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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                                      

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 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 aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  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.


The Littlest Victims of Global 'Progress'

Robin Wright, LOS ANGELES TIMES, 11 January 1994

[accessed 12 June 2011]

The children show up in Riga's quaintly restored old town in the late afternoon. None looks older than about 7.  Among a group of four boys, one has no socks and all wear only light sweaters, despite the cold in northern Europe.  With their hands outstretched, the boys trail people leaving Latvia's new privatized hotels, boutiques and restaurants.  Late at night, they loiter under the bright lights of a new casino.  Both Latvian and Russian children now beg on Riga's streets.


*** ARCHIVES ***

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]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - The number of children not attending primary school is increasing. In 1997, the Ministry of Education and Science had a record of 1,311 children ages 5 to 15 who were not attending school.  According to the Education Ministry’s annual report, 2,512 children did not attend school in 2002.

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 - Abandonment and child abuse, including sexual abuse, were common.

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Women, including well‑educated women, homeless teens, and minors graduating from orphanage boarding schools, were among those most at risk to be trafficked.

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]

[49] The Committee expresses its concern at the significant number of children living in the streets. It notes that even though the Law on the Protection of the Rights of the Child covers children living in the street, no specific mechanisms have been established for its implementation and that assistance to the children living in the streets is generally provided only by non-governmental organizations.

Street Children In Latvia: Problems And Solutions

Inga Lukasinska, Soros Foundation-Latvia Public Policy Fellow, Association for Street Children, 2002

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

[accessed 12 June 2011]

Although Latvia's laws protect the rights of all children, they have proved inadequate for dealing with the problem of street children. The question is whether this situation can be changed in a way that is financially and administratively feasible.

Soros Foundation Latvia - Program Description

[Last access date unavailable]

Over the course of four years the Soros Foundation Latvia took significant steps toward dealing with the problem of street children by creating an NGO network, setting up an information resource center, and organizing a series of training workshops for NGOs.  As a result of the activities of the NGO network, at the end of 2000, 13 organizations founded the NGO Association for Street Children (ASC).  The organization’s goal is to form a powerful, functional and influential association that can provide comprehensive support to NGOs that are involved in seeking solutions to the problem of street children and shaping state policy that would help resolve this social problem on a state level.

Summary of Received Grants in Latvia in 2004

The World Bank

[accessed 12 June 2011]

YOUTH INTEREST CENTER TO SUPPORT, TO EDUCATE AND TO MOTIVATE IN LIEPAJA - Involvement in attractive activities has to be offered to those children and society’s attention has to be drawn to the necessity of solving this problem.  During the project the street children will create short films about themselves, which later on will be displayed in schools and on Television.  The school children and students will then be asked to come up with ideas about solving the problem.  The relevant discussions will be held in schools, internet and solutions will be drafted, for submission to the Commission for Youth Affairs of the Liepaja City council and for publication in media.

ELCL Diaconia Center - Day Center For Street Children

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

[accessed 12 June 2011]

OBJECTIVES AND AIMS OF THE DAY CENTER - To provide children with: Meals one time a day / Possibility to wash themselves / First medical aid

DONATIONS AND OUR NEEDS - VHS video tape player / sewing-machine / schoolbags / child winter closes / child shoes / elementary school books / copybooks / stationery / Food / Medicines / hygiene goods / Household goods including dishes, tableware, detergents and disinfectants

World Childhood Foundation Projects in Russia and the Baltic States, January 2001

World Childhood Foundation

[accessed 12 June 2011]

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LATVIA - Livslust runs a combined home/school for adolescents who have spent most of their lives in orphanages and other institutions.  Livslust's objective is to prepare the children for a life on their own. The children are offered vocational training (carpentry, agriculture, sewing, construction work and cooking) as well as social training.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as:  Patt, Prof. Martin, "Street Children - Latvia",, [accessed <date>]