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Migration and Home Affairs

General information

According to criminal cases, Lithuania is mostly a source country for trafficking in human beings for forced commission of criminal activities and labour exploitation, for sexual exploitation, as well as forced marriage.

Lithuanian women are trafficked for sexual and labour exploitation, servitude, forced marriage and criminal activities; men mostly for forced commission of criminal activities, and both for labour exploitation and begging.  

In 2014, Germany became the main target country, while the United Kingdom remained as the second main target country. So far, the United Kingdom remains the most popular target country, but also there are trafficking in human beings cases detected in France, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands and other countries. Since 2017, more and more cases indicate that Lithuania is becoming a destination country for trafficking in human beings for different forms of exploitation, as well as for a third country nationals for labour and sexual exploitation. Traffickers and victims are mostly Lithuanians. There are few cases where victims are from Ukraine, Nepal, India or Thailand. In addition, there are indicators on being the country of transit.

The fight against trafficking in human beings has been a priority for the Lithuanian government for a long time. While the first action plan (2002-2004) had a specific focus on trafficking for sexual exploitation and prostitution, the second action plan (2005-2008) had a broader focus, acknowledging different forms of exploitation. In the third action plan, the Programme for the Prevention and Control of Trafficking in Human Beings for 2009-2012, new challenges were taken into account.

On 14 November 2012, the Action plan for the implementation of the National Crime Prevention and Control Programme in 2013-2015 was adopted. The Action Plan consists of two chapters one of which contains only activities to fight against this crime. The Action Plan continues the activities started in the Programme for the Prevention and Control of Trafficking in Human beings 2009-2012. On 7 May 2015, a new programme The State Security Development for 2015–2025 Programme was adopted by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, one of the tasks of which is to develop sufficient fight against human trafficking. This programme replaced the Crime Prevention and Control Programme.

In Lithuania, a lot of attention is being focused towards prevention of the crime. In suspicious cases potential victims are approached by the police or NGOs, who  motivate them to refuse labour offers abroad. The email prekybazmonemis@policija is managed by a specialised police investigator at the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau, and is broadly used by the public to inform on suspicious cases of human trafficking and to ask for advice. 

Institutional and legal framework

Criminal Code

All forms of trafficking in human beings are prohibited in Lithuania. The most substantial legislative changes in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania (hereafter the CC, Articles 147, 147-1, 147-2 and 157) were made in the period of 2005−2020, taking into account relevant international treaties and other documents. Criminal liability for human trafficking as outlined in chapters 20 (Crimes against human liberty) and 23 (Crimes and misdemeanours against a child and a family) of the CC.

Penalties for human trafficking range between two and twelve years of imprisonment (Article 147). Purchase or sale of a child is punishable from three to fifteen years of imprisonment (Article 157). Penalties for labour exploitation (Article 147-1) range from receiving a fine to 8 years of imprisonment.

Article 147 and 157 of the CC also outline aggravating circumstances (two or more victims, offences committed by participating in an organised group or by seeking to acquire the victim’s organ, tissue or cells). The criminal liability covers preparation, attempt and complicity of the crime. Legal entities might be also prosecuted and subjected to fines, restrictions of operations or liquidation. According to Article 11 of the CC, these crimes are considered to be serious and grave.

On 30 June 2012, the law on amending the CC was adopted with the aim to broaden the definition of trafficking in human beings crime, to include more aggravating circumstances, and to prosecute the users of forced labor and services (new Article 147-2 in the CC), taking into account the EU Directive 2011/EU/36 and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

Also, the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania stipulates that a victim of human trafficking may be exempted from criminal liability for a criminal offence, which he or she was forced to do.

National laws also allow a person to claim for compensation if she or he is held to be a victim of human trafficking. In addition, implementing the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Compensation for Damage Caused by Violent Crime, the Ministry of Justice accepts and analyses applications for compensation for damage caused by a violent crime, which is paid from the Crime Victims Fund administered by the Ministry of Justice.

Law on the Legal Status of Aliens

The Law on the Legal Status of Aliens (Art. 130) establishes that an alien should not be expelled from Lithuania if he or she has been granted the reflection period, in accordance with the procedure established by the Lithuanian government. The Law (Article 49) transposes the Council Directive 2004/81/EC, on the residence permit issued to third-country nationals who are victims of trafficking of human beings or who have been the subject of an action to facilitate illegal immigration. It provides that a temporary residence permit may be issued to an adult alien, who is or has been a victim of human trafficking, and who cooperates with the pre-trial investigation body or the court. The residence permit is for six months and can be renewed.

On 18 April 2012, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the decision on the procedures granting the reflection period during which a human trafficking victim has to make a decision whether to cooperate with law enforcement or the court. The legal act establishes a reflection period of 30 days.

Administrative Violations Code 

The issue of the liability of a client for buying sexual services is addressed in Article 487 of the Administrative Violations Code, which is one of the measures to reduce the demand for prostitution services in Lithuania. The administrative responsibility covers both persons who earn from prostitution and persons who use paid prostitution services, while excluding the persons who have been involved in prostitution being dependent or under physical or psychological violence or deception, or by any mean being a minor or/and a victim of human trafficking when the status is recognised in the criminal proceedings. According to this article, a fine (from 40 to 300 EUR) may be imposed on the prostitute and the client.

Law on Assistance to Victims of Crime

In 2021, the Law on Assistance to Victims of Crime adopted, which establishes a system of assistance to victims of crime (including victims of human trafficking).

National Strategy / National Action Plan

On 7 May 2015, a new programme The State Security Development for 2015–2025 Programme was adopted by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, one of the tasks of which is to develop sufficient fight against human trafficking. This programme replaced the Crime Prevention and Control Programme. The interinstitutional action plan was adopted by the Government will implement the State Security Development for 2015–2025 Programme. The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for coordination of the implementation of the new programme. Also, it should be noted that the activities of the fight against human trafficking are coordinated on the basis of the Interinstitutional Action Plan on the implementation of the Public Security Development Programme 2015-2025 and the Action Plan 2017–2019 on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, followed by the Action Plan 2020–2022 on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings. Measures and actions are as follows: prevention, prosecution (including training of officials), protection of victims and interinstitutional and international cooperation. In 2020, independent experts assessed the Action Plan 2017–2019 on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and recommended amendments to the Action Plan 2020–2022 on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings were made. The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for coordination of the implementation of the Action Plans.

All the state and municipal institutions and establishments whose representatives are engaged in the activities of the Anti-trafficking Commission, within their competence, plan and implement measures and actions using general assignations and other funds approved for the institutions in the state budget of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Office of the Government, The Ministry of the Interior, the Police department under the Ministry of the Interior, State Border Guard Service under the Ministry of the Interior, Prosecutor General‘s Office, National Courts Administration, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Education, Science and Sport, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, the Labour Exchange under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Migration Organisation, Lithuanian Bishops' Conference, Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania andmunicipalities, National Association against Human Trafficking and NGOs funded from the state budget through the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, participates in the implementation of the Action Plan.

Coordination of anti-trafficking actions at a national level

Seeking to ensure an effective fight against trafficking in human beings and to strengthen a smooth interinstitutional cooperation, by the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 11 August 2016, the Fight against Human Trafficking Coordination Commission was established.

The main task of the Commission is to coordinate measures and actions of the state and municipal institutions and establishments in the sphere of the fight against human trafficking. The Coordination Commission consists of 25 representatives of the ministries (the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Ministry of Health and others) and other state institutions (the State Labour Inspectorate, the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service, the Police, non-governmental and religious organisations). It performs the following functions:

  • analyses and assesses the results in the sphere of the fight against trafficking in human beings
  • puts forward proposals for formulating the policy of the fight against trafficking in human beings
  • puts forward proposals for improving the activities of institutions in the sphere of the fight against trafficking in human beings
  • puts forward proposals to the state and municipal institutions for including measures and actions in the Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking approved by the Minister of the Interior and implementing them

It should be mentioned that since 2018, coordination of actions of the fight against trafficking in human beings has been conducted by the Chancellor of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. Also, the composition of the institutional Fight against Human Trafficking Coordination Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Commission) was changed by Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. The composition of the Commission was also supplemented with the representatives of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Lithuanian community of the United Kingdom (as United Kingdom is a source country). Furthermore, the Resolution was supplemented with the new subparagraph whereby a working group was formed from the representatives of the Ministries taking part in the activities of the Commission, coordinated by the representative of the Ministry of the Interior in the Commission. It is provided that the working group collects and generalises information necessary to carry out the functions of the Commission, prepares draft documents of the Commission, helps the Commission to draw up activity reports and carry out other commissions of the Chairman of the Commission.

It is important to note that non-governmental organisations, whose problematic issues are included and addressed at each sitting of the Coordination Commission, play an important role in the activities of the Commission.

The most important challenges at national level

  • Young men and women trafficked for criminal activities such as shoplifting, drug distribution and other crimes.
  • Men – victims of trafficking: motivating measures to accept assistance and cooperate with law enforcement.
  • Vulnerable children – presumed victims of trafficking: effective measures to prevent the crime.
  • Collection of evidence abroad: solutions to obtain it in a shorter period of time.
  • Disclosure of trafficking in human beings crime under changing modus operandi.

National Rapporteur or equivalent mechanism

In 2017, the Resolution on the National Rapporteur for Counter-Trafficking Issues was adopted. The National Rapporteur is appointed by the order of the Minister of the Interior. The Rapporteur performs the following functions:

  • analyses and assesses human trafficking trends and the results of the fight against human trafficking,
  • makes proposals on further progress of the Republic of Lithuania and submits them to the Minister of the Interior and the Anti-Trafficking Commission as well as to the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator.

One of the functions of the Rapporteur is to inform the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (the Committee on Human Rights) about human trafficking tendencies and the results of the fight against trafficking in human beings in Lithuania, to raise awareness of the politicians in this sphere.

Documents

Implementation of anti-trafficking policy

Prevention

Dedicated websites

The Ministry of the Interior has a special section for “Fight against Human Trafficking” on its website which includes: prevention videos, leaflets, contact information of police and NGOs, research and training materials. The Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau has created an electronic mailbox for maintaining contact with the population (prekybazmonemis@policija.lt).

Furthermore, information on human trafficking is published on the websites of police authorities and other responsible institutions and organisations. Hotline telephone numbers are disseminated and the population is encouraged to report known cases.

On the website of the Ministry’s of Foreign Affairs information on human trafficking is provided: forms of human trafficking and related contact information for help (in Lithuanian).

Since 2009, the Ministry of the Interior has administrated the website with the intention of reducing violence against women.

Prevention video campaign

In 2013, a preventive video clip on trafficking in human beings (in Lithuanian with English subtitles) was presented to the public and transmitted in stations and airports, as well as it was distributed free of charge seeking that more people join the campaign and watch the video clip. Funds of the European Union under the partnership agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania and the European Commission were used for the production of the video.

Education campaign

In 2008, the Lithuanian Government funded a nationwide education campaign targeted at children and young people who may be potential victims of trafficking.  The campaign also targeted potential sex clients.

Actions organised by Lithuanian police

In November 2009, Vilnius police officers, in cooperation with employees of Vilnius City District Prosecutor’s Office and representatives of the Lithuanian Caritas, held an educational event for the inmates of Vilnius special education and guardianship homes titled Do not become a human trafficking victim. Furthermore, the officers held lectures on the topic of human trafficking at educational establishments (leaflets were distributed) and visited the Centre for Support for Families of Missing People.

The officers of Trakai District Police Office of Vilnius County held lectures for pupils on the fight against human trafficking. On these occasions, the film Devil’s Circle was shown and leaflets were distributed. Lectures were also held by the officers of Joniškis District Police Office of Šiauliai County.

Šiauliai County Chief Police Office organised meetings throughout the country with relevant stakeholders to prevent human trafficking and prostitution.

STORM 2

In 2017, the Ministry of the Interior, in implementing the Plan of Measures for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and the international project “STROM – strengthening the role of municipalities in combating trafficking in human beings in the Baltic Sea Region (STROM 2)” (thereinafter referred to as STROM 2), launched a broad prevention campaign devoted to the fight against human trafficking in which specialists of state institutions and municipalities (including social workers, educational staff, specialists on the protection of child’s rights, officials working in municipalities), non-governmental organisations (hereinafter referred to as NGO), and the church participated.

Information about human trafficking, its threats, possibilities to receive assistance was disseminated most intensely and widely to the residents and quest in those places where an active recruitment of people was observed in 2016. During the campaign:

  • video clips with subtitles devoted to warning people about human trafficking for four forms of exploitation were shown on the PayPost screens installed in public transport and Lietuvos pastas, the largest postal service provider in Lithuania,divisions: for sexual exploitation, forced labour, forced criminal offences and forced marriages
  • 5001 posters of different format devoted to warning people about human trafficking for four forms of exploitation: sexual exploitation, forced labour, forced criminal offences and forced marriages (99 posters were publicised on large planes) were disseminated on notice boards, in the wards, at public transport stops, at educational and social services, health care establishments, territorial labour exchanges, churches, village shops and other places
  • 18 000 folded information cards in Lithuanian, English and Russian languages about human trafficking and assistance provided to the most vulnerable people, including unskilled third country nationals arriving in Lithuania to work who are most vulnerable due to an economic situation, a lack of education, poor knowledge of a foreign language and other factors and whose trip and employment are organised by mediators were disseminated.

EU fight against trafficking in human beings day

In 2019, the Lithuanian police joined and participated in the campaign devoted to commemorate the day of the EU fight against trafficking in human beings organised by the European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN). In carrying out that campaign, visual material related to the rights of victims of human trafficking in Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Russian and English languages was used.

The Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior prepared and submitted recommendations for methodological activities to the officials fulfilling functions of the community officials. They recommendations detailed the implementation of the actions devoted to the commemoration of the Day of the European Union fight against trafficking in human beings and set out priorities (recommendations to the officials are accessible through the internal network). Community officials shared preventive material in their social networking account (more than 6 000 community officials, followers of social networking accounts, looked through the material contained in social networking accounts) and used it in the organised targeted events devoted to the vulnerable groups of residents – orphan homes, families, vocational schools, children day centres, etc.

Mobile app NOU

The National Education Agency, has developed a mobile app called NOU for the prevention of human trafficking, which is available to users free of charge in both Google Play and Apple Store. NOU is an information tool for the prevention of trafficking, developed for teachers and students, but can also be used by educational support professionals working in the field of trafficking prevention.

Anti-trafficking community meetings

Annually, the Lithuanian Police Commissioner approves a calendar of general prevention activities of Lithuanian police community officials. It stipulates that anti-trafficking measures are implemented throughout the year. Also, it establishes that at least 1 event or 3 meetings per year in each supervised area should be attended by at least 80 people with a population of up to 30,000 in the municipality and at least 100 people with a population of between 30,000 and 60,000 in the municipality population, and at least 120 persons with a population of more than 60,000 in the municipality. Methodological material also provided to community officials to organize these events.

Anti-trafficking coordinators

In 2021, a network of anti-trafficking coordinators - municipal representatives was established. Coordinators introduced with database of prevention materials which is collected at the Ministry of the Interior website.

Capacity building

In Lithuania, each institution is responsible for capacity building of their personnel. Training is included into their plans. Most often interdepartmental training activities are organised. For example, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour regularly organises training for social workers and other specialists in child protection. This training is designed to prevent violence against children as well as prostitution and trafficking in human beings. The Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior each year arranges training for police officers on identification of human trafficking and actions in such cases. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has supplemented their training programme for consular officers with a topic on human trafficking identification and actions in such cases.

Between 2017 and 2020, Lithuanian officials and specialists improved the level of their professional qualifications in interdepartmental, intersectoral and international training and other initiatives, as well as in internal training.

In 2018, training of specialists of territorial divisions of the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour was organised according to the project Preparation for Reorganisation of the Child Rights Protection System was organised. Specialists were taught how to assess the level of a threat to a child, and how to determine possible cases of human trafficking.

The State Labour Inspectorate under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania organised trainings and participating inspectors acquainted with trends in illegal employment of aliens and possible trends for exploiting human trafficking for labour.

Police officials completed the training course according to the programme of raising professional qualifications of officials Prevention and Investigation into Trafficking in Human Beings approved by the General Commissioner of the Lithuanian Police that was organised in 2018 and 2019. Modules of the special training programme Prevention and Investigation into Trafficking in Human Beings are as follows: prevention of human trafficking, investigation into trafficking in human beings and psychological and psychosocial aspects of trafficking in human beings.

In 2018, judges took part in the seminars Trafficking in Human Beings and Prevention of Sexual Violence and Gender-based Violence and Human Trafficking, the Fight against these Phenomena and Response Activities in the Context of Asylum and Migration organised by the National Courts Administration on the basis of the training programme approved by the Judicial Council. In 2019, training for judges Peculiarities of Different Forms of Exploitation in Human Trafficking Cases and Human Trafficking: Problems of Pre-trial Investigation and Court Practice was organised for judges.

Training session of consular officials organised at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and issues of providing assistance to victims of trafficking in human beings in foreign countries were addressed (cooperation between diplomatic representations and consular posts and competent institutions and non-governmental organisations of the Republic of Lithuania in determining the number of victims and the scope of assistance to be provided to the victims, sources of possibility). Also, training of consular officials who are already fulfilling consular functions in Embassies, were organised during which new forms of human trafficking were discussed – exploitation of men for the purpose of slave-like labour and criminal activities, experience of consular practice was shared, ways of recognising new forms of human trafficking were discussed.

The Ministry of the Interior organised training on trafficking in human beings and prevention of human trafficking to the employees of municipalities and police officials who, due to nature of work, had to or might communicate with victims of human trafficking of people and people who might fall victim to human trafficking. About 250 police officials and municipal workers took part in training. Follow-up training was also organised in 2019.

In 2020, online training platform was launched at the Ministry‘s of the Interior website: https://pzmokymai.vrm.lt/. Online courses consist of two parts – introductory (for a broad-spectrum specialist for example municipality specialist, psychologists, child protection specialist and etc.) and special (dedicated to law enforcement officials, prosecutors and judges).

From 3 till 4 June 2015 in Vilnius the Ministry of the Interior in cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers Offices in Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia arranged an international knowledge forum “identification of Victims of Human Trafficking”. Over 100 practitioners of the Baltic Sea Region (criminal and uniformed police, prosecutors, social workers, NGOs, IOM, consular officers, policy makers, and researchers) exchanged their knowledge and improved professional skills.

From 2013 till 2015 the Lithuanian Caritas together with 4 partners (Oslo Criminal Police, ROSA project run by Oslo Crisis center, the Ministries of the Interior and of Social Security and Labor of the Republic of Lithuania) implemented the project “Lithuanian society against trafficking in persons: the systematic approach model”, which aimed at developing a model of sustainable assistance to victims of THB by teams composed of NGO representatives, police officers, prosecutors, social workers, child rights officers and representatives of municipalities.

From 2013 till 2015, training activities on trafficking in human beings have also been organised by the IOM Office in Vilnius together with the Lithuanian Caritas and Save the Children Lithuania under the Operational Programme for the Development of Human Resources 2007-2013, funded by EU structural funds and run by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. By way of example, Caritas organised training for target groups in five towns with 24 participants. IOM organised 10 training courses in different municipalities involving 198 social service providers as well as training on THB for Vilnius county police officers (25 participants), future border guards (150 participants), and border guards in service (40 participants).

From 2012 till 2013, the Ministry of the Interior in cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers Offices in St. Petersburg, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia implemented a regional project “Nordic, Baltic, Russian Cooperation on the Fight against Human Trafficking - Regional Cooperation across Juridical, Law enforcement, Social authorities”. During it, around 150 specialists (judges, prosecutors, police investigators and social workers) developed their capacities and networking for fighting against human trafficking crimes. In Vilnius from 19 to 20 February 2013 the international seminar „Cooperation Organising and Coordinating Successful Investigations of Trafficking in Human Beings: a Good Practice Model of Nordic – Baltic Countries and Russia“ with over 80 judges, prosecutors, police investigators, social workers and other specialists from 10 countries was organized by the Ministry of the Interior in cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers as one of activities under the project.

In October 2011, the Institute of Law organized a seminar on problems of prosecution for trafficking in human beings in the Ministry of Justice for police officers, prosecutors and other specialists dealing with trafficking in human beings cases.

From 2010 till 2011, round table discussions were organised by responsible governmental actors and NGOs in different regional centers of Lithuania to fix problems, answer to questions, and together look for solutions in combating trafficking in human beings on local level.

The Ministry of the Interior, in cooperation with the Police Department, held the European Police College (CEPOL) training course called Human trafficking and illegal immigration from 5 til 8 May 2009. The course was attended by 30 law enforcement officers from EU Member States. Lithuanian law enforcement continues their participation in various CEPOL activities within the topic.

In September 2009, the Ministry of the Interior held a training course for foreign diplomats residing in Lithuania. One of the objectives of this course was the identification of victims and discussion of the role of diplomats in preventing human trafficking and assisting victims.

In 2009, Lithuanian police officers participated in international training sessions (funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers) for police officers from the Baltic and Nordic States, and the Russian Federation.

From 2005 till 2008, Lithuania participated in a regional initiative implemented under the auspices of the Nordic-Baltic Project. The project aimed to build a network to facilitate regional referral for female victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. The Nordic Pilot Project for the Support, Protection, Safe Return and Rehabilitation of Women Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings for Sexual Exploitation was implemented by the European Women’s Lobby. Other countries involved were Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Norway and Sweden.

Assistance and support provided to victims

The Government of the Republic of Lithuania finances projects for the support and reintegration of victims of human trafficking through the Ministry of Social Security and Labour.

In 2020 the Ministry of Social Affairs provided funding for the implementation of the project of the National Association against Trafficking in Human Beings through a tender. Necessary assistance (psychological, medical, housing, legal counselling, and etc.) was provided to 208 individuals (113 of them were men): 164 victims of human trafficking and 44 people under risk to become victims of this crime.

In 2019, 5 selected projects offered by specialised NGOs received funding. Necessary assistance (psychological, medical, housing, legal counselling, and etc.) was provided to 224 individuals (116 of them were men): 189 victims of human trafficking and 35 people under risk to become victims of this crime.

In 2018, 5 selected projects offered by specialised NGOs received funding. Necessary assistance (psychological, medical, housing, legal counselling, and etc.) was provided to 239 individuals (128 of them were men): 204 victims of human trafficking and 35 people under risk to become victims of this crime.

In 2017, 5 selected projects offered by specialised NGOs received funding. Necessary assistance (psychological, medical, housing, legal counselling, and etc.) was provided to 219 individuals (122 of them were men): 182 victims of human trafficking and 37 people under risk to become victims of this crime.

In 2016, 5 selected projects offered by specialised NGOs received funding. Necessary assistance (psychological, medical, housing, legal counselling, and etc.) was provided to 154 individuals (72 of them were men): 111 victims of human trafficking and 43 people under risk to become victims of this crime.

In 2015, 5 selected projects offered by specialised NGOs received funding. Necessary assistance (psychological, medical, housing, legal counselling, and etc.) was provided to 139 individuals (37 of them were men): 103 victims of human trafficking and 36 people under risk to become victims of this crime.

In 2014, 5 selected projects offered by specialised NGOs received funding. Necessary assistance (psychological, medical, housing, legal counselling, and etc.) was provided to 133 individuals (50 of them were men): 80 victims of human trafficking and 53 people under risk to become victims of this crime.

In 2013, 5 selected projects offered by specialised NGOs received funding. Necessary assistance (psychological, medical, housing, legal counselling, and etc.) was provided to 129 individuals (33 of them were men): 74 victims of human trafficking and 55 people under risk to become victims of this crime.

In 2012, 5 selected projects offered by specialised NGOs received funding. Necessary assistance (psychological, medical, housing, legal counselling, and etc.) was provided to 152 individuals (55 of them were men): 92 victims of human trafficking and 60 people under risk to become victims of this crime. In 2011, 6 best projects of specialised NGOs were granted funding. Necessary assistance (psychological, medical, housing, legal counselling, and etc.) was provided to 128 individuals, recognised and presumed victims of trafficking in human beings.

In 2010, The Government of the Republic of Lithuania financed 5 projects run by specialised NGOs. Necessary assistance (psychological, medical, housing, and etc.) was provided to 118 individuals, recognised and presumed victims of trafficking in human beings.

Special protective measures for children

Officers of county chief police commissariats carries out preventive measures about human trafficking in educational institutions, children's care homes, children's rehabilitation sanatoriums, social service centers, children's day care centers, youth employment centers, visit families at social risk. Police officers distribute leaflets on human trafficking, communicate with the administration, children, schoolchildren and staff, and give lectures on the threats and consequences of human trafficking.

The task of the State Border Guard Service in the fighting against human trafficking is to identify potential victims of human trafficking when they cross the state border and to prevent crime. Officials perform risk analysis and assessments. Risk profiles are developed on a quarterly basis, including a risk profile to prevent the trafficking of minors.

Newsletters on human trafficking and assistance (in Lithuanian, English and Russian) are distributed at border checkpoints. Information is also shared with communities in border regions.

The Ministry of the Interior organizes annual public education campaigns on human trafficking and the purchase or sale of children, the threats of these crimes, ways to protect themselves and the assistance provided to victims of these crimes, including municipalities. From 2017 till 2018 extensive preventive actions were organized to combat trafficking in human beings, involving both state institutions and municipal specialists (including social workers, educators, child rights specialists, municipal officials), NGOs, and the church. The most intensive information about human trafficking, its threats and assistance opportunities were disseminated to the residents and guests of the largest cities and municipalities of those districts where active recruitment took place.

Preventive measures were organized for risk groups who may be victims of human trafficking: social workers of municipal administrations and foster care home institutions, police officers, clergy, NGO representatives organized meetings with communities, talked with socially excluded people and discussed issues of human trafficking, exploitation, forced labor  and different forms of human trafficking,

In 2015, Recommendations on the identification of victims of trafficking in human beings, pre-trial investigation and inter-institutional co-operation referral mechanism, responsibilities, types of assistance, for example NGOs providing assistance to victims of trafficking, were signed as a declaration of cooperation, endorsing the commitments and committing to abide by them.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, together with NGOs, prepared and distributed a documentary with a methodological tool for teachers to inform students about the threats, forms and main ways to protect themselves from human trafficking; organized trainings for teachers and educational support specialists.

As part of the Protect and Respect Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation Prevention Program, the Center for Educational Development provided training to the school's adult community. During the training participants learned to recognize the sexual exploitation of students, gained knowledge about the risk and protection factors of sexual abuse, how to behave when a case of sexual exploitation is identified at school. The dangers of human trafficking were discussed in student safety skills development groups.

The Border Guard School of the State Border Guard Service annually organizes in-service training courses “Combating Trafficking in Human Beings”, the aim of which is to provide special skills to officials who carry out checks on persons crossing the state border in order to curb human trafficking. These trainings cover individual topics: child trafficking, types of child exploitation, identification and interviewing of children who may be victims of trafficking.

There were also some seminars on human trafficking organized for journalists together with police officers, prosecutors, judges, human rights specialists, NGOs and specialists from international organizations on human trafficking, children and protecting human rights.

There were also organized seminars for child protection specialists and police officers about the identification of minors who may have been or have been victims of trafficking in human beings, the course of pre-trial investigation and the possibilities of providing assistance. Similar seminars were organised for employees of children's care homes, and social workers who works with foster parents. The aim of the seminars is to improve cooperation between state and municipal institutions and NGOs in order to effectively improve the system of protection of children's rights and services.

The Children’s Rights Ombudsman is a specialised monitoring body for child protection issues, which was established in July 2000.

One of the tasks is to collect information and analyse the child trafficking situation in Lithuania and make recommendations to the Government. Additionally, the Ombudsman controls and observes the implementation of international and national law on children's rights, and investigates alleged violations.

Investigation and prosecution

In 2020, 11 criminal investigations related to domestic and international human trafficking were carried out: 4 investigations dealt with human trafficking for criminal activities, 3 – human trafficking for labour exploitation, 2 – for human trafficking for sexual exploitation, 1 – human trafficking for sexual exploitation and begging, 1 – human trafficking for forced marriage. Countries of destination: Lithuania, Germany, United Kingdom and United States. Identified as victims of human trafficking – 24 persons (16 women, 7 men and 1 child). 16 (15 men and 1 women) traffickers were prosecuted and 17 traffickers were convicted.

In 2019, 16 criminal investigations of human trafficking we registered. In total 46 such investigations were carried out. 7 out of 16 investigations dealt with human trafficking for criminal activities, 1 for criminal activities and forced labour, 1 – for human trafficking for forced labour, 5 – human trafficking for sexual exploitation. 1 – for forced begging, 1 for forced marriage. Victims were exploited in Lithuania, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Spain and USA. 39 persons (18 men, 17 women and 4 children) were identified as victims of human trafficking. There were 11 traffickers prosecuted and 14 persons convicted.

In 2018, in total 54 criminal investigations were carried out and 14 new criminal investigations of human trafficking initiated: 7 investigations on human trafficking for criminal activities, 3 – human trafficking for labour exploitation, 3 – human trafficking for sexual exploitation, 1 – human trafficking for forced begging. Victims of human trafficking were exploited in countries as follows: Lithuania, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, France, Germany, and Dominican Republic. 44 persons were identified as victims of human trafficking (34 women, 9 men and 1 child). In total 48 person convicted.

In 2017, 35 new criminal investigations were registered. In total – 34 criminal investigations were carried out. 9 out of 35 new investigations were initiated for human trafficking for criminal activities, 9 – human trafficking for sexual exploitation, 7 – human trafficking for labour exploitation, 4 – human trafficking for forced marriage, 3 – human trafficking for forced labour and criminal activities, 1 – human trafficking for forced begging, 1 – human trafficking for illegal adoption. Countries of exploitation: Lithuania, United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Austria, Iceland and Netherlands. There were 60 people identified as victims of human trafficking. 56 persons (36 men, 16 women and 2 children) were prosecuted and 20 persons convicted for human trafficking.

In 2016, out of 56 criminal investigations carried out, 29 new investigations were initiated: 13 investigations dealt with human trafficking for criminal activities, 8 – human trafficking for sexual exploitation, 4 - human trafficking for forced labour, 1 – human trafficking for labour exploitation and criminal activities, 2 – human trafficking for forced marriage, 1 case of human trafficking with unidentified form of trafficking. Countries of exploitation: Lithuania, Germany, United Kingdom, Norway, Ireland, Denmark, France, Finland and United Arab Emirates. 45 persons (22 men, 19 women and 4 children) identified as victims of human trafficking. 14 persons persecuted and 23 persons convicted for human trafficking.

In 2015, 27 criminal investigations were registered in Lithuania (in total there were 55 such investigations carried out). Out of 27 investigation 11 dealt with human trafficking for sexual exploitation, 9 – human trafficking for criminal activities, 2 – human trafficking for labour exploitation, 2 – human trafficking for forced marriage, 1 – human trafficking for criminal activities and sexual exploitation, 1 – human trafficking for forced marriage and sexual exploitation, 1 – attempt to buy a child.

In 2014, 24 criminal investigations were registered in Lithuania (in total there were 38 such investigations carried out in Lithuania in 2014). 11 out 24 pre-trial investigations dealt with human trafficking for forced commission of criminal activities, 7 with human trafficking for prostitution, 2 with human trafficking for forced labour, 1 with human trafficking for forced labour and forced commission of criminal activities, and 1 with human trafficking for forced marriages. The main target country was Germany, other target countries: the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Armenia. In 2014, in total 47 individuals (44 adults (19 women and 25 men) and 3 children (1 girl and 2 boys) were recognised as victims of human trafficking in criminal procedures, 40 traffickers (34 men and 6 women) were prosecuted. In 2014, 18 traffickers were convicted.

In 2013, 23 criminal investigations on trafficking in human beings were initiated. The disclosed cases related to domestic and international trafficking in human beings for sexual and labour exploitation, exploitation for criminal activities and pornography, and 1 investigation was initiated for exploitation for forced labour. It was the first year when more investigations were started for other, not sexual, exploitation (only 8 out of 23 cases were related to trafficking for sexual exploitation). The main target countries were the United Kingdom and Germany, other target countries were: Denmark, France and the Netherlands. In the investigations started in 2013 47 victims were identified (3 of them were minors), 33 traffickers were prosecuted and 18 traffickers were charged (the cases were sent to court). In 2013, 7 criminal cases on trafficking in human beings reached Lithuanian courts and 5 such cases were solved. In those cases, 11 traffickers were convicted with high penalties amounting up to 12 years of imprisonment.

In 2012, 11 criminal investigations on domestic and international trafficking in human beings were started, 2 of them for trafficking in children (girls of 15-17 years old). All these investigations dealt with trafficking for sexual exploitation. Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom were mentioned as target countries. In the initiated criminal investigations, 14 people were recognized as victims of human trafficking and 25 traffickers were prosecuted.

In 2011, 21 criminal investigations on trafficking in human beings was initiated. The disclosed cases related to domestic and international trafficking in human beings. The majority of investigations dealt with trafficking for sexual exploitation. The main target countries were the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and the Scandinavian countries. In 2011, 45 presumed victims of trafficking were identified by the police, 25 of them were recognised as victims/witnesses in the criminal procedure the same year. In 2011, the police collected information on 53 people which could be involved in human trafficking, 30 of them were prosecuted for trafficking in human beings already the same year.

In 2010, 15 new criminal investigations of trafficking in human beings were recorded in Lithuania, 9 traffickers were convicted with sentences from 7 to 11 years of imprisonment. The police identified 22 presumed victims of trafficking, 3 of them were minors. All were Lithuanians. The law enforcement mostly cooperated with colleagues from the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Belarus, Norway and Latvia.

In 2009, 23 criminal investigations of human trafficking were registered in Lithuania. In total 48 such investigations, including five related to child trafficking, were conducted. Until then, most of the investigations had been related to sexual exploitation. However, in 2009 there were two cases brought to trial of trafficking for forced labour and one case for exploitation for forced labour. In 2009, the authorities prosecuted 14 individuals for sex trafficking offences and 14 trafficking offenders were convicted.

National Referral Mechanism

The National Referral Mechanism includes state and private actors: ministries, departments, organizations. It was approved by the Procurator General of the Republic of Lithuania, the Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania and the Minister of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania as Recommendations for the Identification of Victims of Trafficking in Human Being, Pre-trial Investigation and Interinstitutional Cooperation in 2015. The Recommendations specify features of human trafficking and contacts of non-governmental organisations which can provide assistance to the victims or people who might have fallen victim to trafficking in human beings. The renewal of this legal measure is included in the Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and is carried out on an annual basis having assessed observations and recommendation on the improvement of the measure submitted by the institutions.

Documents

EU and international cooperation

Lithuania is an active member of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings (TF-THB). The group has been involved in different regional activities including training of diplomatic and consular staff in the region, information campaigns, analysis of data collection mechanisms, and etc.

Also Lithuania is involved in regional projects together with the Nordic Council of Ministers (see under Capacity building).

The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania has made further steps towards the implementation of Priority 15.5 (later Crime Area) of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region related to preventing trafficking in human beings and providing support and protection for victims and groups at risk by means of transnational actions. In 2012–2015, the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania together with the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control (HEUNI), the Council of the Baltic Sea States Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings and the University of Tartu (Estonia), under the financial support from the EU ISEC programme implemented a 24-months international project ADSTRINGO – addressing trafficking in human beings for labor exploitation through improved partnerships, enhanced diagnostics and intensified organizational approaches involving 9 countries of the Baltic Sea Region.

On 18 October 2013, during the Lithuania’s EU Presidency, the 7th EU Anti-Trafficking Day was marked in Vilnius with the international conference “Exploring the Links between the Internet and Trafficking in Human Beings: Cyberspace for Prevention, not Recruitment”

Lithuania’s cooperation with its neighbouring countries, Latvia and Poland, is of key importance. Lithuania has signed the trilateral inter-governmental treaty Regarding consular assistance and cooperation, which entered into force in September 1999, which provides for diplomatic and consular assistance to persons. Pursuant to the provisions of article 3 of the treaty, assistance is provided to persons who have suffered as a result of crimes and to persons who are willing to return to their country of origin.

Lithuania also cooperates with the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg) since a number of Lithuanian women are transported to these countries. One example is the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium on Police Cooperation, which entered into force on 1 July 2005. It provides for police cooperation on trafficking in human beings, pimping, sexual exploitation of children, illegal migration, and a number of other criminal activities.

In pre-trial investigations, Lithuanian police authorities have cooperated with law enforcement authorities from the United Kingdom, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Latvia, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium and Byelorussia. Following this cooperation, investigations have been carried out and perpetrators have been prosecuted and convicted.

Since 2003, Lithuanian police officers have been involved in the Interpol working group on the fight against human trafficking and in its Steering Committee from 2003 till 2010.

From 2016 till 2017, international project „Strom“ was implemented with project partners Estonia, Latvia and Russia. „STROM” - Strengthening the Role of Municipalities in Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in the Baltic Sea Region (STROM II project) is an international project aimed at strengthening the capacity and role of municipalities in combating trafficking in human beings, especially in victims of trafficking in human beings in the Baltic Sea Region. 

During the period between 2017 and 2019, nine joint investigation teams of Lithuanian and foreign law enforcement institutions were set up, Lithuanian officials took part in joint European operations, and also raised their professional qualification in international training or seminars. The results of these international cooperation measures are as follows: joint pre-trial investigations, part of them ended in an indictment, exchange of good practice, shorter deadlines for pre-trial investigations, professional development.

From 2017 till 2021, the Lithuanian police, in co-ordination with Europol, together with the law enforcement agencies of Europe, carried out a joint international action to detect crimes related to human trafficking for sexual exploitation. From 2017 till 2019, seeking to strengthen transnational cooperation between law enforcement and the judicial authorities in the European Union and non-European Union countries.

In 2018, Joint Statement between the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the United Kingdom of Commitment to Work Together to Address Trafficking in Human Beings and Modern Slavery was signed. Aiming to implement common activities through the coordinated actions by preventing crimes, investigating and consistently prosecute / pursue the traffickers and slave drivers, as well as protecting victims and helping vulnerable people.

From 2018 till 2019, the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania together with the Council of the Baltic Sea States Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings and partners from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, the Russian Federation, Sweden and Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine, took part in the project 'Paving the Way for the Harmonized Operational Framework in the Baltic Sea Region' (HOF-BSR). HOF-BSR is a transnational project that aims to develop the Baltic Sea Region as a model region in identification and provision of comprehensive and sustainable assistance to victims of human trafficking.

In 2019, the office of Police Attaché in the United Kingdom was established to maintain and develop contacts with competent law enforcement bodies and officials of the United Kingdom (including fight against human trafficking).

In 2019, international online webinar “The Role and Responsibility of Diaspora in the Fight against Human Trafficking” hosted by the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania and Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureu. Webinar provided with knowledge about factors and determinants contributing to human trafficking by Diasporas located in the EU countries, measures on fight against trafficking in human beings (trafficking for criminal activities, labour and sexual exploitation) in the EU; the background of the Asian and African organised crime groups and victims.

From 2019 till 2021, the Ministry of the Interior take part in international project “CAPE”. The Project CAPE "Competence building, Assistance provision and Prosecution of labour Exploitation cases in the Baltic Sea region" addresses human trafficking (THB) for labour exploitation in all Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) Member States. The main objective of the project is to support stakeholders in combating and disrupting human trafficking for labour exploitation by analysing and consolidating information, improving assistance to victims and stepping up prosecution of traffickers. Project implementation is co-funded by the CBSS Project Support Facility (PSF), Ministry of the Interior of Latvia and Joutseno Reception Centre in Finland.

Future plans in terms of implementation of the directive 2011/36/EU

It should be noted that national law is systematically revised and ensured that it is fully in line with 2011 April 5 The provision of Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing and combating trafficking

Resources

Legislation

National Action Plans

Reports

Links

Contacts

National Rapporteur or equivalent mechanism

Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania
Ms. Sonata Mickute

Senior Adviser and National Rapporteur for THB

Public Security Policy Group

Ministry of the Interior

The Republic of Lithuania

Telephone: +370 5 2717292

E-mail: sonata.mickute@vrm.lt

Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau
Telephone: +370 5 271 97 93
E-mail: prekybazmonemis@policija.lt
Website: http://www.policija.lt 

Office of the ombudsman for children
Ombudsman: Mrs. ZIOBIENE Edita
Telephone: +370 5 210 7176
E-mail: edita.ziobiene@vtaki.lt

NGOs
National association against trafficking in human beings

Telephone: +370 616 91119

E-mail: info@stop-trafficking.lt

Website: https://stop-trafficking.lt