In March 2004, Estonia ratified the UN supplementary protocol on trafficking in persons, which proposes that all states should draw up strategies and adopt measures to prevent and combat trafficking in human beings and to protect the persons who are victims of trafficking.
The National Action Plan against Trafficking in Human Beings was adopted in January 2006 by the Estonian government. The Action Plan covers the period 2006-2009 and contains four main chapters: prevention, victim’s protection, prosecution and reporting. A final report evaluating the action plan will be issued in 2010. You can find the Estonian development plan for combating trafficking in persons and information relating to this at the website of the Estonian Ministry of Justice.
In 2006 the Estonian government also established a trafficking database to provide data on the extent of the problem. The budget on anti-trafficking measures increased from about 10 000 euros to 70 000 euros in 2006. The majority of the funds were allocated to victim assistance and trafficking prevention programs. You can find information about crime prevention and trafficking here.
Each Estonian county have an assigned crime victims’ assistant to provide trafficking victims access to the public assistance system. The assistants receive specific training on trafficking in persons issues.
In Estonia there is a hotline for prevention of human trafficking and help to victims of trafficking: Tel (+372) 660 -320. The hotline provides for direct contacts with and help to women victims of trafficking and women at risk of being trafficked, and also provides information regarding work and studies abroad. For more information: www.lft.ee.
There is no specific law that criminalises all forms of trafficking in Estonia. Authorities can prosecute traffickers under the law prohibiting enslavement and abduction, with basic penalties ranging from one to five years in prison, and up to 12 years in case of especially aggravating circumstances.
Development Plan for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings 2006-2009
Reporting on Implementation of Development Plan for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings 2007