Measuring the Change
using prevalence data providing the widest temporal coverage of the most complete and comparable measures available by ICLS standards.
Due to lack of nationally representative data, there is no change to report.
Best Target 8.7 Data: Human Trafficking
The data visualization displays the number of identified victims of human trafficking per year in Latvia. Detailed information is provided in the Measurement tab (above).
- Child labour: No ILO/UNICEF data
- Human trafficking: Case data available
Human Development Index Score: 0.866 (2019)
Mean School Years: 13.0 (2019)
Vulnerable Employment: 7.9% (2018)
Working Poverty Rate: No data available
- ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, P029: Ratified 2017
- ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182: Ratified 2006
- UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol): Ratified 2004
Social Protection Coverage
General (at least one): 96.5% (2016)
Unemployed: 33.3% (2014)
Pension: 100% (2014)
Vulnerable: 85.0% (2016)
Children: 100% (2016)
Disabled: 100% (2016)
Poor: 100% (2016)
Measurement of child labour prevalence has evolved considerably over the past two decades. Estimates of child labour incidence are more robust and exist for more countries than any other form of exploitation falling under SDG Target 8.7.
Youth employment in Latvia is permitted only to those ages 15 and up, and is regulated by Section 37 of the Labour Code. There is no data available on child labour in Latvia, most likely due to relatively low incidence.
The challenges in estimating human trafficking are similar to those of estimating forced labour, though recent innovations in estimation have begun to produce prevalence estimates in developed countries.
Identified Victims of Human Trafficking (Source: GRETA)
According to the European Commission, Latvia remains a country of origin of victims of trafficking in human beings which means that inhabitants of Latvia are exploited abroad both in the EU Member States and third countries. Since 2015, internal trafficking cases were detected and Latvian nationals identified as victims of trafficking in human beings.
The graph on the right shows the number of identified victims of human trafficking per year in Latvia, as reported by Latvian authorities to the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).
Key aspects of human development, such as poverty and lack of education, are found to be associated with risk of exploitation. Policies that address these issues may indirectly contribute to getting us closer to achieving Target 8.7.
Human Development Index (Source: UNDP)
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of achievements in three key dimensions of human development: (1) a long and healthy life; (2) access to knowledge; and (3) a decent standard of living. Human development can factor into issues of severe labour exploitation in multiple ways.
The chart displays information on human development in Latvia between 1990 and 2019. Only certain sample years have data disaggregated by sex.
The most recent year of the HDI, 2019, shows that the average human development score in Latvia is 0.866. This score indicates that human development is very high.
HDI Education Index (Source: UNDP)
Lack of education and illiteracy are key factors that make both children and adults more vulnerable to exploitive labour conditions.
As the seminal ILO report Profits and Poverty explains:
“Adults with low education levels and children whose parents are not educated are at higher risk of forced labour. Low education levels and illiteracy reduce employment options for workers and often force them to accept work under poor conditions. Furthermore, individuals who can read contracts may be in a better position to recognize situations that could lead to exploitation and coercion.”
The bars on the chart represent the Education Index score and the line traces the mean years of education in Latvia over time.
Decent work, a major component of SDG 8 overall, has clear implications on the forms of exploitation within Target 8.7. Identifying shortcomings in the availability of equitable, safe and stable employment can be a step in the right direction towards achieving Target 8.7.
HDI Vulnerable Employment (Source: UNDP)
There are reasons to believe that certain types of labour and labour arrangements are more likely to lead to labour exploitation. According to the ILO:
“Own-account workers and contributing family workers have a lower likelihood of having formal work arrangements, and are therefore more likely to lack elements associated with decent employment, such as adequate social security and a voice at work. The two statuses are summed to create a classification of ‘vulnerable employment’, while wage and salaried workers together with employers constitute ‘non-vulnerable employment’.”
Between 1991 and 2018, Latvia showed a decrease in the proportion of workers in vulnerable employment as compared to those in secure employment.
Rates of Non-fatal Occupational Injuries (Source: ILO)
Occupational injury and fatality data can also be crucial in prevention and response efforts.
“Data on occupational injuries are essential for planning preventive measures. For instance, workers in occupations and activities of highest risk can be targeted more effectively for inspection visits, development of regulations and procedures, and also for safety campaigns.”
There are serious gaps in existing data coverage, particularly among groups that may be highly vulnerable to labour exploitation. For example, few countries provide information on injuries disaggregated between migrant and non-migrant workers.
Rates of Fatal Occupational Injuries (Source: ILO)
Data on occupational health and safety may reveal conditions of exploitation, even if exploitation may lead to under-reporting of workplace injuries and safety breaches. At present, the ILO collects data on occupational injuries, both fatal and non-fatal, disaggregating by sex and migrant status.
Research to date suggests that a major factor in vulnerability to labour exploitation is broader social vulnerability, marginalization or exclusion.
Groups Highly Vulnerable to Exploitation (Source: UNHCR)
Creating effective policy to prevent and protect individuals from forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour means making sure that all parts of the population are covered, particularly the most vulnerable groups, including migrants.
According to the 2016 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: “Almost one of every four victims of forced labour were exploited outside their country of residence, which points to the high degree of risk associated with migration in the modern world, particularly for migrant women and children. “
As IOM explains: “Although most migration is voluntary and has a largely positive impact on individuals and societies, migration, particularly irregular migration, can increase vulnerability to human trafficking and exploitation.” UNODC similarly notes that: “The vulnerability to being trafficked is greater among refugees and migrants in large movements, as recognized by Member States in the New York declaration for refugees and migrants of September 2016.”
The chart displays UNHCR’s estimates of persons of concern in Latvia.
Achieving SDG Target 8.7 will require national governments to take direct action against the forms of exploitation through policy implementation.
“Section 37. Prohibitions, Restrictions and Liability of Employment
(1) It is prohibited to employ children in permanent work. Within the meaning of this Law, a child shall mean a person who is under 15 years of age and who until reaching the age of 18 continues to acquire a basic education.
(2) In exceptional cases children from the age of 13, if one of the parents (guardian) has given written consent, may be employed outside of school hours doing light work not harmful to the safety, health, morals and development of the child. Such employment shall not interfere with the education of the child. Work in which children may be employed from the age of 13 shall be determined by the Cabinet. The provisions of Paragraph four of this Section regarding employment of adolescents shall apply to a child up to 15 years of age who continues the acquisition of basic education.
(3) In exceptional cases if one of the parents (guardian) has given written consent and a permit from the State Labour Inspectorate has been received, a child as a performer may be employed in cultural, artistic, sporting and advertising activities if such employment is not harmful to the safety, health, morals and development of the child. Such employment shall not interfere with the education of the child. The procedures for issuing permits for the employment of children as performers in cultural, artistic, sporting and advertising activities, as well as the restrictions to be included in such permits with respect to working conditions and employment conditions, shall be determined by the Cabinet.
(4) It is prohibited to employ adolescents in jobs in special conditions which are associated with increased risk to their safety, health, morals and development. Within the meaning of this Law, an adolescent shall mean a person between the ages of 15 and 18 who is not to be considered a child within the meaning of Paragraph one of this Section. Work in which the employment of adolescents is prohibited and exceptions when employment in such jobs is permitted in connection with occupational training of the adolescent shall be determined by the Cabinet.
(5) An employer has the obligation, prior to entering into an employment contract, to inform one of the parents (guardian) of the child or adolescent of the assessed risk of the working environment and the labour protection measures at the relevant workplace.
(6) Persons under 18 years of age shall be hired only after a prior medical examination and they shall, until reaching the age of 18, undergo a mandatory medical examination once a year.”
“Section 132. Working Time for Persons Under 18 Years of Age
(1) For persons who are under 18 years of age a working week of five days shall be specified.
(2) Children who have reached the age of 13 years may not be employed:
1) for more than two hours a day and more than 10 hours a week if the work is performed during the school year;
2) for more than four hours a day and more than 20 hours a week if the work is performed at the time when there are holidays at an educational institution; if the child has reached 15 years of age – for more than seven hours a day and more than 35 hours a week.
(3) Adolescents may not be employed for more than seven hours a day and more than 35 hours a week.
(4) If persons who are under 18 years of age continue to, in addition to work, acquire primary education, secondary education or an occupational education, the time spent on studies and work shall be summed and may not exceed seven hours a day and 35 hours a week.
(5) If persons who are under 18 years of age are employed by several employers, the working time shall be summed.”
Worst Forms of Child Labour
Cabinet of Ministers Regulation No. 206 Adopted 28 May 2002: “Regulations regarding work in which employment of adolescents is porhibited and exceptions when employment in such work is permitted in connection with vocational training of the adolescent”
“Section 15. Rights of the Child to Protection from Exploitation
(1) A child has the right to be protected from economic exploitation, and from employment in conditions that are dangerous or harmful to his or her health or physical, psychological or moral development, or in night work or during such working periods as hinder his or her education.
(2) A child has the right to be protected from physical and mental exploitation, from sexual exploitation and seduction, and from any other forms of exploitation, which may in any way harm the child.”
“Section 154.2 Meaning of Human Trafficking
(1) Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, concealment, accommodation or reception of persons for the purpose of exploitation, committed by using violence or threats or by means of deceit, or by taking advantage of the dependence of the person on the offender or of his or her state of vulnerability or helplessness, or by the giving or obtaining of material benefits or benefits of another nature in order to procure the consent of such person, upon which the victim is dependent.
(2) The recruitment, transportation, transfer, concealment, accommodation or reception of a minor for the purpose of exploitation shall be recognised as human trafficking also in such cases, if it is not connected with the utilisation of any of the means referred to in the Paragraph one of this Section.
(3) Within the meaning of this Section, exploitation is the involvement of a person in prostitution or in other kinds of sexual exploitation, the compulsion of a person to perform labour, to provide services or to commit criminal offences, the holding of a person in slavery or other similar forms thereof (debt slavery, serfdom or compulsory transfer of a person into dependence upon another person), and the holding a person in servitude or also the illegal removal of a person’s tissues or organs.
(4) Within the meaning of this Section state of vulnerability means using the circumstances when a person does not have another actual or acceptable choice, only to submit to exploitation.”
Regulations Regarding the Procedures, by Which Victims of the Traffic in Human Beings Receive Social Rehabilitation Services, and the Criteria for the Recognition of a Person as a Victim of the Traffic in Human Beings (2006)
“8. The commission shall recognise a person as a victim of the traffic in human beings, if the person:
8.1. was recruited, transported, conveyed or received, kidnapped or sold or, upon arrival in the country of destination, was forced to do other work instead of the work intended or promised beforehand;
8.2. was in debt to his or her employer and a part of the income of such person was collected or the person was not able to quit the occupation or to change work of his or her free will, or such person was deprived of the identification documents, or was forced to provide sexual services as a part of work duties, or was employed against his or her own will, or the person had to work longer hours per week than had been specified, or was supervised in the workplace in order to make the escape impossible, or was dependent on the employer thereof due to the family, kinship, work, rental relationship, indebtedness;
8.3. felt indirect threats seeing that violence was being used against others, or the person was denied the satisfaction of the basic needs of a human being, or signs of physical violence are visible, the person had previously suffered from violence or was intimidated and he or she was threatened with revenge, if he or she would contact the police or turn for help to any other institution, or with revenge, if he or she tried to escape or return to the origin country, or threats were expressed to revenge upon the family and relatives of the person, if the person escapes, or threats of deportation or notification of the relevant institutions were expressed, if the person tries to escape; or
8.4. was held imprisoned and hidden from the surrounding environment and communication with other people or was constantly controlled, or was allowed to stay outside the workplace only in the company of the employer’s representative.”
Job Placement Services
(1) Job placement services are:
1) mediation services in job placement:
a) services within the scope of which the job placement service provider ensures for the person establishment of employment legal relationships or civil service relations, as well as work for remuneration in international youth cultural, educational, employment and exchange of experience programmes (international au pair exchange programmes, educational and employment programmes, employment and travel and holiday employment programmes and other programmes),
b) work-finding services, understanding by this consultation with respect to job placement issues, informing regarding free work places and other equivalent services, which are provided for in order to offer or relieve a person in founding employment legal relationships,
c) services to employers in the recruitment of potential employees, except for services, which are associated with the placement of employment advertisements and advertising save as the purpose of such advertising is not the provision of job placement services;
2) services regarding securing a workforce within the scope of which the job placement service provider as an employer sends employees for a specified time period to a person for whose benefit and under whose management work shall be performed.
(2) The provision of job placement services (except manning of a ship and services to employers in the recruitment of potential employees for work in Latvia) shall be permitted to merchants to whom the State Employment Agency has issued a relevant license.”.
National Action Plans, National Strategies
Governments can take action to assist victims and to prevent and end the perpetration of forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour. These actions should be considered in wider societal efforts to reduce prevalence and move towards eradication of these forms of exploitation.
Programs and Agencies for Victim Support
Policies for Assistance
Policies for Assistance, General
“Section 52. Child Victims of Violence or Other Illegal Acts
(1) Special institutions or sections in general medical institutions shall be established and special resources allocated in the State budget for the medical treatment and rehabilitation of a child who has suffered as a result of violence. Expenditures for the medical treatment and rehabilitation of the child shall be covered by the State and shall be collected from the persons at fault by subrogation procedures.
(2) Special medical treatment shall be provided for a child who has become ill with a sexually transmitted disease. The adults at fault for the illness of the child shall be held liable as laid down in law and the costs of the medical treatment shall be collected from them.
(3) It is prohibited for a child who has been a victim of violence (illegal act):
1) to be left alone, except in cases when the child himself or herself so wishes and this choice is considered appropriate by a psychologist who has undergone special preparation for work with children who have suffered from violence;
2) to be left without psychological or other form of care;
3) to be confronted by the possible perpetrator of the violence (illegal act) while the child is not sufficiently psychologically prepared for such a confrontation;
4) to be subjected to the use of any compulsory measures in order to obtain information or for any other purpose.
(4) Out-of-family care shall be provided without delay for a child who has suffered from violence (illegal act) in his or her family or for whom a real threat of violence exists, if it is not possible to isolate the persons at fault from the child.”
(6) The person directing the proceedings has the right to request a temporary residence permit for the foreigner who is not a Union citizen and who has been recognised as a victim of trafficking in human beings, as well as minor children accompanied by him or her for a period, which is not less than six months.
(7) A foreigner, who, whilst staying illegally in the Republic of Latvia, has been illegally employed in particularly exploitative working conditions, as well as a minor foreigner, who, whilst staying illegally in the Republic of Latvia, has been illegally employed, has the right to request a temporary residence permit, if the foreigner has turned to the court with an application regarding recovery of the unpaid work remuneration from the employer. A temporary residence permit may be requested repeatedly, if the court proceeding for the collection of the unpaid work remuneration has not been completed or the unpaid work remuneration has not been received from the employer. The first and repeat temporary residence permit shall be issued for one year. Particularly exploitative working conditions are such working conditions and employment requirements, which cause very incommensurate differences between the working conditions and employment requirements of legally employed workers and the working conditions and employment requirements of such foreigner who is staying illegally in the Republic of Latvia, as well as differences due to gender discrimination or another type of discrimination, or differences that affect the protection of health and safety of the foreigner at work, as well as violates his or her dignity.”
Policies for Assistance, Human Trafficking
Regulations Regarding the Procedures, by Which Victims of the Traffic in Human Beings Receive Social Rehabilitation Services, and the Criteria for the Recognition of a Person as a Victim of the Traffic in Human Beings (2006)
“Section 2. Scope of Application of this Law
(1) This Law determines the active employment measures and preventative measures for unemployment reduction intended for unemployed persons, persons seeking employment and persons subject to the risk of unemployment, the competence of the State and local governments in the implementation of these measures, as well as the status, rights and duties of unemployed persons and persons seeking employment.
(2) The following persons have the right to receive the support specified in this Law for unemployed persons, persons seeking employment and persons subject to the risk of unemployment:
8) a person who has a temporary residence permit in relation to the granting of victim of traffic of human beings status in Latvia.”
“Section 3. Right to Social Services and Social Assistance
(1) The right to receive social services and social assistance shall be enjoyed by Latvian
citizens and non-citizens and aliens who have been granted a personal identity number, except
for persons who have received a temporary residence permit.
(4) A victim of trafficking in human beings who is a citizen of the European Union, and a minor accompanied by him or her has the right to receive social rehabilitation. A victim of trafficking in human beings who is not a citizen of the European Union and a minor accompanied by him or her has the right to receive social rehabilitation in the cases provided for in the Law On Residence of a Victim of Trafficking in Human Beings in the Republic of Latvia.”
“Section 13. Duties of the State in the Provision of Social Services
(1) The State shall ensure the following according to the funds granted in the annual State Budget Law:
7) the social rehabilitation of victims of the trafficking in human beings. The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for the receipt of social rehabilitation and the criteria for the recognition of a person as a victim of the trafficking in human beings;”
The following persons have the right to receive the support specified in this Law for unemployed persons, persons seeking employment and persons subject to the risk of unemployment:
1) a Latvian citizen or Latvian non-citizen, or a person who has a permanent residence permit in Latvia or the spouse of the abovementioned persons who has a temporary residence permit in Latvia;
2) a citizen of a European Union Member State, European Economic Area state or Swiss Confederation or a family member of the abovementioned persons who is residing lawfully in the Republic of Latvia;
3) a person who has a temporary residence permit in relation to granting of an alternative status in Latvia, or a family member of the abovementioned person who has a temporary residence permit in Latvia;
4) a person who has a permanent residence permit in relation to granting of refugee status in Latvia, or a family member of the abovementioned person who has a permanent residence permit in Latvia;
5) a person who has a European Union long-term resident residence permit in relation to granting of the European Union long-term resident status in Latvia, or the spouse of the abovementioned person who has a temporary residence permit in Latvia;
6) a person who has a temporary residence permit in relation to the granting of temporary protection status in Latvia;
7) a person who has a temporary residence permit in relation to the performance of scientific work in Latvia;
8) a person who has a temporary residence permit in relation to the granting of victim of traffic of human beings status in Latvia;
9) a person who is a holder of a European Union blue card, residing in Latvia during the term of validity of the card (hereinafter – the person who is a holder of the European Union blue card);
10) another person who is entitled to work for any employer in the Republic of Latvia and who has obtained a temporary residence permit in accordance with the laws and regulations regarding work permits for foreigners.
Penalties, Human Trafficking
“Section 154.1 Human Trafficking
(1) For a person who commits human trafficking,
the applicable punishment is deprivation of liberty for a term up to eight years, with or without confiscation of property.
(2) For a person who commits human trafficking if it has been committed against a minor, or if it has been committed by a group of persons pursuant to prior agreement,
the applicable punishment is deprivation of liberty for a term of three years and up to twelve years, with or without confiscation of property and with or without police supervision for a term up to three years.
(3) For a person who commits human trafficking if it has endangered the life of a victim or serious consequences have been caused thereby, or it has been committed involving particular cruelty or against an underaged person, or it has been committed by an organised group,
the applicable punishment is deprivation of liberty for a term of five years and up to fifteen years, with or without confiscation of property and with or without police supervision for a term up to three years.”
“Section 146. Violation of Labour Protection Provisions
(1) For a person who commits violation of the requirements of regulatory enactments regulating labour protection or technical safety, where commission thereof is by the manager of an undertaking (company), institution or organisation, or other person responsible for compliance therewith, and if such offence has caused bodily injury with health disorder or permanent loss of ability to work,
the applicable punishment is deprivation of liberty for a term up to one year or temporary deprivation of liberty, or community service, or a fine.
(2) For a person who commits the same offence, if such has caused the death of a human being or serious bodily injury to several human beings,
the applicable punishment is deprivation of liberty for a term up to five years or temporary deprivation of liberty, or community service, or a fine. ”
1.ii. Take steps to measure, monitor and share data on prevalence and response to all such forms of exploitation, as appropriate to national circumstances;
Programs and Agencies for Enforcement
Measures to address the drivers of vulnerability to exploitation can be key to effective prevention. A broad range of social protections are thought to reduce the likelihood that an individual will be at risk of exploitation, especially when coverage of those protections extends to the most vulnerable groups.
Social Protection Coverage: General (at Least One)
Social Protection (Source: ILO)
The seminal ILO paper on the economics of forced labour, Profits and Poverty, explains the hypothesis that social protection can mitigate the risks that arise when a household is vulnerable to sudden income shocks, helping to prevent labour exploitation. It also suggests that access to education and skills training can enhance the bargaining power of workers and prevent children in particular from becoming victims of forced labour. Measures to promote social inclusion and address discrimination against women and girls may also go a long way towards preventing forced labour.
If a country does not appear on a chart, this indicates that there is no recent data available for the particular social protection visualized.