2020 Trafficking in Persons Report: Estonia
ESTONIA: Tier 1
The Government of Estonia fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period; therefore Estonia remained on Tier 1. These efforts included implementing labor act amendments prohibiting recruitment agencies from charging worker-paid recruitment fees, developing new identification and referral guidelines, and ordering restitution payments from traffickers to victims. The anti-trafficking working group, comprising 35 government agencies and NGOs, published an annual report of its activities, and the government established a national victim support hotline for all victims of violent crime, including trafficking, while providing funding to a separate NGO-run hotline. Although the government meets the minimum standards, authorities investigated and prosecuted fewer trafficking cases and courts convicted fewer traffickers. Additionally, authorities neither identified nor assisted any potential labor trafficking victims.
- Increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict traffickers under Section 133 of the penal code.
- Proactively identify potential labor trafficking victims, particularly among foreign workers, and refer them to government-sponsored assistance.
- Encourage police and the labor inspectorate to investigate labor trafficking cases.
- Expand efforts to train law enforcement, particularly on investigative tactics, victim psychology, and applying Section 133.
- Implement new identification and referral guidelines and train officials on their responsibilities to identify and refer potential victims to assistance.
- Provide specialized training for law enforcement, judicial, and civil service personnel on all forms of trafficking and working with victims.
- Encourage more victims to assist prosecutions by facilitating access to effective legal counsel.
- Broaden public awareness efforts to educate at-risk communities, such as migrants, on the risks of trafficking.