Cablegate: Estonia - Eighth Annual Anti-Trafficking Report


DE RUEHTL #0091/01 0641420
R 041420Z MAR 08





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A) STATE 2731

1. (U) The following is Embassy Tallinn's Anti-
Trafficking Report for Estonia. Responses are keyed to
the checklist (Ref A). Post's points of contact on
Trafficking in Persons (TIP) are Political Officer Alamanda
Gribbin (Email:; tel: +372-668-8291)
and Political Assistant Riina Tannia (Tel: +372-668-8233;

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: Trafficking is still an issue in Estonia,
but the Government of Estonia (GOE) has made important
progress in combating the problem, developing stronger
coordination with local NGOs active on this issue,
improving services to victims and expanding the penal code
statues relating to enslavement. During the reporting
period the Estonian Government confirmed eight cases of
trafficking. As a result, Estonia does not meet either the
State Department's 'significance' threshold or the '100
confirmed cases' benchmark for inclusion in the trafficking
report as a Tier Two country. We recommend that the
Department move Estonia to Tier One. END SUMMARY.

Checklist and Overview of Trafficking in Estonia:

3. (U)A: Estonia is believed to be a country of origin,
transit, and destination for trafficked men, women, and
children. For the reporting period, the Ministry of Justice
(MOJ) documented 2 confirmed cases involving Estonian
trafficking victims abroad (both in the UK), while the
Ministry of Social Affairs (MSA) reported that 6
trafficking victims - all prostitutes according to a local
NGO - were placed in trafficking specific shelters in
Estonia. (Estonian prostitutes with drug addictions were a
particularly vulnerable trafficking risk group.)
According to the MSA, it is still difficult to track the
exact number of trafficking victims in Estonia. To improve
the tracking mechanism, MSA is working with relevant NGO's
on the development of a victim identification model. MSA
hopes to have the model in place by next year.

4. (U)A, Cont: In addition to GOE agencies and NGOs, post
also consulted with the resident Liaison Officer for Nordic
Customs and Police Cooperation (covering Denmark, Finland,
Iceland, Norway and Sweden). According to the Liaison
Officer, cataloguing the exact number of Estonian
trafficking victims abroad is quite difficult. The Nordic
Customs and Police agencies only report trafficking victims
to the country of origin in certain cases: 1) when a case
goes to court and the victim's identity cannot be
identified; 2) when victims request services from the
country of origin. According to the liaison, the
Government of Sweden (GOS) is currently prosecuting 2 cases
involving 5 alleged Estonian trafficking victims. However,
this investigation is still pending and the GOS has not
reported these alleged victims to the GOE.

5. (U)A, Cont: Based on discussions with Nordic Police,
Nordic diplomats in Tallinn, US Embassy Stockholm and the
Estonian MFA, we understand that there were no Estonian
trafficking victims in Finland or Norway and that seven
Estonian trafficking victims received services in Swedish

6. (U)A, Cont: As Estonia has no trafficking-specific
statutes in its criminal code, the GOE prosecutes
trafficking crimes under its 'enslavement' article. During
the reporting period, there were three convictions based on
'enslavement.' All documented trafficking cases within
Estonia's borders during the reporting period were for the
purposes of commercial sex.

7. (U)A, Cont. In addition to the official statistics
provided by the MOJ, Post has received data from the MSA,
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Ministry of
Internal Affairs (MIA), local NGOs 'Eluliin' (City of Life)
and Living for Tomorrow, the Nordic Police and Customs
Cooperation Office in Tallinn, the Estonian Embassy in
Helsinki, and the Helsinki office of the International
Organization for Migration (IOM). The information
assembled in this report is based on the most current and
reliable data available at this time.

8. (U)B: According to Estonian law enforcement, most
traffickers were generally small-scale operators, who often
had ties to local organized crime groups. The most common
lure traffickers use is the promise of legitimate
employment abroad (e.g., hotels, restaurants, massage
parlors, and strip clubs). In December 2007, Estonia
formally joined the EU's Schengen Agreement for common visa
and immigration borders on land and sea. Estonia is
scheduled to join the Schengen area for air borders on
March 30, 2008. This agreement allows for the free
movement of people within Schengen countries (the UK,
Ireland, and Denmark are not members), eliminating the need
for obtaining false documentation to move victims between
Estonia and the rest of the EU.

9. (U)C: During the reporting period, the following
ministries and agencies were involved in anti-trafficking
activities: MFA, MIA, MOJ, MSA, Ministry of Education
(MOE), Ministry of Finance (MOF), Citizenship and Migration
Board (CMB), the Border Guards, Police Board, the Central
Criminal Police (CCP), INTERPOL and EUROPOL liaison
offices, and the Prosecutor's Office. Recognizing that
trafficking extends beyond the scope of any single agency,
the GOE's National Action Plan designates the MOJ as the
lead ministry to better coordinate the government's
efforts. During the reporting period, the MOJ, MSA, MIA,
and MFA met regularly at various working-levels.

10. (U)D: Post found no evidence of trafficking-related
corruption within the GOE. We are also not aware of any
instances of bribe-taking related to trafficking among GOE,
law enforcement, or border guard officials. With respect to
public corruption, there is a "Select Committee on the
Application of the Anti-Corruption Act" in the Riigikogu
(the Estonian Parliament) which promoted full
implementation of anti-corruption legislation.

11. (U)D, Cont: Previously, inadequate funding limited the
GOE's ability to combat trafficking. However, the GOE
recognized this deficiency and has steadily increased the
amount of funding committed to anti-trafficking measures.
In 2006, the anti-trafficking budget was approximately
14,000 USD. In 2007, the GOE spent approximately 181,000
USD on prevention and victim assistance.

12. (U)E: In 2006, the GOE founded the National Anti-
Trafficking Network. The tasks of the network are recorded
in the National Action Plan for the years 2006-2009. The
Network is represented by the relevant Ministries, police,
border guards, prosecutors and NGOs dealing directly with
the trafficking issue. Representatives meet throughout the
year and correspond frequently via e-mail. Each year, the
Network drafts an assessment of the previous year's
activities. GOE ministries are currently circulating the
2007 assessment; it will likely be published in late March.


13. (U)A: Estonia does not have any trafficking-specific
laws in its criminal code. The GOE contends that its
prohibition under Article 133, the prohibition of
enslavement, is an adequate mechanism for addressing
trafficking cases. In March 2007, the GOE expanded article
133 in accordance with a July 19, 2002 framework decision
of the EU Council. Article 133 now also includes taking
advantage of a person's helpless situation as part of the
definition of enslavement. Also in 2007, Article 134 was
expanded to include forcing a person to work or perform
duties against their will for the benefit of another

14. (U)A, Cont: Over the last few years, the MOJ has
expanded the number of articles it can use to prosecute
trafficking and related crimes. The following is a list of
laws that the GOE can use in addition to Article 133 when
prosecuting traffickers:

-- Article 134: Abduction;
-- Article 136: Unlawful deprivation of liberty;
-- Article 138: Illegal conduct of human research;
-- Article 139: Illegal removal of organs or tissue;
-- Article 140: Inducing persons to donate organs or
-- Article 143: Compelling persons to engage in sexual
-- Article 143/1: Compelling persons to engage in
satisfaction of sexual desire;
-- Article 172: Child kidnapping;
-- Article 173: Sale or purchase of children;
-- Article 175: Disposing minors to engage in
-- Article 176: Aiding prostitution involving minors;
-- Article 177: Use of minors in manufacture of
pornographic works;
-- Article 178: Manufacture of works involving child
pornography or making child pornography available;
-- Article 259: Illegal transportation of aliens across
state border or temporary border line of Republic of
-- Article 268: Provision of opportunity to engage in
unlawful activities, or pimping;

During the reporting period, the MOJ recorded 136
individual criminal offenses related to these statues. At
the same time, as a single suspect can be charged with
multiple violations, the actual number of court judgments
related to the above statues was 60 and the number of
convicted persons was 35. The MOJ noted that in three
instances the alleged violations specifically related to
trafficking (see paragraph 15B and 19F). The remaining
violations were related to illegal commercial sex
activities (e.g., pimping, exploitation of minors,
kidnapping, etc.).

15. (U)B: The penalty for 'enslavement' for the purposes of
sexual exploitation is up to 5 years imprisonment. If there
are two or more victims or if the victims are minors the
penalty is up to 12 years of imprisonment. During the
reporting period 3 persons were convicted of 'enslavement'
under Article 133 of the Penal Code. Two of the suspects
were sentenced to 3 years and 1 year imprisonment. The
third suspect was sentenced to 1 year in prison and
assessed a fine of 25,000 USD.

16. (U)C: The prescribed penalty for labor trafficking is
one to five years imprisonment. In severe cases, the
penalty is three to twelve years imprisonment. There were
no cases of labor trafficking during the reported period.

17. (U)D: The penalties for trafficking under enslavement,
abduction, rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse of minors
are five years imprisonment in the case of adult victims,
and 12 years for child victims under age 18. Prosecutors
may also add violations of additional statutes to increase
the penalty (i.e., rape, abuse of a minor, etc.).

18. (U)E: Prostitution and the solicitation of commercial
sex are not illegal in Estonia. Pimping, however, is
illegal. The activities of brothel owners/operators,
pimps, and enforcers are criminalized and the GOE regularly
enforces the laws.

19. (U)F: During the reporting period, 3 persons were
convicted of trafficking related crimes under the expanded
Article 133 relating to enslavement. (See Paragraph 15 for
information concerning their sentencing.)

20. (U)F, Cont: Estonian labor laws forbid inappropriately
high or illegal fees or commissions by labor recruiters,
confiscating of workers' passports/travel documents and the
destruction, damaging, theft or concealment of these
documents. Violators can be prosecuted under paragraphs
209 and 346 of the Estonian Penal Code dealing with fraud
and theft, and receive punishment in the form of a minimum
fine of 5,000 USD or 5 to 15 years imprisonment. The
switching of contracts or terms of employment without a
worker's consent is forbidden by paragraph 12 of the Labor
Market Services and Benefits Act. The Labour Inspectorate,
a government agency operating under the umbrella of the
MSA, enforces these provisions. There were no prosecutions
for these crimes during the reporting period.

21. (U)G: Together with NGOs, the MSA conducted 15 training
seminars for GOE officials and authorities on how to
recognize, investigate and prosecute instances of
trafficking. The total cost of these seminars was
approximately 15,276 USD.

22. (U)G, Cont: In addition to MSA initiated training,
several NGOs conducted 9 anti-trafficking trainings all
over Estonia targeting youth counselors, women's
organizations, police, border guards, social workers,
educators, representatives of local governments and school
medical personnel. In May 2007, the International
Organization for Migration (IOM) held a seminar in Tallinn
on trafficking specific investigation and prosecution
techniques. In September 2007, MFA representatives took
part in a UNESCO anti-trafficking seminar in Tallinn. In
December 2007, representatives of the MFA, the Estonian
Embassy in Riga and the Estonian Consulate in St.
Petersburg participated in a training for consular officers
organized by the Council of Baltic Sea States anti-
trafficking workgroup.

23. (U)G, Cont: During the reporting period, the USG was
also active in efforts to bring the Baltic anti-trafficking
community together. In June 2007 Embassy Tallinn hosted
members of the National Anti-Trafficking network for a
roundtable discussion on strategies to assist Estonians
searching for employment abroad. Representatives from the
MSA, MOJ, the Labor Office, the Finnish Trade Union in
Estonia and the NGOs: Eluliin, the Vega Center, the
Estonian Women's Studies and Resource Center, the Lifelong
Learning Foundation, Living for Tomorrow and EURES attended
this roundtable. IOM Helsinki also used USG funds to
conduct a five-day anti-trafficking seminar in Kiev for
members of the law enforcement community, including seven
Estonian law enforcement officials.

24. (U)HQThe Estonian Central Criminal Police exchanges
information on a regular basis with counterparts from
Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Finland, Great Britain
and Belgium. They received 15 requests for assistance from
abroad during 2007. The Nordic Customs and Police
Cooperation Liaison in Tallinn reported that cooperation
with Estonian counterparts takes many forms, from
assistance in suspect surveillance and interrogation to
providing victim and perpetrator identities. The Liaison
characterized Estonia's cooperation in trafficking related
matters as good.

25. (U)I: GOE policy is to extradite persons, including its
own nationals, who are charged with trafficking in other
countries. However, no extraditions took place during the
reporting period.

26. (U)J: There was no evidence of government involvement
in or tolerance of trafficking at either the local or
institutional level.

27. (U)K: See paragraph 26 J.

28. (U)L: There was no evidence of Estonian peacekeepers'
engagement in trafficking.

29. (U)M: Estonia does not have an identified child sex
tourism problem (either as a source or a destination


30. (U)A: In 2006, the GOE incorporated EU Council
Directive 2004/81/EC into national law to make it possible
for trafficking victims to obtain a temporary residency
permit for the duration of criminal investigations and
legal proceedings. The law was enacted in February 2007.
No trafficking victim applied for a residency permit during
the reporting period.

31. (U)B: In 2007, three shelters designated specifically
for trafficking victims began operating in Estonia. The
shelters, available to foreign and domestic victims alike,
were established as part of the Nordic-Baltic pilot project
and offered psychological, career and legal counseling to
victims. According to the MSA, during the reporting period
6 victims received services in these facilities. Funding
for the shelters was provided by the Ministry of Finance,
European Social Fund and project funds from the NGO EQUAL.
These shelters also received funds under an MOI-directed
program to support regional investments with taxes on
gambling. The GOE also supported a children's hotline
dedicated to the early recognition of child victims and
providing assistance. The GOE allocated approximately 75
percent of it overall 181,000 USD anti-trafficking budget
to victims' assistance programs.

32. (U)C: The GOE contributed 4,000 USD to IOM for a
brochure on assistance to trafficking victims. This
brochure is a practical guide for social workers and others
who assist victims. The NGO Living for Tomorrow received
2,000 USD from the Estonian Gambling Tax Council. The
funds supported 24 trafficking awareness training sessions
for secondary and vocational school students and 5 training
sessions for adults. The MSA provided the NGO Living for
Tomorrow 18,000 USD to fund its anti-trafficking Hotline

33. (U)D: See paragraph 34 E.

34. (U)E: There is no government mechanism for screening
for trafficking victims. This work is done on the NGO
level. The NGO Atoll's regular field survey of area
prostitutes includes efforts to identify trafficking

35. (U)F. Post found no evidence that trafficking victims
were unlawfully detained, jailed, and/or deported. There
were also no incidents of trafficking victims or witnesses
having their rights to seek damages impeded.

36. (U)G. Under Estonia's Victim Assistance Act (VAA), the
MSA was responsible for overseeing victim assistance
services for trafficking victims. The MSA worked closely
with local and county governments and NGOs in providing
victim's assistance, as well as training and supervising

37. (U)G, Cont: Under Estonia's Crime Victim's Compensation
Act (CVCA), trafficking victims are eligible for financial
assistance and compensation of up to 70 percent of the
damages caused by the crime. During the reporting period,
none of the CVCA recipients were identified as trafficking

38. (U)H: During the reporting period, a Baltic Sea States
region-wide witness protection agreement (signed by
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) was in force. However, no
Estonian trafficking victims elected to participate in the
Baltic program.

39. (U)H, Cont: The MFA took steps to ensure that, upon
repatriation, trafficking victims were made aware of
assistance services available from GOE agencies and NGOs.
Minor victims are referred to the Tartu Child Support
Center for assistance.

40. (U)H, Cont: The Estonian Embassy in London assisted in
repatriating a female trafficking victim back to Estonia
from the UK. Upon her return to Estonia, the woman was
placed in a shelter for trafficking victims.

41. (U)I: The Ministry of Social Affairs holds an annual
training session for consular officers on recognizing and
assisting trafficking victims. The training material is

available electronically as well. Estonian Consulates and
Embassies have developed good relations with NGOs and
international organizations that serve trafficking victims.
Additional training programs are detailed in paragraphs 21,
22 and 23 G.

42. (U)J: The Government of Estonia provides medical aid,
shelter and financial help to its nationals who are
repatriated as victims of trafficking.

43. (U)K: The following NGOs and international
organizations work with trafficking victims:

--Living for Tomorrow (prevention and outreach; trafficking
prevention hotline);
--HIV/AIDS Prevention Center (prevention and outreach);
--International Organization for Adolescents (prevention,
outreach, and victim assistance);
--Human Rights Legal Information Center (prevention and
--Estonian Women's Studies and Resource Center (ENUT);
--Tartu Child Support Center (prevention and support);
--Equal (outreach and assistance to prostitutes);
--Atoll (outreach and assistance to prostitutes);
--International Organization for Migration (outreach,
prevention, assistance to victims);
--The Vega Center

In general, (as cited in paragraphs 31 B and 32 C) during
the reporting period, the GOE allotted 181,000 USD to
trafficking related training, campaigns and other
activities. Approximately 75 percent of this budget was
spent on victim services, including hotlines, and the
remaining 25 percent was spent on prevention. (See
paragraph 31 B for a description of available shelter


44. (U)A: The government of Estonia has acknowledged that
trafficking is a problem.

45. (U)B: The MFA has been active in disseminating
informational materials on trafficking at the Ministry
itself, on their webpage, at Estonian Embassies in Berlin
and in Paris and at the Tallinn airport and harbors. The
MFA also disseminated trafficking related materials at
TourEst 2007, the annual tourism fair, which was attended
by approximately 23,465 people over three days. The MFA
also operated a 24-hour hotline for Estonians traveling
abroad. Estonian Embassies offered voluntary registration
for Estonian citizens traveling abroad.

46. (U)C: The National Anti-Trafficking Network comprises
not only representatives of the relevant ministries, but
also NGOs. The representatives of the ministries have
stressed that NGO participation in the network is crucial,
as they have the best knowledge of the problem and have the
closest contacts with trafficking victims.

47. (U)D: The GOE adequately monitored its borders for
trafficking. The GOE monitored immigration and emigration
patterns for evidence of trafficking unilaterally and in
concert with regional border guards and law-enforcement
partners. One strategy of the 2007 National Action Plan
was to pay closer attention to minors crossing the EU
border, including questioning minors or persons
accompanying minors, contacting the parents of the child
and requesting additional documents. During the reporting
period, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the NGO ENUT
conducted training sessions for border guards on
identifying victims and put together a handbook covering
this issue.

48. (U)E: In 2006, the GOE founded a national Anti-
Trafficking working group. This group, represented by MFA,
MIA, MOJ, MSA, Ministry of Education (ME), Ministry of
Finance (MOF), Citizenship and Migration Board (CMB), the
Border Guards, Police Board, Central Criminal Police (CCP),
INTERPOL and EUROPOL liaison offices and the Prosecutor's
Office, drafted a National Action Plan to combat
trafficking for the period 2006-2009. The MOJ is the lead
agency and is responsible for the implementation of the
plan and inter-agency coordination. There is also a public
corruption taskforce under the authority of the MOJ.

49. (U)F: Estonia has a National Action Plan on trafficking
for the years 2006-2009. Each year, a thorough review is
conducted of the previous years' goals and areas for
improvement are identified. The 2007 goals are currently
under review at the inter-ministerial level.

50. (U)G: The GOE has undertaken several initiatives to
reduce sex tourism in Estonia. In 2007, the MSA, utilizing
EU Social Funds, offered training courses designed to help
those at risk for prostitution develop job skills. The GOE
also conducted a media campaign on the dangers of
prostitution and conducted prostitution prevention programs
in schools. Police also continued their efforts to crack
down on area brothels. In the beginning of 2006, there
were 43 known brothels operating in Estonia. According to
the Nordic Police Liaison, currently only 2 or 3 remain in
operation. The Liaison cited an increase in the complexity
of ownership and operation of the brothels as reasons why
the police have not yet been successful in closing the
remaining locations down.

51. (U)H: There were no known instances of international
child sex tourism by Estonian nationals. However, the
Estonian MSA and various law enforcement agencies held
regular trainings for child protection workers and police
officers on how to recognize child trafficking victims.
The GOE also took part in the Council of Baltic Sea States
Working Group for Cooperation on Children at Risk. (Estonia
is the Chair country for 2007-2008). 55 specialists from
the Baltic Sea States took part in the training, resulting
in the establishment of an international specialist

52. (U)I: Estonia did not meet this criteria.


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