Report on Exploitative Sham Marriages will be launched in Riga

Published 20.10.2016

A report exploring the links between sham marriages and human trafficking will be launched on the 21st of October in Riga by the HESTIA project. The report is titled “Exploitative Sham Marriages: Exploring the Links between Human Trafficking and Sham Marriages in Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia". The report will be published in the HEUNI report series and can be downloaded from the HEUNI webpage on Friday 21st of October at 12 pm.

The main objective of the HESTIA project was to look into the phenomenon of human trafficking and sham marriages, to provide a more concrete definition of sham marriages as a form of human trafficking, and initiate comprehensive action for its prevention. The research aimed to shed light and create a shared understanding of an evolving form of trafficking in human beings which is related to the organisation of sham marriages and the subsequent exploitation of persons. The study deals with exploitative sham marriages between EU nationals and third-country nationals which is a previously unknown phenomenon.

The project was carried out between January 2015 and December 2016 with the financial support of the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme of the European Union. The participating countries were Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania and the Slovak Republic. The project was coordinated by the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Latvia, and the project partners were the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI) in Finland, the Immigrant Council of Ireland, the NGO Caritas Lithuania, the NGO Living for Tomorrow in Estonia, the Shelter Safe House in Latvia and the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic. HEUNI was responsible for developing the research methodology, coordinating the research and compiling the report.

For additional information, please contact Ms. Minna Viuhko, minna.viuhko(at)

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