The Department of Citizenship and Migration Affairs launches the campaign “Be aware of the threat of human trafficking!”

The Department of Citizenship and Migration Affairs launches the campaign “Be aware of the threat of human trafficking!”
The Department of Citizenship and Migration Affairs launches the campaign “Be aware of the threat of human trafficking!”
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On Monday, May 13, the Directorate of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (hereinafter – the Directorate) is launching an informational campaign “Be aware of the threat of human trafficking!”. The aim of the campaign is to promote awareness among Ukrainian civilians living in Latvia about possible risks of human trafficking and preventive measures.

After the war started by Russia in Ukraine, more than 50 thousand Ukrainian civilians sought refuge in Latvia. In the assessment of the Central Statistics Office at the beginning of 2023, it can be seen that 60% of Ukrainian nationals who were granted temporary protection status in Latvia also lived here permanently.

Most of them continue to live and work in Latvia even now. Losing vigilance can lead people to accept dubious job offers, women can be lured into sexual exploitation, and the overall risk of human trafficking among Ukrainian civilians can increase.

“The campaign with various activities will promote general awareness of the risks of human trafficking among Ukrainian civilians living in Latvia. It will provide practical advice to help people protect themselves, and information on where to go for help and other support options. The campaign is aimed at the protection of people and the common fight against human trafficking, creating trust and solidarity,” says Maira Roze, head of the Directorate of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

Last year’s estimates show that a total of around 4 million Ukrainian civilians were granted temporary protection in the European Union member states. According to the data of the State Revenue Service, at the beginning of 2024, 8.7 thousand Ukrainian nationals were registered as employees in Latvia. Of these, 38.7% work in the so-called simple professions such as cleaners of offices, hotels and other premises, kitchen workers, goods movers, etc. including, 16.1% are skilled workers and artisans, 14.8% are service and trade workers, 12.7% are senior specialists and specialists, and 0.9% are managers.

“If Ukrainian civilians are not familiar with local laws or lack support from the local community, the risks of being trafficked increase. Ukrainian nationals are exposed to various forms of human trafficking, therefore it is important to remain vigilant in various sectors and ensure timely exchange of information to reduce risks,” says Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis.

In 2022, 26 victims of human trafficking were identified in Latvia. The number of identified victims was half that of 2021, when 61 people suffered. Of the 26 identified victims, 25 were adults, and one person was a minor. Most of the victims were Latvian nationals – 22 out of 26 identified victims in total. Two more identified victims were citizens of Belarus, two – citizens of Moldova. All identified third-country nationals were subjected to labor exploitation.

More information on the risks of human trafficking is available on the websites of the Ministry of Administration and the Interior: www.pmlp.gov.lv and www.iem.gov.lv

Communication campaign “Notice the threat of human trafficking!” established and financed Asylum, migration and integration fund 2021-2027 program project no. PMLP/PMIF/2023/2 “Support measures for reception and accommodation of persons in need of international protection in Latvia (stage 1)”.

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The article is in Latvian

Latvia

Tags: Department Citizenship Migration Affairs launches campaign aware threat human trafficking

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