Riga, June 14, 2016 – The U.S. Embassy has nominated Lāsma Stabiņa as Latvia’s 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Hero for her exceptional commitment to preventing human trafficking. Ms. Stabiņa’s efforts to attract international funding for trafficking prevention activities and her public-private partnership promotion efforts contributed enormously to preventing human trafficking in Latvia. Today, Ambassador Nancy Bikoff Pettit is awarding Ms. Stabiņa a certificate of recognition as the Embassy’s 2016 TIP Hero.
As Latvia’s National Anti-TIP Coordinator, Stabiņa took the lead in developing and carrying out two large international anti-TIP projects: “Prevention of Human Trafficking and Brokered marriages: Multi-Sector Solutions” and “Strengthening the Role of Municipalities in the Work against Trafficking in Human Beings in the Baltic Sea Region”. Through these projects, Latvia helped increase European Union scrutiny of trafficking by sham marriage and provided much-needed anti-trafficking training to local government officials.
Each year, the U.S. Department of State honors individuals around the world who have devoted their lives to the fight against human trafficking. These individuals are NGO workers, lawmakers, police officers, and concerned citizens who are committed to ending modern slavery. They are recognized for their tireless efforts to protect victims, punish offenders, and raise awareness of ongoing criminal practices in their countries and abroad.