Viewing cable 06VILNIUS198
Title: LITHUANIA 2006 ANNUAL TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS (TIP) REPORT

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS1982006-02-27 15:44:00 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 09 VILNIUS 000198 
 
SIPDIS 
 
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 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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. 
 
----------- 
¶I. Overview 
----------- 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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. 
 
Victims 
------- 
 
¶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 
survey. 
 
Traffickers 
----------- 
 
¶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. 
 
Modi Operandi 
------------- 
 
¶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. 
 
Trafficking Trends 
------------------ 
 
¶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 
-------------------------------- 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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. 
 
-------------- 
II. Prevention 
-------------- 
 
GOL Organization and Efforts to Prevent TIP 
------------------------------------------- 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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.). 
 
¶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 
---------------------------- 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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 
enforcement officials; 
 
- low sentences for convicted traffickers; 
 
- fragmented TIP prevention in schools; and 
 
- underutilization of the GOL's witness protection program for TIP 
victims. 
¶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 
------------------- 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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 
Palermo; 
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 
persons. 
 
¶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 
prison; 
 
- 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 
prison; 
 
- trafficking in children (minors or juveniles) -- two to fifteen 
years imprisonment. 
 
¶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. 
 
Prostitution 
------------ 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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. 
 
Investigations 
-------------- 
 
¶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. 
 
Prosecutions 
------------ 
 
¶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: 
 
Number 
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 
two persons. 
 
¶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 
-------------------------------- 
¶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. 
 
¶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 
efforts. 
 
¶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. 
 
Extradition 
----------- 
 
¶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. 
 
¶34. (SBU) There were two TIP-related extraditions in Lithuania in 
¶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. 
 
Training 
-------- 
 
¶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 
Belgium. 
 
Government Involvement 
---------------------- 
 
¶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. 
 
International Instruments 
------------------------- 
¶37. (SBU) The GOL has signed and ratified all major international 
instruments: 
 
-- ILO Convention 182, 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. 
 
---------------------------------------- 
IV. Protection and Assistance to Victims 
---------------------------------------- 
 
GOL Assistance 
-------------- 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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 
----------------------------------------- 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
¶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. 
 
¶45. (SBU) Repatriated nationals who are victims of trafficking 
receive the same assistance from the GOL and NGOs as domestic TIP 
victims. 
 
NGOs Assisting TIP Victims 
-------------------------- 
 
¶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 
educational material. 
 
¶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. 
 
-------- 
TIP HERO 
-------- 
¶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. 
 
-------------- 
Best Practices 
-------------- 
 
¶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. 
 
---------------------- 
¶V. Comment: Assessment 
---------------------- 
 
¶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 
---------------------------- 
 
¶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:gureviciuteg@state.gov, 
titoloa@state.gov. 
 
¶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. 
 
MULL