The Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings of the Council of the Baltic Sea States marking its 10th anniversary has initiated a campaign to raise awareness "Human trafficking - a crime that is all of our responsibility". Together with the Swedish artist Lovisa Burfitt and a production team in Estonia, t-shirt with an ethical supply chain was designed. Join us by wearing this design and sharing it on social media with the hashtag #traffickingsucks.
Sabīne Košeļeva, www.apollo.lv
Digging deeper into the subject on the new phenomenon, which is still hard to identify and combat, exploitative sham marriages, Apollo portal talked to a manager of the HESTIA* Project and National Anti-Trafficking Coordinator Ms Lāsma Stabiņa. We sought answers to who are organising this business, how do they work, and why?
Sabīne Košeļeva, www.apollo.lv
A large-scale international project implemented under the management of the Ministry of the Interior “Preventing human trafficking and sham marriages: A multidisciplinary solution” (HESTIA)* is going to be accomplished by the end of December, launched in January 2015 with the key purpose to explore the links and analyse the phenomenon of sham marriages within the context of human trafficking, and to initiate a comprehensive action plan for their prevention. A manager of the HESTIA Project and National Anti-Trafficking Coordinator Ms Lāsma Stabiņa, in an interview with Apollo, presented the outcomes of the study conducted within the scope of the project, and key trends to pay attention to, in order to, if not eliminate this increasingly expanding issue, but at least to know how to identify it and prevent it from spreading further.
On 5 December 2016 the meeting of the Informal EU Network of National Rapporteurs or Equivalent Mechanisms (NREMs) co-chaired by the Slovak Presidency of the EU and the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator (European Commission) took place in Brussels, Belgium.
On 14 – 15 November, 2016 Riga hosted an international conference “Exploitative Sham Marriages: Exploring the Links between Trafficking in Human Beings and Sham Marriages” where findings and best practise acquired during the implementation of the HESTIA Project “Preventing human trafficking and sham marriages: A multidisciplinary solution” were presented and shared. In total 60 experts representing various professional anti-trafficking areas from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, the Slovak Republic, Cyprus, Portugal, Greece, the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Norway and the Council of the Baltic Sea States participated.
The Study Defines a New Concept of "Exploitative Sham Marriages" and Proposes Recommendations for their Reduction
Today, the results of the project "Preventing human trafficking and sham marriages: A multidisciplinary solution" (HESTIA)* were presented at the dissemination briefing organised by the Ministry of the Interior (MoI). The main goal of the project initiated in January 2015 and co-funded by the European Union (EU) "Prevention of and Fight Against Crime" programme was to seek correlations and explore the phenomenon of sham marriages in the context of human trafficking and to propose comprehensive action for their prevention.
Ieva Cielava, 5 July 2016, www.irir.lv
How Latvia fights human trafficking, an interview with Lāsma Stabiņa, Representative of the Ministry of the Interior.
"We can do a lot," says Lāsma Stabiņa, Senior Desk Officer of the Ministry of the Interior, about the started fight against human trafficking. She has been actively involved in both policy planning and the coordination of implementation of the approved policy since 2010, and now she is also a Latvian national coordinator of anti-trafficking issues.
Implementation of the project STROM II "Strengthening the Role of Municipalities in the Work against Trafficking in Human Beings" has been started
Follow up project STROM II "Strengthening the Role of Municipalities in the Work against Trafficking in Human Beings" is the joint project between the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM). The purpose of this joint project is to contribute to the prevention of persons being recruited for trafficking in human beings and to better protection of victims of trafficking in human beings in municipalities of the Baltic States and North-West Russia. The project aims to strengthen the capacity of municipalities to work on prevention and protection of victims.
This article first appeared in The Baltic Times, a pan-Baltic English newspaper which has been covering Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania since 1990. www.baltictimes.com
Author: Michael Mustillo, The Baltic Times, 30.06.2016.
Lasma Stabina was recently nominated by the US Embassy in Latvia as Latvia’s 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Hero for her exceptional commitment to preventing human trafficking.
Stabina’s efforts to attract international funding for trafficking prevention activities and her public-private partnership promotion efforts have contributed enormously to preventing human trafficking in Latvia.
As Latvia’s National Anti-TIP Co-ordinator, Stabina has taken the lead in developing and carrying out two large international anti-TIP projects: "Preventing human trafficking and sham marriages: A multidisciplinary solution" (HESTIA)* and “Strengthening the Role of Municipalities in the Work Against Trafficking in Human Beings in the Baltic Sea Region.”
Implementing the project "Preventing human trafficking and sham marriages: A multidisciplinary solution" (HESTIA) on 28 – 30 June 2016 project partners from Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Ireland and Finland met at the project’s coordination meeting in Bratislava (Slovak Republic) hosted by the project’s Slovak partner – Ministry of the Interior.
The meeting was opened by Ms Petra Barnova, Head of the Secretary of the Governmental Council for Crime Prevention who highlighted the importance of cross-border cooperation and inter-governmental support to address trafficking in human beings efficiently and more targeted.