Viewing cable 05VILNIUS182

05VILNIUS1822005-02-25 13:47:00 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.
Department pass to USAID 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
REF: STATE 273089 
¶1. (SBU) Summary:  Lithuania is a country of origin, 
transit, and destination for international trafficking in 
women.  Although the exact extent and magnitude of 
trafficking in persons (TIP) in Lithuania is unknown, 
Europol estimates that over 1,200 Lithuanian women are 
victims of human trafficking every year.  The government of 
Lithuania (GOL) estimates that between 1,000-1,500 women 
leave Lithuania every year to engage in prostitution. 
Traffickers target young women from rural and economically 
disadvantaged areas with promises of employment abroad. 
Lithuania acknowledges that TIP is a problem and has 
implemented its first multi-faceted strategy for 2002-2004 
to combat TIP.  An interagency group drafted a national 
strategy for 2005-2008.  Official approval of the strategy 
is expected in March 2005. 
¶2. (SBU) During the reporting period, the GOL increased 
TIP-related funding to NGOs, conducted a study designed to 
improve assistance to victims, and strengthened its 
witnesses protection program.  The GOL's anti-TIP strategy, 
however, was not effective in all regions of country, and 
relied heavily on NGOs to organize and administer TIP- 
related programs. Convictions and sentences remained low in 
2004; sixteen criminal cases of human trafficking reached 
Lithuanian courts, resulting in fourteen convictions.  End 
¶I. Overview 
¶3. (SBU) Lithuania is a country of origin, transit and 
destination for internationally trafficked women.  Although 
the exact extent and magnitude of trafficking in persons 
(TIP) in Lithuania is unknown, Europol estimates that over 
1,200 Lithuanian women are victims of human trafficking 
every year.  The government of Lithuania (GOL) estimates 
that about 1,000-1,500 women leave Lithuania every year to 
engage in prostitution; many of them are victims of TIP. 
Based on the increasing number of requests for assistance 
by TIP victims, NGOs believe that this number is likely 
higher. Trafficking patterns involving Lithuanian women 
indicate that the destination of these women is usually 
large cities in Germany, Spain, Denmark, Norway, the 
Netherlands, England, France, and Poland. According to the 
Ministry of Interior, 52 victims of trafficking have been 
officially registered since 2000. 
¶4. (SBU) Lithuania serves as a destination and transit 
point for victims of trafficking.  Women from Belarus, 
Russia (Kaliningrad region), and Ukraine comprise 
approximately 12 percent of Lithuania's prostitutes.  These 
women work as street prostitutes, call girls, or in illegal 
brothels.  Other women continue on to third countries. 
5.(SBU) Poor or economically disadvantaged women tend to be 
the primary targets of traffickers.  These women usually 
come from rural areas with few economic opportunities. 
Traffickers also target socially vulnerable groups - young 
women from poor or unstable families, and girls from 
boarding schools and orphanages. 
¶6. (SBU) Traffickers use newspapers and magazines to lure 
clients and prostitutes.  Newspaper advertisements invite 
women to provide intimate services, such as massage, home 
flower delivery, and escort services.  Traffickers 
advertise jobs abroad in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and 
hotels or invite girls to work as nannies, nurses, or 
models, while others offer marriage.  Through seemingly 
legitimate advertisements, traffickers gain the women's 
trust.  Traffickers tend to ensure compliance through 
threats and by withholding their documents, rather than 
resorting to physical violence. 
¶7. (SBU) Organized groups, some belonging to international 
trafficking rings, and individuals engage in trafficking in 
persons in Lithuania.  Traffickers who recruit from 
boarding schools are often well-dressed women, who approach 
the teenage boarders with offers of lucrative jobs.  The 
traffickers search for girls who want to work abroad as 
prostitutes and rarely risk taking girls abroad by force. 
Another trafficking trend is for friends or close relatives 
to sell woman or girls to traffickers.  Trafficked women 
are often provided with false personal documents. 
New Studies and Surveys 
¶8. (SBU) In 2004, the GOL funded a study "The Supply and 
Demand for Rehabilitation Services for Victims of 
Trafficking and Forced Prostitution: The Effectiveness and 
Cost of Services." The study concluded that the 
international nature of the trafficking business, differing 
definitions of "victim," and underreporting obfuscate the 
veracity of national statistics on the issue.  The study 
also notes that assistance to victims is fragmented in 
Lithuania, because inter-agency coordination is poor. The 
study recommended the development of a more effective 
victim rehabilitation and reintegration system. 
The GOL seriously addresses TIP 
¶9. (SBU) Political will to combat TIP exists at the highest 
levels of the GOL.  Lithuania's first national strategy to 
combat TIP ended in 2004.  The GOL allocated 1,300,000 
Litas ($480,000) for TIP-related activities during the 
2002-2004 program.  In 2004, the GOL allocated over 800,000 
Litas ($300,000) for NGOs, prevention and witness 
protection programs, and created an inter-agency group to 
develop an anti-TIP strategy for 2005-2008. The GOL will 
likely approve this strategy in March. The GOL plans to 
allocate 1,000,000 Litas ($375,000) for anti-TIP programs 
in 2005. 
¶10. (SBU) The Ministry of Interior systematically monitors 
the implementation of the national TIP control and 
prevention program. In coordination with other 
institutions, the Ministry provides implementation status 
reports to the GOL twice a year.  The main sources of 
information on TIP are the Criminal Police, the Ministry of 
Interior, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the 
International Organization for Migration (IOM), foreign 
agencies, and the media.  These sources of information have 
proven reliable.  Because the GOL and NGOs periodically 
publicize anti-TIP efforts, media attention regarding TIP 
has increased. 
¶11. (SBU) There were no reports of authority or law 
enforcement involvement in TIP-related crimes in 2004. Six 
criminal cases in Lithuania in 2004 involved teenage girls 
as victims of trafficking; there were no trafficking cases 
involving men. 
¶12. (SBU) Local NGOs identify three impediments to the 
GOL's efforts to address TIP problems on the ground: 
public and law enforcement apathy regarding the welfare of 
victims of trafficking who are often considered 
prostitutes; allegedly corrupt law enforcement officials; 
and a lack of resources.  According to NGOs, GOL funding 
for TIP-related investigations, prosecutions, witness 
protection programs, prevention initiatives, and assistance 
to victims has increased but remains inadequate. 
¶13. (SBU) The GOL admits that bringing TIP-related cases 
before a court of law is a continuing challenge.  Law 
enforcement officials and investigators lack experience in 
investigating TIP cases, and many lack adequate 
professional contacts with foreign law enforcement 
officials and public prosecutors to help build a case 
against international traffickers.  The GOL contends that 
gathering sufficient evidence and meeting the standard of 
proof regarding the sale of a victim is difficult.  The 
prosecution of cases in which the criminal act occurs 
outside Lithuania is particularly complicated. 
¶14. (SBU) GOL officials also note that it is difficult to 
persuade victims to testify in TIP cases.  Victims rarely 
witness the actual trafficking transaction, and therefore 
cannot provide testimony against their traffickers. 
Suspects usually deny that they were guilty of trafficking 
in persons, often maintaining instead that they had brought 
the victims abroad for legal employment or as traveling 
companions.  In some cases, victims apparently involve law 
enforcement agents in an effort to frighten or coerce 
persons who have transported them to pay or increase wages. 
¶15. (SBU) Prostitution is illegal in Lithuania. 
Prostitution is an administrative offense punishable by a 
fine of up to 500 Litas ($185) for a single offense and up 
to 1,000 Litas ($370) for repeated offenses.  The Penal 
Code covers crimes related to prostitution (para 26). 
According to the law enforcement officials, 3,000 to 5,000 
women engaged in prostitution in Lithuania in 2004.  Some 
18 "escort" companies operated in the capital alone.  In 
2004, 662 women (compared with 681 in 2003, 214 in 2002, 
and 272 in 2001) received fines for engaging in 
prostitution.  Thirty-five, or five percent, were 
juveniles.  Though pimping was criminalized, the number of 
pandering cases before Lithuanian courts in 2004 remained 
low. Police report that women from Belarus, Russia, and 
Ukraine constitute some 12 percent of all women engaged in 
prostitution in Lithuania (40 percent in 2001). 
¶16. (SBU) Men neither buy nor sell child brides in 
Lithuania; nor do they travel abroad to purchase child 
II. Prevention 
GOL Organization and Efforts to Prevent TIP 
¶17. (SBU) The GOL acknowledges that trafficking in persons 
is a problem in Lithuania.  The Ministries of Education, 
Justice, Interior, Social Security and Labor and Health 
Care, the Center for Crime Prevention, and the Police are 
directly involved in anti-trafficking efforts and the 
implementation of the national anti-TIP strategy.  They 
exchange relevant information with the Border Protection 
Service, Customs, the Prosecutor General's Office, the 
Special Investigation Service, the State Security 
Department, and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and 
Defense.  The Government's anti-trafficking program also 
involves the Ministry of Finance, the Equal Opportunities 
Ombudsman, and the Association of Local Governments.  The 
Ministry of Interior works with the Ministry of Justice to 
improve legislation.  Since 2000, the Border Protection 
Service has paid more attention to young persons, 
particularly females, traveling abroad. 
¶18. (SBU) Though the GOL increased funding to NGOs 
combating TIP, the majority of anti-TIP funding still comes 
from foreign donors.  In 2004, the GOL, in cooperation with 
NGOs, organized a series of international and local events 
to discuss TIP prevention.  Conclusions from the 
international conference, "Problems of Reintegration for 
Victims of Trafficking" outlined weaknesses in the 
Lithuanian system that needed to be addressed by both 
governmental and nongovernmental organizations.  The 
Conference called for the establishment of an effective 
rehabilitation system; increased vigilance by law 
enforcement officials and social workers in identifying 
victims; the establishment of a specialized anti- 
trafficking police unit; and permanent anti-TIP educational 
programs for youth.  The Conference findings were 
distributed to the Offices of the President, Prime 
Minister, and Speaker of Parliament.  In response, the 
President's Office called a governmental meeting in January 
2005 to evaluate the effectiveness of the national anti-TIP 
program, and called upon the GOL to codify and adequately 
fund Lithuania's national anti-TIP strategy for 2005-2008. 
¶19. (SBU) TIP prevention is not part of the national 
curricula. A TIP prevention program, created in 2003, is 
instituted on a voluntary basis in schools and in areas 
recognized by municipalities as having a history of 
trafficking.  The GOL and local NGOs organized a series of 
educational events for more than 200 boarding school 
students throughout Lithuania in 2004. 
¶20. (SBU) Local leaders cooperated with the NGO "Lithuanian 
and USA Initiatives" (LUSI) to establish TIP information 
centers in 2004 in eight counties in Lithuania.  These 
centers provide TIP-related information to law enforcement, 
educators, social workers, victims, and the general public. 
¶21. (SBU) The GOL approved the National Anti-Corruption 
Program in 2002, and the GOL's Special Investigation 
Service coordinates its implementation.  A mid-level 
official at the Ministry of Interior is the national 
coordinator for the development and implementation of the 
anti-TIP program. 
¶22. (SBU) The GOL is a member of the International Office 
of Migration (IOM). In 2004, the IOM published a book for 
specialists, educators, and the general public that 
provided information about Lithuania's TIP situation.  In 
cooperation with the GOL, the IOM has also published 
manuals for educators, social workers, and law enforcement 
officials on combating TIP. 3,000 Lithuanians received 
counseling from the IOM on how to legally obtain work 
abroad. In 2005, the IOM and GOL initiated a new 
educational campaign to inform educators, parents, and 
students about trafficking. 
GOL's Relationship with NGOs 
¶23. (SBU) The GOL supports prevention programs by 
cooperating with foreign institutions, and by providing 
funding to local NGOs.  In 2004, the GOL allocated 270,000 
Litas ($100,000) to 13 local organizations implementing TIP 
prevention and victims assistance programs (197,000 Litas 
in 2003 and 90,000 in 2002). 
¶24. (SBU) NGOs and the GOL closely cooperated to implement 
all major anti-TIP projects in 2004. NGOs acknowledge 
increasing GOL efforts to fight TIP, but indicate that 
current funding is inadequate. NGOs also note that law 
enforcement institutions are not interested in the 
investigation of TIP cases, and criticize police apathy in 
assisting victims whom are often consider prostitutes. 
NGOs complain that governmental assistance to TIP victims 
is fragmented and does not ensure effective and continuous 
International Cooperation on TIP Prevention 
¶25. (SBU) The Criminal Police Bureau of the Lithuanian 
Police coordinates TIP issues.  In 2004, law enforcement 
sent a representative to the Interpol Committee responsible 
for combating TIP.  Police officials continued to 
participate in Interpol's "Red Routes" program. In March 
2004, Lithuania hosted an international conference for 
participants from 22 countries to evaluate the results of 
the program.  Police strengthened its cooperation with law 
enforcement institutions from Germany, England, Latvia, 
Belarus, and Estonia by organizing a series of high-level 
meetings to discuss TIP-related collaboration. Lithuania 
and Germany signed a Protocol of Intention to cooperate in 
preventing crime. 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
III. Investigation and Prosecution of Traffickers 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
The Law against TIP 
¶26. (SBU) Lithuania's Criminal Code has included an article 
on TIP since 1998.  Since 2003, the Criminal Code includes 
eight articles related to TIP activities.  The Code 
prescribes penalties and defines a trafficker as: "an 
individual, who having a purpose to get material or other 
personal profit, having sold, or purchased or passed over 
or acquired in some other way a person, shall be punished 
by deprivation of freedom for eight years."  The new Code 
allows authorities to prosecute individuals for 
establishing and operating a brothel, for public 
demonstration or promotion of pornographic items, and for 
possessing child pornography.  There is no specific law 
against slavery, but other laws effectively cover this 
issue.  Since 2001, the Criminal Process Code and the 
Criminal Code provides protection for victims of 
trafficking willing to testify in trafficking cases. 
¶27. (SBU) The new Criminal Code prescribes the following 
penalties and fines for TIP-related activities: 
trafficking in persons -- up to eight years imprisonment; 
profiting monetarily from prostitution or pimping -- up to 
25,000 Litas ($9,200) and up to four years in prison; 
profiting monetarily from prostitution or pimping of a 
minor or engaging, organizing, and/or heading prostitution 
activities involving a minor -- two to eight years in 
prison.  (Note: Minors in Lithuania fall under different 
legal categories.  The law assigns different legal rights 
to minors who are younger than 14 years old than to those 
who are between 14-18 years old. End Note). 
organizing or heading prostitution rings or transporting a 
person for the purpose of prostitution -- up to six years 
in prison; 
engaging in prostitution -- up to 12,500 Litas ($4,600) and 
incarceration for up to three years; 
forcing individuals into prostitution by means of coercion 
or fraud and engaging a minor in prostitution -- from two 
to seven years in prison; 
trafficking in children -- two to ten years imprisonment. 
¶28. (SBU) The GOL applies punitive sentences to rapists 
similar to those given to traffickers.  The penalty for 
rape is up to seven years imprisonment.  Sentences for 
raping a juvenile (over 14 years old) can be from three to 
ten years, and rape of a minor (under 14 years of age) from 
five to 15 years. The penalty for forcible sexual assault 
carries a maximum jail sentence of six years; in the case 
of a juvenile - from two to ten years; and in the case of a 
minor - from three to 13 years.  The law allows for the GOL 
to confiscate the property of convicted individuals.  The 
punishment for the exploitation of children for pornography 
is a fine and a maximum jail sentence of four years 
¶29. (SBU) Lithuanian law allows for the extradition to 
Lithuania of foreign nationals charged with trafficking in 
other countries.  The same extradition regulations apply to 
persons charged in trafficking cases as in other criminal 
cases.  Bilateral legal assistance agreements govern GOL 
requests for extradition.  Lithuania has legal assistance 
agreements with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, 
Uzbekistan, and a trilateral legal assistance agreement 
among the three Baltic States, Lithuania, Latvia and 
Estonia.  The GOL joined the 1957 European Convention on 
Extradition in 1995.  The Criminal Code and the Criminal 
Process Code, however, state that the GOL can extradite a 
citizen of Lithuania or a foreigner, suspected or charged 
with committing a crime, to a foreign country only if the 
bilateral agreement with that country specifically mandates 
that obligation.  So far, only the agreement on extradition 
signed with the United States in 2001 meets this criterion. 
¶30. There were no TIP-related extraditions in Lithuania in 
¶2004.  In January 2005, a Vilnius court sanctioned the 
arrest of a Costa Rican citizen suspected by Costa Rican 
authorities of trafficking children in that country.  The 
suspect will likely be extradited to Costa Rica. 
¶31. (SBU) The GOL has signed and ratified all major 
international instruments: 
-- ILO Convention 182 by passing the Law No. IX-1396, March 
25, 2003. 
-- ILO Convention 29 and 105 on Forced or Compulsory Labor, 
June 1994. 
-- The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking 
in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing 
the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, 
April 2003. 
-- Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the 
Child and the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and 
Child Pornography, June 10, 2004. 
Investigating and Prosecuting TIP Cases 
¶32. (SBU) The GOL actively investigates cases of 
trafficking, and its agencies use special investigative 
techniques, to the extent possible under domestic law, such 
as electronic surveillance, undercover operations, 
mitigated punishment and immunity for cooperating suspects. 
In 2002, undercover operations initiated over 80 percent of 
all investigation cases.  In 2003, the Organized Crime 
Investigation Service of the Lithuanian Criminal Police, 
for the first time, arrested leaders of a foreign-based 
trafficking ring.  In February 2004, as part of a long-term 
investigation, the Criminal Police and State Border 
Protection Service broke up a ring of Lithuanians in 
Vilnius allegedly trafficking women to brothels abroad. 
¶33. (SBU) Authorities initiated 22 new criminal 
investigations between March 2004-January 2005.  The cases 
involved 25 traffickers and 31 victims, all of whom were 
women, including six juveniles.  Sixteen criminal cases 
involving trafficking reached court in 2004. 14 individuals 
were convicted. Sentences ranged from fines to three years' 
¶34. (SBU) Police report that nearly half of traffickers 
have links to organized crime, including international 
groups.  Individuals, small groups, friends or family 
members constitute the balance.  In 2004, a former Austrian 
Olympic figure skating champion was arrested for 
trafficking 15 Lithuanian women to Italy and Austria as 
¶35. (SBU) There were no official reports about the 
involvement of employment agencies or marriage brokers in 
TIP-related activities in Lithuania, but media reports 
suggest that some travel agencies may be involved.  There 
are no reliable figures on the value of the prostitution 
business in the country.  According to unofficial law 
enforcement statistics, the prostitution business in 
Vilnius is between $1.5-$5 million per year. 
¶36. (SBU) There is no evidence of GOL involvement or 
tolerance of trafficking. 
GOL Anti-TIP Training 
¶37. (SBU) The majority of specialized anti-TIP training 
that GOL officials receive occurs in foreign countries or 
through international organizations. The IOM, in 
cooperation with the GOL, trained over 200 law enforcement 
specialists in 2003-2004 on how to recognize, investigate, 
and prosecute instances of trafficking.  In 2004, 
Lithuanian law enforcement officials participated in TIP- 
related training in Norway, Belarus, Netherlands, Ukraine, 
and Sweden. 
¶38. (SBU) The GOL has signed bilateral agreements of 
cooperation with the Interior Ministries of more than 20 
countries, including in the area of trafficking.  Lithuania 
law enforcement cooperates with Interpol and 
German/Scandinavian liaison officers. 
¶39. (SBU) Law enforcement officials participated in over 20 
international investigations in 2004.  The GOL provided 
assistance to victims and protected witnesses in these 
IV. Protection and Assistance to Victims 
GOL Assistance Available 
¶40. (SBU) Several government agencies and organizations 
provide social, psychological, and legal assistance to TIP 
victims.  The City of Vilnius and other municipalities own 
hostels where mothers and children who are victims of 
domestic violence and trafficking receive shelter and 
social support. The Vilnius municipality's hostel provided 
shelter and comprehensive care for 17 trafficking victims 
in 2004.  The AIDS Center of Vilnius provides medical 
assistance and testing for HIV/AIDS.  The Foreigners 
Registration Center of the State Border Guard Service 
addresses questions of reintegration into Lithuanian 
society.  The Police Department assists victims on legal 
and victim protection issues and cooperates with NGOs 
working in this area.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
assisted 42 individuals who suffered from human trafficking 
¶41. (SBU) About 20 NGOs provide consultations or temporary 
shelter and rehabilitation assistance for victims of 
violence and TIP.  The GOL provided grants to 13 
organizations in 2004.  Some of these organizations have 
also received financial support from local governments. 
According to some NGOs, GOL funding is still insufficient, 
a situation that forces the NGOs to look for financial 
assistance from international donors. 
¶42. (SBU) There is no official information on the exact 
number of TIP victims assisted in Lithuania.  Experts 
estimate that over 300 victims received support and over 
120 women were placed in all-care facilities in 2004. 30 
women from six municipalities received individual 
psychological assistance and occupational training under 
the GOL's program "Psychological Rehabilitation, 
Professional Orientation, and Employment of Victims of 
Trafficking and Prostitution," implemented in 2003-2004. 
¶43. (SBU) There is no official screening and referral 
process in place to transfer victims to NGOs that provide 
short- or long-term care.  The police, however, closely 
cooperate with organizations that provide care to TIP 
victims, and, when appropriate, transfer victims to them. 
In 2004, Police signed an official agreement of cooperation 
with the NGO "Missing Persons' Families Support Center" to 
assist TIP victims. 
Trafficked Victims' Rights and Protection 
¶44. (SBU) The GOL respects the rights of victims of 
trafficking.  Although currently enacted laws could charge 
victims of trafficking for prostitution or immigration 
violations, police have not pursued or charged trafficking 
victims.  In February 2005, the GOL approved and submitted 
to the parliament revised amendments to existing criminal 
laws, which would not penalize victims of trafficking for 
acts related to prostitution or illegal immigration into 
Lithuania, provided GOL officials can determine that the 
individuals committed these unlawful acts as a direct 
result of being trafficked.  These laws would not apply to 
trafficked persons transiting Lithuania en route to a third 
country.  The proposed amendments allow victims of 
trafficking to acquire special residence status, enabling 
them a right to stay in Lithuania for a definite period of 
time during which they might decide whether they are 
willing to testify in a trafficking case.  The GOL has also 
approved new legislation to penalize persons buying sexual 
¶45. (SBU) GOL agencies and NGOs encourage victims to assist 
in trafficking investigations and prosecutions.  Victims 
may also file civil suits or seek legal action against 
traffickers.  Victims, however, often fear seeking help 
from local authorities (both in Lithuania and abroad), 
believing they will face deportation or arrest if they come 
forward.  If a victim is a material witness in a court case 
against a former employer, the victim may obtain other 
employment or leave the country. There is no victim 
restitution program, but victims may apply to the court for 
moral compensation. 
¶46. (SBU) The Police Department's "Witnesses and Victims 
Protection Service" provides protection to victims and 
witnesses.  The GOL allocated about 500,000 Litas 
($180,000) to improve the Vilnius witness protection 
center.  The center provides protection and safe houses to 
victim witnesses.  Due to limited resources and the 
program's high cost, the police have discretion whether the 
case warrants utilizing the protection service.  TIP 
victims and witnesses composed 13-14% of all protected 
people in 2004. 
Training GOL Officials to Assist TIP Victims 
¶47. (SBU) The GOL does provide some specialized training on 
victim assistance to its officials.  The law enforcement 
training center provides four hours of training in 
combating trafficking and preventing migration twice a year 
to new officers. Most of the funds for this training, 
however, come from foreign donors (para 37).  The Director 
of Vilnius Airport's border guard detachment participated 
in a USG-funded International Visitors Program. 
¶48. (SBU) The GOL routinely provides its embassies and 
consulates in countries that are destination or transit 
countries with instructions on handling trafficking cases 
and on assisting Lithuanian citizens who are victims of 
trafficking.  These embassies and consulates maintain 
relationships with local governments and with Lithuanian 
and host-country NGOs that serve trafficked victims.  The 
GOL has established a special support fund for overseas 
missions to assist victims of trafficking. 
¶49. (SBU) Repatriated nationals who are victims of 
trafficking receive the same assistance from GOL and NGOs 
as domestic TIP victims. 
NGOs Assisting TIP Victims 
¶50. (SBU) There are no NGOs that work exclusively in the 
TIP area.  The following NGOs provide the most services to 
trafficking victims: 
--- The "Missing Persons Families Support Center" devotes 
60 percent of its time to sheltering and assisting 
trafficking victims.  It provided shelter and social 
assistance to 17 victims of trafficking in 2004.  The 
Center distributed over 82,000 anti-TIP brochures and 
posters to young people throughout Lithuania, and 
implemented over 10 TIP prevention programs in 2004. The 
Center has operated a toll-free hot line for victims since 
¶2001. The GOL has provided funding to the Center since 
2001, though this sum constitutes only about half of the 
Center's annual budget.  Foreign organizations provide the 
balance of funding. 
--- "Caritas" is a Catholic charity that receives most of 
its funding from German Catholic organizations.  In 2004, 
Caritas assisted over 90 prostitutes and victims of TIP. 
--- The "Women's House Crisis Centers" operates in 16 
regions in Lithuania. The Center provides counseling to at- 
risk girls, and to victims of domestic violence, sexual 
assault, and TIP.  The Center established a toll-free 
telephone number for victims in four regions.  Over one 
hundred women, including at-risk juveniles, received 
assistance in 2004. 
--- The Social Ailments Consultation Site "DEMETRA," which 
obtains most of its funding from the government's AIDS 
Center, provides anonymous, free medical assistance and 
psychological consultations to prostitutes and drug addicts 
in Vilnius. In 2004, Demetra assisted 142 women engaged in 
prostitution, including 18 TIP victims. Demetra's programs 
also promote safe sex, testing for sexually transmitted 
diseases and HIV/AIDS, and the development, publication and 
dissemination of informational and educational material. 
¶51. (SBU) Many of these organizations cooperate with each 
other and work with the GOL and the local IOM bureau. 
TIP Hero 
¶52. (SBU) Post nominates Mrs. Ona Gustiene for inclusion in 
a "TIP Hero" section of the 2005 TIP report.  Mrs. Gustiene 
is the Director and founder of the Missing Persons' 
Families Support Center, the first NGO in Lithuania 
established to provide shelter and rehabilitation 
assistance to TIP victims. Under Mrs. Gustiene's 
leadership, the Center has implemented over 30 anti-TIP 
programs since its founding in 1996.  Mrs. Gustiene has 
worked tirelessly to fight trafficking in persons in 
Lithuania, giving countless hours of her time to draw 
attention and resources to the issue.  Mrs. Gustiene has 
continuously lobbied the government to take more forceful 
actions to combat trafficking.  Her efforts significantly 
contributed to the development and implementation of the 
National anti-TIP Strategy, and increased assistance to 
repatriated victims.  She has collaborated with other 
Lithuanian NGOs, and enlisted the assistance of volunteers 
to widen the services provided to TIP victims.  She 
continues to spread the anti-TIP message in Lithuania and 
the region through an effective and growing outreach 
program.  Mrs. Gustiene is an exceptionally strong leader, 
organizing and coordinating anti-TIP efforts through her 
extensive involvement with national media.  She has brought 
dozens of foreign experts to Lithuania to discuss ways to 
assist victims of human trafficking.  She has also 
established excellent relations with the diplomatic 
community and, on a daily basis, demonstrates how 
diplomatic families can help change the communities in 
which they live. 
Best practices 
¶53. (SBU) Efforts to improve law enforcement cooperation, 
raise awareness, and provide assistance to victims do not 
effectively reach all areas in Lithuania.  One project that 
targets the development of effective, regional anti-TIP 
programming is conducted by the NGO "Lithuanian U.S. 
Initiatives" (LUSI). In 2003-2004, LUSI implemented the 
program "Monitoring and Development of Preventive 
Networks."  Under this program, LUSI established eight 
anti-TIP information centers around Lithuania to coordinate 
and implement TIP prevention activities.  LUSI provided a 
series of trainings to local authorities and NGOs on the 
methodologies of working with youth, forming partnerships, 
and developing local anti-TIP strategies.  LUSI's centers 
provide information and assistance to those in need.  For 
example, the centers educate and provide anti-TIP training 
material to educators, law enforcement officials, parents 
and students.  The centers collaborate with local partners, 
forming inter-agency anti-trafficking working groups at the 
local level. The centers have a significant impact on 
educating people about TIP; post-program evaluation surveys 
show that knowledge on how to recognize threats and assist 
victims increased 33%. 
¶V. Comment: Assessment 
¶54. (SBU) The Government of Lithuania fully complies with 
the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. 
Through the reporting period, the GOL continued to 
demonstrate the political will to address the TIP problem. 
It improved its partnerships with NGOs and increased 
funding for anti-TIP initiatives.  To further strengthen 
anti-trafficking efforts, the GOL should expand the anti- 
TIP strategy nationwide, establish a formal victim 
screening program and referral mechanism, and ensure that 
TIP investigations are conducted more effectively.  It 
should also improve legal instruments in order to ensure 
that convicted traffickers receive more serious sentences. 
VI. Post Contact Information 
¶55. (SBU) Embassy points of contact for TIP are Trevor 
Boyd, Political Officer (through March 1, 2005), and Vice- 
Consul (after March 1, 2005), and Giedra Gureviciute, 
Political/Economic Specialist. Tel (370-5)266-5500, fax: 
¶56. (SBU) Post spent 150 hours in the preparation of this 
TIP report cable.  POL and CONS FSOs spent 30 hours on 
information gathering and editing.  POL/ECON FSN spent 120 
hours on information gathering and drafting.