98).

Grants issued by the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn

Embassy of the United States, Estonia

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

[accessed 5 September 2011]

q  Combating Human Trafficking in Estonia: Women and Children

q  Preventive-informative campaign against trafficking in girls and women in the Baltic States …

q  To prevent the trafficking of adolescents in Estonia by raising awareness and educating youth …

q  Participation of 11 Estonian officials from various ministries and also NGOs …

q  Prevention of Human Trafficking

q  Combating trafficking in women

q  Research and Information on Trafficking in Persons in Estonia

q  Prevention of Human Trafficking

q  To increase the knowledge of primary school graduates of Valga and Jõgeva counties …

q  Anti-Trafficking Hotline Service for Women

Prevention of human trafficking in Estonia

Child Centre for Children at Risk in the Baltic Sea Region, December 30, 2002

www.childcentre.info/projects/traffickin/estonia/ifid2406.html

[accessed 4 February 2011]

Human Trafficking is an increasing problem both in Estonia and throughout the whole world. Combat against human trafficking means protection of human rights, and is closely related to national and international security considerations.

Articles (in Estonian) can be downloaded on website of ENUT (The Estonian Women's Studies and Resource Centre): http://www.enut.tpu.ee/

As future job-seekers, what do female high school graduates in Estonia know about trafficking in human beings?

Child Centre for Children at Risk in the Baltic Sea Region, December 30, 2002

www.childcentre.info/projects/traffickin/ifid2389.html

[accessed 4 February 2011]

The present study of the awareness that graduating female high school students have, as a group at risk of being trafficked, is part of the campaign activity in Estonia. The study was conducted by sociologistsi (Marion Pajumets)at the Estonian Institute of Humanities.

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

www.dol.gov/ilab/media/reports/iclp/tda2003/estonia.htm

[accessed 4 February 2011]

GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND PROGRAMS TO ELIMINATE THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR - From 1998 to 2000, the Government of Estonia participated in a European Commission anti-trafficking initiative called the STOP Project.  The second phase of the project, “Minors in the Sex Trade,” promoted networking among law enforcement officials in Estonia and other countries in the region.  From 2001 to 2002, Estonian government ministries, migration authorities and police participated in a regional IOM project to gather information and raise awareness about the problem of trafficking, and strengthen the capacity of the Baltic governments to prevent trafficking.

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Children are engaged in prostitution in Estonia. Estonia is a source country for women and girls trafficked internally and abroad for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

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

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61646.htm

[accessed 4 February 2011]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – A recent study carried out by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in which more than 160 domestic and international sources (including EUROPOL, INTERPOL, law enforcement, NGOs, IOM, and governmental ministries from the region) participated, estimates that the number of women and children trafficked into, through, and from the country between 2001 and 2004 was below 100. Women and minors were trafficked from the country to Nordic countries and Western Europe or in or to Estonia for sexual exploitation.

The trafficking pattern appeared to be unchanged from recent years. Travel-friendly regulations, short distances, low travel costs, and the draw of legitimate employment make the Nordic and EU countries easier destination points for traffickers. The traffickers were individuals, small groups, and organized criminals who ran the prostitution industry and mainly lured victims with the promise of legitimate employment and/or the opportunity to live and study abroad. The traffickers tended to befriend the victims or attempted to pass themselves off as legitimate job mediators. Due to fairly liberal travel regulations around the region, false documentation was not always necessary.

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

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 31 January 2003

sim.law.uu.nl/SIM/CaseLaw/uncom.nsf/0/bfa2f61011a4a1de41256d04004c6028?OpenDocument

[accessed 4 February 2011]

[36] The Committee is concerned that there is no effective system for the screening of foster or adoptive parents, including national standards and efficient mechanism to prevent the sale and trafficking of children, to review, monitor and follow up the placement of children, and collect statistics on foster care and adoption, including inter-country adoption.

[48] The Committee is concerned at the insufficient information and awareness of the extent of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. It is also concerned that there is no specific prohibition in law of trafficking in human beings, including for the purpose of prostitution.

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Torture in  [Estonia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Estonia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Estonia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Estonia]  [other countries]