In this edition, coinciding with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we presented a report of the National Audit Office of Lithuania that puts the focus on state actions to prevent human trafficking, an offense more serious than violating human rights.

According to the European Police Office (Europol), trafficking human beings affects more than 120,000 lives each year in Europe. In our country, an estimated 77,300 people suffer from this situation, according to data from Global Slavery Index 2014, developed by the Free Walk Foundation that works to end modern slavery and human trafficking.

"The fight against trafficking in human beings should include in addition to the indication of the crimes and realized-, the introduction of effective preventive measures and integrated support for victims," said the Lithuanian Watchdog.

The audit conducted this year published a report in which it concluded that "the main topics on the prevention of human trafficking are unresolved" so "the victims of this crime do not get enough support."

Human trafficking is the illegal trade in human beings for purposes of reproductive slavery, sexual exploitation, forced labor or removal of organs. According to the report, there are also new forms of trafficking, such as fake marriage or using women for surrogacy.

In Lithuania, government institutions "are not required to contribute to the fight" of this crime. So much so, that when the Interior Ministry invited 27 state agencies involved in the implementation of measures to combat the trade in human beings, they only received one offer and it was by the Police Department.

However, "the measures implemented by the police are not enough to eliminate the main conditions of human trafficking". In addition, the actions "are not adapted to the specific characteristics of the crime in each area".

One of the examples cited by the Watchdog is the measure used by the police in the district of Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania. There, the actions are aimed at "the elimination of trafficking for prostitution,” however, in that locality "more than half of the cases are related to trafficking in persons for forced labor and crimes."

In this situation it is added that "there is no adequate preparation to identify victims" and there are no "regulations on the provision of support" for the victims.

One of the organizations of civil society is -Crisis Center- they assist those suffering these crimes, and received from 2012 to 2014 "14 requests for victims who seek temporary accommodation". Of that total, "only four were granted shelter and six found shelter with relatives, while the fate of the remaining four is unknown."

"Failure to provide temporary housing results in insufficient protection" explains the supervisory authority of Lithuania.

Given this situation, the National Audit Office with the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Social Security and Labour made recommendations to "create an efficient system for the prevention and control of trafficking to ensure adequate supply of support for victims ".