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Estonia and Lithuania achieve highest tier in Trafficking in Persons Report

BC, Tallinn, 04.07.2018.Print version
In the annual Trafficking in Persons Report compiled by the U.S. Department of State, in 2018, Estonia achieved the highest level, Tier 1, for the first time, and the total number of countries studied was 187, informs LETA/BNS. Lithuania has also Tier 1, but Latvia Tier 2.

The aim of the report is to build partnerships between countries to fight against human trafficking together and to motivate countries to take action against human trafficking more actively. The report places each country onto one of four tiers.


Tier 1 includes the governments of countries that fully meet the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) for the elimination of trafficking. Tier 2 includes the governments of countries that do not fully meet the TVPA's minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards. Tier 2 Watch List includes the governments of countries that do not fully meet the TVPA's minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards, and who also have other shortcomings. Tier 3 includes governments of countries that do not fully meet the TVPA's minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.




An advisor at the Estonian Ministry of Justice, Anu Leps, said that for the past six years Estonia has belonged to Tier 2. "The likely reason behind Estonia's climb is that in 2017 several important laws were changed. As of July 2017 it is possible to punish people who buy sex from victims of human trafficking and as of January 2017 it is possible for the state to provide aid without a criminal investigation for up to 60 days to a person who is suspected of being a victim of human trafficking," Leps said.


The report also provides Estonia with several recommendations, for example training bodies conducting proceedings, especially judges. Other advice includes conducting proceedings regarding human trafficking crimes in full seriousness and paying more attention to supporting victims.






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