Riga, June 20, 2014 – Today, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry released the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report. This year, Latvia was placed in Tier 2, which is the same ranking as last year.
The 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report asserts that the Government of Latvia is making significant efforts to comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking according to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, although it does not yet fully comply with these standards. The report notes that the Government of Latvia improved its anti-trafficking efforts by extending state-funded assistance program for trafficking victims, by strengthening prevention efforts, and by advancing anti-trafficking response by Latvia’s State Police. The government designed and enforced a new national action plan to combat trafficking for 2014 to 2020 and provided anti-trafficking training for representatives of its law enforcement and judiciary agencies. However, the report states that despite these important efforts, officials tried and convicted very few cases under the anti-trafficking statute and that more should be done to identify trafficking victims domestically and abroad, and to prosecute traffickers through efficient and expeditious trial procedures.
The report includes specific recommendations for the Government of Latvia to continue addressing the problem of human trafficking. These recommendations include increasing efforts to identify victims, particularly victims of labor trafficking and domestic victims, and increasing investigations and prosecutions of suspected domestic and labor trafficking offenses. As in previous years, the report notes that Latvia should promote anti-trafficking education at schools and increase the involvement of non-governmental organizations in related training.
The full text of the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report is publicly available at http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/.