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Street Children

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                          

Republic of Lithuania

Lithuania's economy grew on average 8% per year for the four years prior to 2008, driven by exports and domestic consumer demand. Unemployment stood at 4.8% in 2008, while wages grew at double digit rates. The current account deficit rose to roughly 15% of GDP in 2007-08. Lithuania has gained membership in the World Trade Organization and joined the EU in May 2004. Despite Lithuania's EU accession, Lithuania's trade with its Central and Eastern European neighbors, and Russia in particular, accounts for a growing percentage of total trade. Privatization of the large, state-owned utilities is nearly complete. Foreign government and business support have helped in the transition from the old command economy to a market economy.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Lithuania

Lithuania 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. - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009    Check out a later country report here and possibly a full TIP Report here


CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Lithuania.  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.



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 Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  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

Missing Persons Families Support Center
5 248 3373
Country code: 370-



Trafficked to the West

Jill McGivering, BBC News, Lithuania, 9 July 2005

[accessed 18 February 2011]

Last summer, she had been approached by a childhood friend, she told me.  He said he knew someone who was recruiting women to work as prostitutes in Holland.  Prostitution is illegal in Lithuania, but in Holland he said, she would make big money. Trusting him, she agreed.

Within weeks she arrived in Holland - only to find herself a prisoner in a brothel - sold by her friend to a Lithuanian gang.  For months she endured beatings, sexual abuse and a constant stream of clients.


*** ARCHIVES ***




[accessed xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]


2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Lithuania

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 14 June 2021]


There were instances of forced labor, most of which involved Lithuanian men subjected to forced labor abroad. Foreign workers from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine were at risk of labor trafficking as long-haul truck drivers, builders, ship hull assemblers, and welders.


In the first eight months of the year, the inspectorate identified 16 cases in which children were working illegally in the construction, agriculture, retail, services, and manufacturing sectors.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 8 July 2020]


Regional economic disparities remain acute. Trafficking of adults and children for the purposes of forced labor or sex work occurs in Lithuania. The government actively works to prosecute traffickers, and provides aid to victims in conjunction with NGOs.

A barbaric trade in human misery right on our doorsteps

Chris Bond, Yorkshire Post, 15 November 2007

[accessed 8 July 2013]

"One of the first victims we helped in the UK was a 15 year-old Lithuanian girl who found herself in Sheffield where she managed to escape her trafficker and turned up at a police station."  Her case shows how unsuspecting young victims are lured from their homes into a nightmare world of brutality and rape.

"She was phoned up by someone and asked if she would like to sell ice cream for the summer in London and was told she would earn about £300."  The traffickers signed a consent form and her parents, believing it was a good opportunity, approved the trip.  "She was flown to Gatwick and sold in a coffee shop from one trafficker to another for £3,000, her passport was taken off her and sold for £4,000.  "Later the same night, she was taken to a flat and brutalised and raped, and from that moment on she was forced to act as a prostitute."

CESCR Concluding Observations: Lithuania

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights CESCR, 14-05-2004

[accessed 18 February 2011],CONCOBSERVATIONS,CESCR,LTU,42d26afd4,0.html

[accessed 4 February 2018]

 [19] The Committee notes with concern that trafficking in women and children continues to be a problem in the State party, which is a country of origin and transit, in spite of the existence of the "Program on control and prevention of prostitution and commercial trade in people for 2002-2004" and that the new Criminal Code provides for criminal liability for a number of trafficking-related crimes, including trade in people (art. 147), profiting from another person's prostitution (art. 307), and procuring to prostitution (art. 308). Moreover, the Committee regrets that the lack of information on the number of people trafficked does not give an accurate picture of the extent of the problem.

Sex traffic: Danielle was 15 when she was sold into slavery in the UK

Sophie Goodchild and Kurt Barling, The Independent UK, 25 February 2007

[accessed 23 April 2012]

Danielle was excited at the prospect of leaving her home in Lithuania for a summer job in Britain at the age of 15. The work had been arranged through a friend who was unable to join Danielle until later and so put her in touch with a man who would take her to London.

Danielle suspected nothing until the stranger took her passport once they passed through customs and left her with two Albanians and a Lithuanian woman. It turned out that she had been sold for £3,500. The "holiday job" was working in a brothel in Birmingham.

Sex trade gang 'beggared belief'

BBC News, 18 October 2005

[accessed 18 February 2011]

Sentencing, Judge Barber said: "Their behavior absolutely beggared belief, they had taken two young Lithuanian girls and transported them to Sheffield like cattle before putting them into a life of forced prostitution.  "The treatment those two girls suffered at the men's hands just didn't bear thinking about.  "The men had no moral scruples or compassion."

CPS continues fight against sex trade traffickers

Crown Prosecution Service CPS, 16 September 2005

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

[accessed 8 September 2011]

The latest Crown Prosecution Service case against human traffickers ended today with the sentencing of Viktoras Larcenko, the last member of a gang convicted for smuggling girls from Lithuania in 2003 and forcing them into prostitution with threats and violence.  The pair had set up a network taking advantage of girls who wanted a better life but who subsequently found themselves working 14 hours a day in brothels and massage parlors.

The People Traffickers

The Yorkshire Post, 9 May 2005

[accessed 31 August 2014]

"The model is often the same. The ones who try to recruit women on the streets tend to be young men, in their early twenties. Often they are good-looking.

Crossing Borders: The Trafficking of Children into the UK [PDF]

End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes ECPAT-UK

[accessed 2 December 2010]

The story of Elena, a 15-year-old East European girl lured to the UK, is a graphic example of the millions of children caught up in the abusive and exploitative world of trafficking. Lured from her native Lithuania by prospects of a better life, but deceived about the true nature of her work, Elena ended up being sold seven times in three months, physically and sexually abused by her 'owners' and forced into prostitution. Unlike most others, she managed to escape. Today three of the men who abused her are serving sentences of seven to 18 years. Elena, however, remains deeply traumatised and devastated by her experience.

I've run out of tears, says girl sold around Britain as a sex slave at the age of 15

Nigel Bunyan, Telegraph, 11/05/2005

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

[accessed 8 September 2011]

That night she had been due to be passed on to her eighth owner in three months. Eventually, it is thought, she was likely to have been sold on to traffickers in Germany.  Elena's nightmare began with a call to a friend's mobile phone in her hometown of Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital. The two girls had been sitting chatting when the phone rang. A girl offered them work in Britain. It would be fun, she said, and well paid.

Concern rises on failure to arrest war suspects

Agence France-Presse AFP, February 26, 2005

[accessed 18 February 2011]

VILNIUS, LITHUANIA: The number of young Lithuanian women sold for sex in Britain has increased from "single cases to dozens every month" since the country joined the European Union last year, the head of Lithuania's Interpol bureau said Friday.

"Nightclub Girls Helped Me Escape Captivity"

The Star, 23 February 2005

[accessed 30 August 2012]

The youngster, from Lithuania, says she was sold to a string of Albanian men who kept her prisoner in their homes, repeatedly raped her and forced her to work in brothels.  The girl, who was allegedly tricked into traveling to the UK after being told she would work in a restaurant.

Women's sex slave nightmare

Rob Waugh, Yorkshire Post, 23 December 2004

[accessed 18 February 2011]

[accessed 4 February 2018]

Two Albanian illegal immigrants have become the first men in the UK to be convicted of the new offence of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.  Taulant Merdanaj, 27, and Elidon Bregu, 19, were jailed for 18 years and nine years respectively after imprisoning two Lithuanian women in a flat in Sheffield and forcing them to work as prostitutes.

Single, Europe-Wide Strategy against Human Trafficking

UN Information Service UNIS, New York, 25 March 2004

[accessed 18 February 2011]

Developing and coordinating a single Europe-wide anti-trafficking strategy should be seriously considered, he said in his detailed explanation of Lithuania’s efforts to combat the problem.  Due to the country’s geographic location, as well as other socio-economic factors, it had become a trafficking destination.  A Europe-wide strategy would significantly reduce the transborder sex tourism industry.

Call for residency for human trafficking victims

Norwegian Church Aid NCA, 10 November 2004

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

[accessed 8 September 2011]

Eight men are to appear this week in Oslo City Court on charges of human trafficking. This is the first time a case concerning prostitution-related human trafficking is to be tried by Norway’s justice system. Two girls from Lithuania claim to have been brought against their will to Norway in autumn 2001 and forced to work as prostitutes.

The Queen's Speech in November 2003 saw the introduction of The Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Bill

ECPAT-UK Newsletter, March 2004

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

[accessed 8 September 2011]

[scroll down to Other News]

OTHER NEWS - In July last year, seven women from Lithuania and Moldova testified against their trafficker, Albanian Luan Plakici. A number of the witnesses had been under 18 when he had trafficked them and forced them into prostitution. Plakici was sentenced to 10 years for charges relating to kidnapping, procuring a teenager to have unlawful sex, incitement to rape and living off prostitution.

The Reintegration Problems of Victims of Trafficking in People in Lithuania

Secretary of the Social Security and Labor ministry Violeta Murauskaitë

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

[accessed 8 September 2011]

It is well known that women victims often get physically and emotionally abused. If psychological aid is provided in time, that means, a step into successful psycho-rehabilitation process has been made. The motivation and self-awareness of victims are very important, thus it is necessary to change the way of thinking of the victim. During the rehabilitation process a change in a life style of children and women as well as their emotional states are emphasized. It is important to recreate social links with the corresponding social background and to prepare victims for living on their own.

Lithuania [PDF]

Based on the Annual Report 2002 of the Lithuanian Human Rights Association

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

[accessed 8 September 2011]

TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS - In 2002 Lithuanian society still held the view that victims of trafficking who were forced to work as prostitutes should be held accountable for their own misfortune. The problem was often treated as a problem of illegal immigration, and as a result of this, women were left without any rights in the foreign country, and without protection. The trafficking of foreign women to Lithuania to engage in prostitution was a problem for Lithuanian law enforcement and this meant that attention which perhaps should have focused on the women involved was instead directed at combating the criminal activities of prostitutes and their managers.

Recognition For Courageous Work Against Drugs And Crime

UN Information Service UNIS, Vienna, 17 December 2002

[accessed 18 February 2011]

The Missing Persons Families Support Centre in Lithuania which was founded in 1996, is at the forefront of raising awareness about the problem of trafficking in human beings. It provides assistance to the families of victims in Lithuania and helps to reintegrate victims of trafficking back into society. It is the only NGO in the country helping trafficking victims and it opened its first shelter in Vilnius last year. It also runs a 24-hour hotline offering information to those wishing to work or move abroad. Most of its 12 staff work voluntarily for the centre.

A Form of Slavery: Trafficking in Women in OSCE Member States [PDF]

International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights IHF, Report to the OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting On Trafficking in Human Beings, Vienna, 19 June 2000

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

[accessed 8 September 2011]

[page 40] LITHUANIA - With Lithuania’s integration into the global community, crimes of an entirely new type have emerged in the country, namely women’s trafficking, which is closely associated with forced prostitution. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of unemployment, poverty most sorely affected women. The demolition of collective farms resulted in huge numbers of unemployed women in the provinces, particularly among the youth. On the other hand, the liberalisation of the economy has led to the expansion of the sex and pornography business. Recruitment and the sale of women to brothels abroad has become a sphere of well-organised international criminal activity.

The National programme against the commercial Sexual Exploitation and sexual abuse of Children

Approved by Resolution no. 29 of 11 January 2000 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania!fetch.action?libcode=flaw&id=95E55521-4EAD-4F6B-82F2-1AA347CE99BC&classcode=800;120

[accessed 31 August 2014]

12.  The commercial sexual exploitation of children is connected with organised crime; in this instance we are talking about drawing children into prostitution and pornographic business.  International collaboration by police officers really helps to stop such criminal activity.  Since 1991, Lithuania is a full member of the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol).  The Lithuanian National Bureau of Interpol, in which an officer responsible for the investigation of problems of abuse against children has been appointed since 1998, represents the Republic of Lithuania in this organisation.

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 18 February 2011]

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

GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND PROGRAMS TO ELIMINATE THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR - In January 2002, the government approved a Program on the Control and Prevention of Trafficking in Humans and Prostitution for 2002-2004.  The program concentrated on the causes of prostitution and trafficking; preventive measures; and on providing social, psychological, and legal support to victims of prostitution and trafficking.  With funding and assistance from the World Bank, the government is implementing a National Poverty Reduction Strategy in order to assist vulnerable populations, including at risk children.  In partnership with government agencies, IOM launched a counter-trafficking project aimed at establishing a coordinated system of assistance for trafficking victims from the Baltic Republics.  In coordination with NGOs, the media, and IOM, the government has carried out a number of anti-trafficking publicity campaigns since 2001

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Organized crime figures are reported to use coercive means to traffic Lithuanian girls into prostitution abroad, particularly to Western European countries.

Trafficking in Women and Prostitu-tion in the Baltic States: Social and Legal Aspects

Aet Annist, University of Tartu, International Organization for Migration, 2001 - ISBN-92-9068-117-9

[Long URL]

[accessed 18 February 2022]

The three Baltic States have got their share of the trafficking problem while going through an adjustment period after the ending of the Soviet era and re-establishing their independent statehood in the early 1990s. A common feature to almost every country that emerged from the Soviet legacy is that the lack of new work opportunities has hit more on women than on men in the transition to market economy. In the Baltic States, this has been the case especially with the women of the ethnic minorities who are over-represented among prostitutes and trafficked women. In general, the lack of opportunities for women has made many seize the opportunity to make earnings in sex industry through prostituting either in the home country or abroad, sometimes helped by traffickers. Some begin sex work voluntarily,  some are deceived by traffickers with false promises of other work and later forced to commercial sex.

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

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

[accessed 18 February 2011]

[53] The Committee, while noting the National Program against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse of Children of 2000, expresses its deep concern at the lack of data, consistent policies, rehabilitation and reintegration programs, and the reports of disappearances of minors, in particular girls, allegedly for trafficking purposes.

The Protection Project - Lithuania

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

[accessed 2009]

[accessed 22 February 2016]

FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE TRAFFICKING INFRASTRUCTURE – After 1990, the three Baltic states experienced an unprecedented growth of the sex and entertainment industry. Such growth may be conducive to an increased probability of women being trafficked. The lack of economic opportunity in Lithuania led women to migrate, making them vulnerable to trafficking networks. Other factors were the existence of organized crime and the geographical position of the Baltic states, which lie at the crossroads between Western Europe and the former Soviet Union.


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]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Traffickers targeted the socially most vulnerable groups: young females from poor or unstable families. Traffickers also commonly targeted young women from ethnic minorities. Many were lured by deceptive offers of jobs such as household helpers, bar dancers, nannies, nurses, models, or waitresses, or through false marriage advertisements. In many cases close relatives or friends made the offers. Victims' compliance was ensured via threats and the withholding of their documents. Families often were unaware of their predicament and believed that they had been kidnapped. Boarding schools that also serve as orphanages were new targets of traffickers.

Police reported that nearly half of traffickers were linked to organized crime, including international groups

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