Viewing cable 05VILNIUS1265
Title: ANTI-TIP INITIATIVES IN LITHUANIA

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05VILNIUS12652005-12-01 15:38:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vilnius
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 001265 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB, G/TIP, INL, DRL, PRM, IWI, EUR/PGI 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM KCRM KWMN ELAB PREF LH
SUBJECT: ANTI-TIP INITIATIVES IN LITHUANIA 
 
REF: VILNIUS 683 
 
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SUMMARY 
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¶1.  Lithuanian law enforcement recently broke up two 
cross-border trafficking groups and announced the creation of 
a new department to increase international cooperation. 
Partly as a result of such increasingly frequent busts, media 
attention to TIP issues is growing.  GOL representatives, 
NGOs, and church officials have been active in trying to 
ensure that those at risk are aware of the dangers.  We 
continue to highlight this issue and promote anti-trafficking 
efforts through public outreach, public speaking, and 
cooperation with NGOs.  END SUMMARY. 
 
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Busting trade in women 
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¶2. Lithuanian police's intensified campaign against TIP 
(reftel) continues.  Most recently, in late November, the 
police detained at least five owners and employees of 
Lithuanian modeling agencies amidst allegations that the 
agencies were fronts for human trafficking to Western Europe 
and the UAE.  According to media reports, one agency 
delivered women and underage girls to UAE-based Sultan 
International, which "organizes parties for sheiks." 
Authorities have charged the owner of another modeling agency 
for selling women to traffickers for up to EUR 10,000. 
 
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Press attention to TIP 
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¶3. The mainstream Lithuanian press has seized upon 
TIP-related issues as a way both to serve the public good by 
raising awareness and to increase circulation by printing 
sensational stories.  A series of front-page articles has 
appeared in Lithuania's largest daily illuminating the 
experiences of women working in strip clubs or as prostitutes 
in the United Kingdom, Austria and Germany.  These articles, 
in some cases, have done law enforcement's homework, 
providing background that the police have used as a 
foundation for subsequent investigations and arrests. 
 
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Working women 
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¶4. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) 
announced the results of a survey of 200 Lithuanians who had 
been involved in sex work overseas.  Seventy-six percent of 
the women interviewed had fallen into the work in response to 
promises of employment in non-sexual services.  Sixteen 
percent were under eighteen years old, and only eight percent 
were over thirty. 
 
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Keeping the pressure on 
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¶5. TIP issues continue to attract high-profile attention from 
GOL politicians and community groups: 
 
- MP Ona Valiukeviciute, the head of the parliamentary human 
rights committee, held a series of press conferences on human 
trafficking; 
 
- Lithuanian MPs have organized a meeting with their Nordic 
counterparts for the first week in December to discuss 
regional matters, including trafficking; 
 
- The Interior Ministry arranged a bilateral meeting with a 
visiting official from the UK on trafficking, highlighting 
their close and successful intergovernmental cooperation; 
 
- Vytautas Grigaravicius, the national police chief, 
announced the creation of a special unit charged with 
investigating TIP cases and building ties with foreign law 
enforcement; and 
 
- The Kaunas Catholic Archdiocese hosted a news conference, 
calling on priests in this overwhelmingly Catholic country to 
inform their parishioners and other community members about 
the threats of trafficking. 
 
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Embassy efforts 
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¶6. TIP-related cooperation remains a central feature of our 
Mission's public outreach.  Two police officers responsible 
for breaking up a major human trafficking ring in June 
(reftel) were special guests of Ambassador Mull at the 
Mission's July 4 event, and he recognized their 
accomplishments and the importance of their work in his 
speech.  We continue to work with NGOs, including the IOM and 
the Lithuanian-U.S. Initiative, to heighten awareness in 
at-risk populations. 
 
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Comment 
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¶7. Lithuania is intensifying its battle against TIP 
predators.  EU accession has made it easier for traffickers 
to operate, but has also increased law enforcement 
cooperation.  A vigorous effort from the police and media to 
expose and break up trafficking rings has helped to raise 
public awareness.  We will continue to work closely with both 
the GOL and various NGOs on trafficking and to emphasize it 
in our public outreach. 
KELLY