[ Country-by-Country Reports ]
LITHUANIA (TIER 1)
[Extracted from U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2009]
is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children
trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. One estimate
concluded that approximately 20 percent of Lithuanian trafficking victims are
underage girls. Lithuanian women are trafficked within the country and to the
United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, France, and the
Czech Republic for the purpose of forced prostitution. Women from Belarus are
trafficked to Lithuania for the same purpose.
Government of Lithuania fully complies with the minimum standards for the
elimination of trafficking. In 2008, the government increased victim
assistance funding to $150,000, demonstrated strong law enforcement efforts,
and increased the number of victims referred by law enforcement personnel for
assistance. It also ensured that a majority of convicted traffickers served
significant time in prison.
Recommendations for Lithuania: Train relevant law enforcement personnel to improve
efforts to identify and investigate human trafficking offenses, including
labor trafficking; provide trafficking awareness and prevention training for
peacekeepers deployed abroad; and continue to ensure a majority of convicted
traffickers serve some time in prison.
The Government of Lithuania sustained its anti-trafficking law enforcement
efforts during the reporting period. Lithuania prohibits all forms of
trafficking through Article 147 of its criminal code, which prescribes
penalties ranging from probation to 15 years' imprisonment. These penalties
are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for
other grave crimes, such as rape. In 2008, authorities initiated 16 sex
trafficking investigations and 3 labor trafficking investigations, up from a
total of 9 investigations in 2007. Authorities prosecuted 20 defendants for
sex trafficking during the reporting period, compared to eight defendants
prosecuted in 2007. In 2008, 13 trafficking offenders were convicted, a
significant increase from 4 convictions in 2007. Ten convicted traffickers
were given sentences ranging from two to eight years’ imprisonment,
while three traffickers were given no time in prison.
The Lithuanian Government continued to improve its protection of trafficking
victims. Law enforcement identified 86 trafficking victims and referred them
to NGOs for assistance in 2008, compared with 56 victims referred in 2007. In
2008, the government provided approximately $150,000 to 13 anti-trafficking
NGOs to conduct victim assistance and rehabilitation, including vocational
training and job placement for victims, compared to $144,000 in 2007. Adult
female and minor victims were provided shelter in domestic violence shelters.
Male victims of trafficking could be housed at community crisis centers,
although to date no male victims of trafficking have requested shelter. The
government encouraged victims to assist in trafficking investigations and
prosecutions; in 2008, twenty-five Lithuanian victims assisted with
trafficking investigations and prosecutions. Foreign victims who participated
in court proceedings were eligible for temporary residency and work permits.
Identified victims were not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct
result of their being trafficked; however, some victims who were not properly
identified may have been fined for prostitution offenses. During the
reporting period, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs assisted 17 Lithuanian
victims identified abroad by referring them to local NGOs for assistance and
provided funding for their repatriation to Lithuania.
Lithuania demonstrated some efforts to prevent trafficking during the
reporting period. For example, the government funded an education campaign
targeted at children and adolescents in seven towns across the country; the
campaign focused on targeting both potential victims of trafficking and also
potential future clients of the sex trade.