In order to discuss the progress of the project HESTIA*, results and conclusions of national and regional round table meetings**, the first project coordination meeting was held in Dublin from 3 to 5 June (Ireland) chaired by the Department of Justice and Equality of Ireland in collaboration with the Immigrant Council of Ireland. It was attended by 20 project coordinators and researchers from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia, Finland and Ireland.
Participants of HESTIA meeting agreed on the use of terms “piespiedu laulības” and “forced marriages” within the context of human trafficking
Aiming at achieving common understanding of the sham marriage phenomenon and its direct link to human trafficking, on March 19, the Ministry of the Interior and non-governmental organisation “Shelter “Safe House”” organised a national round table meeting within the framework of HESTIA* project, in which 26 representatives from the government, local government and non-governmental sector participated. During the meeting, participants discussed the concept of sham marriage, its use in Latvian and English language, previous experience of experts and specialists, identified issues in resolving the cases of human trafficking with an intent to enter into a sham marriage, as well as necessary preventive measures to reduce the spread of sham marriages in Latvia and European Union.
To discuss the further activities of HESTIA project, the representatives of all countries participating in the project — Ministry of the Interior (Latvia) NGO “Shelter “Safe House”” (Latvia), NGO “Mittetulundusühing “Living for Tomorrow”” (Estonia), NGO “Caritas Lithuania” (Lithuania), Immigrant Council of Ireland (Ireland), Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic (Slovakia),European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI) (Finland) — gathered for the first meeting that took place on February 5-6 in Riga. Associated partners of the project: State Police (Latvia), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Latvia), Department of Justice and Equality (Ireland).
With the support of the European Commission Latvia and five EU countries have launched an ambitious project to reduce sham marriages
In order to solve the problem of sham marriages in Latvia and Europe the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) with the support of Directorate General of Home Affairs of European Commission (EC) "Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme" has launched a project HESTIA* in activities of which public and non-governmental organizations of six countries - Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Slovakia and, Ireland are involved.