Nordic Baltic Network - support to women victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation
Home page > Spotlight on > Latvia > National situation and policy developments

National situation and policy developments

A National Program for Prevention of Human Trafficking was established for the period 2004 – 2008. The plan focused on improving legislation, rehabilitating victims and raising awareness.

After two years of limited funding, the government has begun devoting financial resources to the National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons, with financial assistance from local NGOs and international organizations. Despite the increased funding, the budgetary constraints slows down the overall progress.

Most assistance to trafficking victims comes from local NGOs, notably Marta Centers, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Some legal provisions

Latvian law provides for prison sentences of up to 15-years of imprisonment for trafficking. Most perpetrators, however, are being prosecuted under a statute that prohibits "pimping." This statute carries a lesser sentence of only up to six years.

Reflection period for VOTs: 30 days.

Residence permits for VOTs: VOTs can receive temporary residence permits and these are conditional on cooperation in criminal proceedings. A temporary residence permit can be issued for at least 6 months if the VOT cooperates with the competent authorities and provides information that could help in disclosing or preventing a possible case of human trafficking.