The Eastern European country Lithuania is a point of entrance, transit, and departure for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. According to the 2008 Trafficking in Persons Report, approximately 21 percent of Lithuanian trafficking victims are underage girls.1 Lithuanian women were trafficked within the country and to the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands. Women from Belarus, Russia (the Kaliningrad region), and Ukraine are trafficked to and through Lithuania for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
In 2005, shortly after Lithuania joined the European Union, there was a documented spike in trafficking cases. An estimated 2,000 Lithuanian women and girls – some as young as 14 – were being taken abroad illegally each year for the sex trade.2 Most of the trafficked women had been unemployed in Lithuania, and more than half had children.
1. U.S. State Department 2008 Report: http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2008/105388.htm
2. "Lithuania Sex Traffick on the Rise," BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4378834.stm