UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 VILNIUS 000198
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED
DEPT FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM, IWI, EUR/PGI, EUR/NB
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM KCRM KWMN ELAB SMIG ASEC KFRD PREF LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA 2006 ANNUAL TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (TIP) REPORT
REF: STATE 273089
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - PROTECT ACCORDINGLY
Â¶1. (SBU) Summary: Lithuania is a source, transit, and destination
country for trafficking in persons (TIP). The government of
Lithuania (GOL) estimates that between 1,000 and 1,200 women leave
Lithuania every year to engage in prostitution, basing their
calculations on 2003 Europol data. There are no reliable estimates
of the number of third country victims of trafficking who transit
Lithuania nor of TIP victims within Lithuania's borders.
Traffickers target young women from rural and economically
disadvantaged areas with promises of employment abroad.
Â¶2. (SBU) The Government of Lithuania has increased the attention and
resources it devotes to TIP. During the reporting period, the GOL
approved its second multi-faceted anti-TIP strategy covering
2005-2008, strengthened its anti-trafficking legislation, increased
funding to Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), and created a
specialized police department to combat TIP. According to the
Ministry of Interior, 18 criminal human trafficking cases reached
Lithuanian courts in 2005. The courts concluded eight cases by the
close of the year, handing down convictions in six, and finding
twenty individuals culpable. Ten cases are still in the pre-trial
phase. End Summary.
Â¶3. (SBU) Lithuania is a country of origin and destination for
Lithuanian victims of human trafficking. There are no current
statistics available measuring the extent of trafficking from or
through the country. Europol estimates (2003) that over 1,200
Lithuanian women are trafficking victims every year. This tracks
reasonably with GOL conclusions that many of the 1,000-1,500 women
leaving Lithuania every year to engage in prostitution are actually
victims of TIP. Pointing to the increasing number of requests for
assistance by TIP victims, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
working on trafficking issues in Lithuania argue that the number is
likely higher. Others, including the government explain the
increasing number of victims seeking assistance as a result of
effective anti-TIP outreach and increased public awareness.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Vilnius, before Lithuania's accession to the EU, Germany was the
primary destination for Lithuanian TIP victims, followed by the
United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands.
Since EU accession, an increasing percentage of Lithuanian TIP
victims go to the UK. Ministry of Interior reports that there were
25 official, registered trafficking victims in 2005; all were women,
one a teenager.
Â¶4. (SBU) Lithuania serves as a destination and transit point for
victims of international trafficking of non-Lithuanian women. Women
from Belarus, Russia (Kaliningrad region), and Ukraine constitute
approximately 15 percent of the prostitutes in Lithuania. These
women work as street prostitute or call girls or in illegal
brothels. Other women continue on to third countries. There is no
data available about third-country victims transiting Lithuania.
Â¶5. (SBU) Poor or economically disadvantaged women tend to be the
primary targets of traffickers. These women are usually from rural
areas and have few economic opportunities. Compiling data from over
200 TIP victims, the IOM office in Vilnius documented that most
Lithuanian victims came from unstable families largely dependent on
social assistance. More than half of the victims had not completed
secondary education, and many were unemployed. The study showed
that 72 percent of the women were single, and more than half had
children. Twenty-four percent of the women questioned admitted that
they knew they would work as prostitutes. Various organizations
around the country assisted in collecting data from for this
Â¶6. (SBU) Traffickers frequently approach women through advertising
in newspapers and magazines. These seemingly legitimate
advertisements often promise employment abroad in restaurants, bars,
nightclubs, and hotels or invite women to work as nannies, nurses,
or models. Other advertisements seek women to provide intimate
services, such as massage and escort services. Traffickers often
try to ensure the victim's compliance through psychological
intimidation and by withholding of the victim's travel documents,
rather than resorting to physical violence.
Â¶7. (SBU) Both individuals and organized groups, some belonging to
international trafficking rings, engage in TIP in Lithuania.
Traffickers search for individuals seeking to work abroad as
prostitutes and rarely risk taking women abroad by force. Very
often traffickers are friends or even close relatives of the
victims. According to NGOs working in this field, traffickers
posing as prosperous businesswomen recruit victims from boarding
schools with offers of lucrative jobs. Police note that there were
no official reports of TIP victims from boarding schools, but the
NGOs chalk this up to underreporting: Women often refuse to serve as
witnesses or simply vanish abroad. Traffickers often provide women
with false personal documents.
Â¶8. (SBU) A 2005 IOM Vilnius study revealed that the number of people
being trafficked from Lithuania to work in the sex trade increased
since the country joined the EU in May 2004. There are no studies
showing the rate continued to increase in 2005. The study revealed
that the UK replaced Germany as the number one destination country
for trafficked Lithuanians. According to IOM data, thirty-three
percent of Lithuanian TIP victims go to the UK. The IOM data also
indicates that internal trafficking accounts for 33 percent of all
cases in the country. IOM Vilnius reported a marked increase in the
number of TIP victims it assists. In the three years between 2001
and 2004, the IOM's Vilnius office assisted 41 TIP victims. In the
18 months between May 2004 and October 2005, the figure reached 54.
The study documented an increase in the trafficking of minors.
Before May 2004, 12 percent of victims seeking IOM help were minors;
16 percent in 2005.
Commitment to Combat Trafficking
Â¶9. (SBU) Serious political will to combat TIP exists at the highest
levels of government in Lithuania. The GOL and Members of
Parliament planned new anti-TIP efforts and held a series of press
conferences on human trafficking in 2005. The GOL adopted its
second national anti-TIP strategy, covering the period 2005-2008
The Government's program anticipates a budget of USD 1.97 million
(LTL 5.7 million) of state, international, and other funds over the
four-year period to combat TIP. In 2005, the GOL spent USD 141,379
(LTL 410,000) on anti-TIP programs, largely in support of NGO's.
The GOL plans to allocate a total of USD 413,793 (LTL 1.2 million)
of national funds in 2006 for anti-TIP activities, of which USD
155,172 (LTL 450,000) will support NGO's. In 2005, the GOL
established a specialized anti-trafficking police unit. The new
unit, in operation since January 1, 2006, employs five specialists
to investigate TIP cases and to strengthen cooperation with foreign
law enforcement agencies. The unit has a budget of USD 68,966 (LTL
200,000) for 2006. GOL officials believe that current resources for
TIP are sufficient.
Â¶10. (SBU) The Ministry of Interior systematically monitors the
implementation of the national TIP prevention program. In
coordination with other institutions, the Ministry provides status
reports to the GOL twice a year. The main sources of information on
TIP are the Criminal Police, the Ministry of Interior, the IOM,
NGOs, foreign embassies, the United Nations, and the media. These
sources of information have proven reliable. Media attention
regarding TIP significantly increased in 2005.
Â¶11. (SBU) The GOL acknowledges that prosecuting TIP-related cases is
a continuing challenge. Many law enforcement officers and
investigators lack experience investigating TIP cases and lack
adequate professional contacts with foreign law enforcement
officials and public prosecutors to help build cases against
international traffickers. Prosecutors and investigators find it
difficult to meet the standard of proof in cases where victims have
been trafficked and sold into prostitution or to prosecute cases in
which the criminal act occurs outside Lithuania.
Â¶12. (SBU) GOL officials note that it is often difficult to persuade
victims to testify in TIP cases. Victims rarely volunteer to
provide testimony against their traffickers due to fear and/or a
lack of understanding of the crime. In their defense, suspected
traffickers in international cases usually maintain that their
relationship to alleged victims was to facilitate travel abroad for
legal employment or to serve as traveling companion.
GOL Organization and Efforts to Prevent TIP
Â¶13. (SBU) The GOL acknowledges that trafficking in persons is a
problem in Lithuania. The GOL has a national anti-TIP strategy and
a governmental working group to monitor implementation of the
strategy. A mid-level official at the Ministry of Interior is the
national point of contact for the anti-TIP program. The Ministry of
Interior developed the strategy in consultations with the Ministries
of Education, Justice, Interior, Social Security and Labor, Health,
the Center for Crime Prevention, the National Police and NGOs. They
exchange relevant information with the Border Protection Service,
Customs Service, 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.
Â¶14. To disseminate the strategy nationwide, in 2005 the GOL
suggested that municipalities allocate local resources for the
anti-TIP programs and appoint a coordinator for TIP issues in each
municipality. Many municipalities have followed these suggestions.
Since 2000, the Border Protection Service has paid more attention to
young persons, particularly females, traveling abroad.
Â¶15. (SBU) The government cooperated with NGO's and the IOM on TIP
outreach and information programs they directed toward at-risk
groups, potential trafficking victims, and clients of prostitutes.
The GOL also cooperated with NGO's on women's empowerment projects
(para 42). TIP prevention is not part of formal school curricula.
Teachers who believe that TIP is a problem in their area may
voluntarily incorporate into the standard curriculum prevention
program developed in 2003. In 2005, 3,835 youths from risk groups
attended 83 GOL and NGO-organized TIP prevention events (lectures,
discussions at schools, film showings, etc.).
Â¶16. (SBU) The GOL approved the first National Anti-Corruption
Program in 2002. In 2005, the GOL revised the program and developed
an action plan for 2006-2008. The GOL's Special Investigation
Service coordinates the program's implementation.
GOL's Relationship with NGOs
Â¶17. (SBU) The GOL has steadily increased funding to support NGO
anti-TIP activities and worked closely with NGOs to implement major
anti-TIP projects in 2005. In 2005, the GOL allocated USD 136,207
(LTL 395,000) to help fund 11 NGOs (LTL 270,000 in 2004; LTL 197,000
in 2003 and LTL 90,000 in 2002). NGOs spent the majority of this
funding on victims' support, not for prevention. The GOL approved
funding of USD 155,172 (LTL 450,000) to support NGOs in 2006.
Despite the increases, the funding still falls short of the amounts
NGOs requested. The GOL provides about 70 percent of the funding
for NGOs, with international donors making up the shortfall.
Â¶18. (SBU) Local NGOs identify the following impediments to the GOL's
efforts to address TIP problems:
- lack of serious attention to TIP cases on the part of law
- low sentences for convicted traffickers;
- fragmented TIP prevention in schools; and
- underutilization of the GOL's witness protection program for TIP
Â¶19. (SBU) The GOL also worked closely with the IOM Vilnius. In
2005, the IOM Vilnius released recommendations on TIP for law
enforcement specialists and teachers. Between 2004 and 2005, the
IOM Vilnius conducted 22 anti-TIP seminars for over 500 students,
and distributed over 1200 copies of an educational video about TIP
at Lithuanian schools.
III. Investigation and Prosecution of Traffickers
The Law Against TIP
Â¶20. (SBU) Lithuania's Criminal Code has included an article on TIP
since 1998. The Code 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" and prescribes a penalty of twelve years imprisonment for
traffickers. Since 2003, the Criminal Code also includes eight
articles related to TIP. The Code empowers 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 have provided protection for TIP
victims willing to testify in trafficking cases.
Â¶21. (SBU) In 2005, the GOL proposed and parliament passed amendments
to the Criminal Code that:
1) expanded the definition of human trafficking to conform with the
UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime signed in
2) strengthened penalties for trafficking in persons (over 18 years
old) from a minimum of no time in prison to a minimum of two years,
and the maximum sentence from ten years to 12 years;
3) strengthened the maximum penalty for trafficking in children from
12 years to 15 years; and
4) assigned liability to legal entities in addition to private
Â¶22. (SBU) The new Criminal Code prescribes the following penalties
and fines for TIP-related activities:
- trafficking in persons -- up to twelve years imprisonment;
- profiting monetarily from prostitution or pimping -- up to USD
8,621 (LTL 25,000) and up to four years in prison;
- profiting monetarily from prostitution or pimping of a minor or
engaging, organizing, and/or directing 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 directing prostitution rings or transporting a
person for the purpose of prostitution -- up to six years in
- engaging in prostitution -- up to USD 4,310 (LTL 12,500) and
incarceration for up to three years;
- forcing individuals into prostitution by means of coercion or
fraud and engaging a minor in prostitution -- two to seven years in
- trafficking in children (minors or juveniles) -- two to fifteen
Â¶23. (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 exploitation of children for pornography is a fine and a maximum
jail sentence of four years imprisonment.
Â¶24. (SBU) Prostitution is illegal in Lithuania. Prostitution is an
administrative offense punishable by a fine of up to USD 172 (LTL
500) for a single offense and up to USD 345 (LTL 1,000) for repeated
offenses. The Penal Code covers crimes related to prostitution
(para 25). In 2005 the Parliament passed new legislation to penalize
persons buying sexual services up to USD 138 (LTL 400). Previously,
penalties were applied only to prostitutes. According to new
legislation, after a second arrest for soliciting sex services, an
individual shall pay a fine of up to USD 259 (LTL 750), or be placed
in detention for 30 days.
Â¶25. (SBU) According to law enforcement officials, 260-300 women
engaged in prostitution in Lithuania in 2005. NGOs believe this
number is higher, with estimates ranging from 1,000-3,000. Between
12 and 14 criminal groups operated prostitution rings in Lithuania.
In 2005, police fined 469 women (compared to 662 in 2004, 681 in
2003, 214 in 2002, and 272 in 2001) for engaging in prostitution.
Though the law criminalizes pimping, the number of cases before
Lithuanian courts in 2005 remained low. Police report that women
from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine constitute 12 percent of all women
engaged in prostitution in Lithuania, down from estimates of 40
percent in 2001.
Â¶26. (SBU) According to the Ministry of Interior, the proceeds of
prostitution in Lithuania exceeded USD 17,241,379 (LTL 50 million),
while the proceeds of trafficking in human beings and related
criminal acts amounted to approximately USD 68,965,517 (LTL 200
million). Men neither buy nor sell child brides in Lithuania; nor
do they travel abroad to purchase child brides.
Â¶27. (SBU) The GOL actively investigates cases of trafficking, and
its agencies use special investigative techniques to the extent
possible under domestic law. These techniques include undercover
operations, electronic surveillance, and mitigated punishment or
immunity for cooperating suspects. Undercover operations account
for over 80 percent of all investigations.
Â¶28. (SBU) Authorities initiated 32 new criminal TIP investigations
in 2005. Eighteen criminal cases involving 43 defendants reached
court. Of these, six cases resulted in the convictions for 20
individuals. Two cases resulted in acquittals. Ten cases were
still in the courts. The government officially identified 25
victims; all were women, one was a juvenile.
The courts sentenced the convicted traffickers, as follows:
of Individuals Sentence
1 USD 517 (LTL 1,500)
1 USD 862 (LTL 2,500)
1 USD 2,586 (LTL 7,500)
1 18 months and USD 2,586 (LTL 7,500)
5 24 months
1 26 months
3 30 months
1 36 months
1 44 months
3 48 months
1 54 months
1 66 months
The courts suspended the sentences of seven individuals for various
reasons, including lack of prior convictions, and granted amnesty to
Â¶29. (SBU) Police report that nearly half of traffickers in Lithuania
have ties to organized crime groups, domestic or international.
Individuals, small groups, friends, or family members constitute the
balance of traffickers. In 2005, Lithuanian and British law
enforcement agencies uncovered a criminal gang that transported
nearly 100 women to the UK from Lithuania. In 2005, the police also
detained at least five owners and employees of Lithuanian modeling
agencies, allegedly fronts for trafficking women to Western Europe
and the United Arab Emirates.
International Cooperation on TIP
Â¶30. (SBU) The newly created Trafficking in Human Beings
Investigation Unit of the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau is
responsible for international cooperation in TIP cases (para 10).
In 2005, the GOL decided to institute a customs attache position in
the Netherlands to improve communications with Europol, to ensure
efficient information exchange, and to help prevent international
crimes, including TIP. Currently, two police officers represent
Lithuania in Europol.
Â¶31. (SBU) The GOL has bilateral cooperation agreements in the area
of trafficking with the Interior Ministries of more than 20
countries. In 2005, GOL officials and members of Parliament
organized a number of bilateral meetings with officials from the UK,
Nordic, and Baltic countries to discuss cooperation in anti-TIP
Â¶32. (SBU) Lithuanian National Police organized a series of
high-level meetings with their counterparts in Germany, England,
Latvia, Belarus, and Estonia to discuss TIP-related collaboration.
According to the Ministry of Interior, in 2005, Lithuanian law
enforcement officials cooperated with the governments of the UK,
Belgium, Holland, Austria, Germany, Latvia, and Norway in 172
international TIP investigations. The GOL provided information,
assisted victims, and protected witnesses in these investigations.
Â¶33. (SBU) Lithuanian law allows for the extradition from Lithuania
of foreign nationals charged with TIP in other countries. The same
extradition regulations apply to persons charged in TIP 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. The GOL joined the 1957 European Convention on Extradition
in 1995. So far, only the agreement on extradition signed with the
USA in 2001 meets the criteria of this Convention.
Â¶34. (SBU) There were two TIP-related extraditions in Lithuania in
Â¶2005. In January, a Vilnius court sanctioned the arrest of a Costa
Rican citizen suspected by Costa Rican authorities of trafficking
children in that country. Lithuania extradited the suspect to Costa
Rica. In June 2005, a Vilnius court ordered the extradition to
Germany of a Lithuanian citizen, suspected of trafficking Lithuanian
and Ukrainian women.
Â¶35. (SBU) The GOL's law enforcement training center provides new
officers four hours of training in combating trafficking and
preventing illegal migration. International organizations provide
additional specialized anti-TIP training or officers attend courses
abroad. In 2005, seven Lithuanian law enforcement officials
participated in TIP-related training in Spain, Ireland, Hungary, and
Â¶36. (SBU) Media reported during 2005 that Parliament's ombudsman
interfered in Norwegian court proceedings in which a Lithuanian
national was charged with human trafficking. The Ombudsman
allegedly offered the defendant legal services from a law firm with
ties to his family business. There were no other reports of
government officials' involvement in TIP cases.
Â¶37. (SBU) The GOL has signed and ratified all major international
-- ILO Convention 182, March 25, 2003.
-- ILO Convention 29 and 105 on Forced or Compulsory Labor, June
-- 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.
IV. Protection and Assistance to Victims
Â¶38. (SBU) Local municipalities, often with financial support from
the national government, provide social, psychological, and legal
assistance to TIP victims. The City of Vilnius and other
municipalities operate hostels where mothers and children who are
victims of domestic violence and trafficking receive shelter and
social support. The Vilnius hostel provided shelter and
comprehensive care for seven trafficking victims in 2005. The AIDS
Center of Vilnius provides medical assistance and HIV/AIDS testing.
The Foreigners Registration Center of the State Border Guard Service
addresses questions of integration into Lithuanian society. The
Police Department assists victims with legal and victim-protection
issues and cooperates with NGOs working in this area. The Ministry
of Foreign Affairs assisted 39 Lithuanian victims of human
trafficking abroad in 2005.
Â¶39. (SBU) The GOL provided grants to 11 NGOs that supported 287
victims of trafficking. This support helped NGOs to assist 76 TIP
victims to acquire secondary or vocational education, and 63 to gain
employment. Although there is no official information on the exact
number of TIP victims receiving assistance in Lithuania, experts
estimate that over 300 victims received support in 2005.
Â¶40. (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.
Trafficked Victims' Rights and Protection
Â¶41. (SBU) The GOL adopted amendments to the criminal law in 2005 to
prevent TIP victims from being penalized for acts related to
prostitution or illegal immigration into Lithuania. The Parliament
is expected to pass this legislation in 2006. Passage of these
amendments will allow the government to grant temporary residency to
foreigners trafficked to Lithuania who agree to act as witnesses
against their traffickers and/or pimps. This temporary residency
will cover the period required for foreign trafficking victims to
participate in the court proceedings. To date, police have been
allowing foreign trafficking victims who agree to cooperate with the
police to stay in Lithuania. This legislation will legalize this
practice. Police have not detained, jailed, deported or fined TIP
victims who cooperated in trafficking investigations. TIP victims
have also not been prosecuted for violations of other laws.
Â¶42. (SBU) GOL agencies and NGOs encourage victims to assist in
trafficking investigations and prosecutions. However, many victims
of trafficking are still reluctant to initiate cases; the Police
initiated over 50 percent of all TIP pre-trial investigations.
Victims may also file civil suits or seek legal action against
traffickers. Victims, however, often fear seeking help from local
authorities, 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 state-run victim restitution
program, but victims may apply to the court for financial
compensation from the individual who trafficked them.
Â¶43. (SBU) The Police's Witnesses and Victims Protection Service
provides protection to victims and witnesses. The program has
limited funding. TIP victims and witnesses comprised 10% of
individuals receiving protection services in 2005.
Training GOL Officials to Assist TIP Victims
Â¶44. (SBU) Although the GOL does provide some specialized training on
victim assistance to law enforcement officials, most training comes
from foreign donors through IOM and other organizations (para 35).
The GOL routinely provides its embassies and consulates in countries
that are destinations or transit points for TIP instruction 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.
Â¶45. (SBU) Repatriated nationals who are victims of trafficking
receive the same assistance from the GOL and NGOs as domestic TIP
NGOs Assisting TIP Victims
Â¶46. (SBU) Twenty-five NGOs provide consultations or temporary
shelter and rehabilitation assistance for victims of violence and
TIP. The following NGOs are the most prominent in the field:
-- The Missing Persons Families Support Center is the leading NGO
working in the anti-TIP area. It provided shelter and social
assistance to 29 victims of trafficking in 2005. The Center
educated over 200 young girls with the so-called Girl Group Method
under the Girl Power project financed by the Aland Islands Peace
Institute based in Finland. The Center joined the EU project EQUAL,
which aims to create a support mechanism for victims of TIP to enter
or re-enter the labor market. As a part of this project, the Center
performed a survey of society's opinion about victims of TIP. The
results showed that three percent of citizens know a victim of
trafficking; only 43 percent of Lithuanians believe that people who
have been trafficked and sold into forced labor in Lithuania are
victims of TIP; 23 percent of employers would be willing to employ
victims of trafficking, while 50 percent would not. The Center
also distributed thousands of anti-TIP brochures and posters to
young people throughout Lithuania, and implemented five TIP
prevention programs in 2005. The Center has operated a toll-free
hot line for victims since 2001. The GOL has provided funding to
the Center since 2001, which constitutes about 70 percent of the
Center's annual budget. Foreign organizations provide the balance
of the funding.
-- Caritas is a Catholic charity that has provided assistance to TIP
victims in Lithuania since 2001. Caritas receives most of its
funding from German Catholic organizations. In 2005, Caritas
received financial support from the GOL and assisted over 120
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 received assistance in 2005.
-- 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 2005, Demetra
assisted 64 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
Â¶47. (SBU) Many of these organizations cooperate with each other and
work with the GOL and the local IOM bureau. IOM assisted 35 TIP
victims in 2005 through its own programs.
Â¶48. Post nominates Mrs. Kristina Misiniene as a TIP hero. Ms.
Misiniene, founder and coordinator of the program Aid to the Victims
of Trafficking and Prostitution at Caritas, has coordinated
assistance to over 300 TIP victims since 2001. Ms. Misiniene
recognized years ago the necessity for additional TIP education,
prevention, and support for victims, and has worked tirelessly to
spread the anti-TIP message in Lithuania. In 2001, Ms. Misiniene
convinced Caritas to start the Aid to the Victims of Trafficking and
Prostitution program and secured financial support from abroad. Ms.
Misiniene has been at the forefront of largely successful lobbying
efforts to convince the government to take more forceful actions to
combat TIP. She has collaborated with other NGOs, and rallied over
30 volunteers to widen the services provided to TIP victims. She
continues to expand education and outreach programs in rural areas
of Lithuania. Ms. Misiniene gives countless hours of her time to
provide exceptional psychological help and material assistance to
TIP victims. She works with every single victim personally. Ms.
Misiniene, an untiring advocate for TIP education, prevention, and
support efforts in Lithuania, is undoubtedly a TIP hero.
Â¶49. (SBU) Anti-TIP prevention in Lithuanian schools is fragmented
and is not a part of formal curricula. To combat this gap in
anti-TIP efforts, the Missing Person Families Support Center
designed an educational program for schools to ensure that students
have adequate information on the risks of TIP. Under this program,
the Center's employees visit schools and give one-hour lessons about
TIP. The first part of the lesson is a showing of the film "The
Devil's Ring" in which young victims of trafficking tell their
tragic stories. A discussion with students about TIP and its
dangers follows the film. At the end of the lesson, the Center's
employees distribute anti-TIP brochures to students. According to
Center personnel, almost half of all students admit that they had
never heard of TIP before. The Center annually provides 15-20 such
lessons in schools.
Â¶V. Comment: Assessment
Â¶50. (SBU) The GOL fully complies with the minimum standards for the
elimination of TIP and in many areas provides well more than the
minimum. Through the reporting period, the GOL continued to
demonstrate the political will to address the TIP problem. It
increased funding for anti-TIP initiatives, established a
specialized anti-trafficking police unit, and improved Lithuania's
legislative framework. To further strengthen anti-trafficking
efforts, the GOL should expand prevention programs nationwide,
include TIP prevention in formal school curricula, and should
establish a formal victim-screening program and referral mechanism.
While enforcement statistics improved during the reporting period,
the GOL should also impose higher sentences on traffickers.
VI. Post Contact Information
Â¶51. (SBU) Embassy points of contact for TIP are Alex Titolo,
Political/Economic Officer (through April 1, 2005), and Traver
Gudie, Political/Economic Officer, (after April 1, 2005), and Giedra
Gureviciute, Political/Economic Specialist. Tel (370-5)266-5500,
fax: (370-5)266-5510. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org,
Â¶52. (SBU) Post spent 140 hours in the preparation of this TIP report
cable. POL/ECON OMS spent 8 hours proofing this report. POL/ECON
FSO spent 20 hours on information gathering and editing. POL/ECON
Chief spent 10 hours editing. AMB and DCM spent a total of 2 hours
editing and approving. POL/ECON FSN spent 100 hours on information
gathering and drafting.