In total 61 victims identified in Latvia in 2021
In total, in 2021, the State Police, NGO “Centrs MARTA” and NGO “Shelter “Safe House”” identified 61 victims of trafficking in human beings, which is slightly more than in 2020, when 48 victims were identified.
In general, a trend was observed that citizens of third countries, for example, from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, as well as India, were increasingly found among the identified victims. However, in 2021, this trend stopped and cases of domestic exploitation of Latvian nationals dominated. This could possibly be explained by the restrictions of COVID-19 – namely, among the victims identified in 2020 were those who arrived in Latvia before the start of the pandemic, but in 2021 these kinds of cases were less. This means that as the spread of the pandemic will decrease, the proportion of third-country nationals among the identified victims could increase again.
Victims identified in recent years were mostly exposed to labour exploitation, but trafficking for sexual exploitation or sham marriages were found less frequently. Also in 2021, most victims were involved in labour exploitation – a total of 53 victims out of 61 identified. 7 persons were trafficked into sexual exploitation and 1 person was trafficked into a sham marriage.
In addition, there is a pronounced gender dimension in trafficking in human beings, i.e. men are mostly subjected to labour exploitation, while girls and women are mostly subjected to sexual exploitation and sham marriages. The same trend was observed in 2021, as 49 men and 4 women were subjected to labour exploitation, 7 women were subjected to sexual exploitation and 1 woman was subjected to sham marriage.