Foreigners suffering in human trafficking will have a possibility to receive assistance in Latvia

(MI) has prepared and submitted for review to the meeting of State Secretaries several legal enactments, which prescribe the basic principles for provision of assistance to victims of human trafficking – foreigners who are not the citizens of the European Union. 


These projects will ensure compliance of Latvian legislation with the European Council’s Convention on fighting human trafficking and Council’s directive 2004/81/EC (April 29, 2004) on residence permits issued for such nationals of third countries who are victims of human trafficking or have been involved in activities, which promote illegal immigration, who are cooperating with competent establishments.

 

The draft law „On stay of a human trafficking victim in Latvia” and amendments to the Immigration law and Social services law prescribe the procedure and terms, in which the foreigners in Latvia – victims of human trafficking are given the waiting, term residence permits, as well as the procedure, in which these persons can receive state-paid social rehabilitation services and social assistance.

 

The draft law prescribes that a foreigner arriving in Latvia, who is not a citizen of the European Union and in the procedure stipulated in the law has been admitted to be a victim of human trafficking, is granted a 30 days’ waiting period so that he could make a decision on cooperation with competent state authorities in investigation of human trafficking case.

 

Amendments to the Immigration law prescribes that a foreigner – a victim of human trafficking – during the waiting period is entitled to stay in Latvia without a visa or residence permit.

 

If the victim during the waiting period expresses a readiness to cooperate with the competent state authorities, the competent authority will be able to request issuing a term residence permit to him for a time, which is not less than six months. If necessary, the permit will be prolonged.

 

During the time while the application is reviewed on granting of the waiting period, during the waiting period, during the time before making of decision on issuance of term residence permit, as well as during the effective period of term residence permit, the provider of social rehabilitation services will ensure foreigners – human trafficking victims safe shelter and accommodation, immediate medical assistance, consultations of a psychologist, lawyer, health care and other specialists, as well as a possibility to involve in training and educational programs.

 

The request to grant a waiting period can be submitted by the person to the competent state authority (State Police, the Prosecutor’s Office or court) or at the provider of the social rehabilitation services.

 

The waiting period can be interrupted by the competent authority if it is found out that a victims of human trafficking actively, voluntarily and at their own initiative have renewed contacts with persons who have committed activities, which are connected with human trafficking; if there is a basis to consider that victims of human trafficking cause threat to the national security or public order and safety; if there is a basis to consider that victims of human trafficking, when staying in Latvia, can disturb pretrial investigation or work of law enforcement bodies in detection of crimes.

 

But term residence permits for victims will be cancelled if it is found out that the victim actively, voluntarily and at their own initiative have renewed contacts with persons who have committed activities, which are connected with human trafficking; if the competent state authority considers that the cooperation on part of the human trafficking victim is fraudy or also of the claims of this person are fraudy or false; the competent state authority has a reason to consider that the victim of human trafficking causes threat to the national security or public order and safety; the victim interrupts cooperation with the competent state authority or the competent state authority makes a decision to interrupt investigation or litigation of respective criminal case.

 

 

Prepared by:
Press and Public Relations Department
Telephone: 7219213

Fax: 7219030

E-mail: presescentrs@MI.gov.lv


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