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Lawyer Gita Miruskina and the team of NGO “Shelter “Safe House”” receives high recognition from the State Department of the United States

Ievietots: 03.06.2015

Gita Miruskina, Lawyer of the non-governmental organization “Shelter “Safe House””, has been awarded a high recognition of the State Department of the USA for heroism in combating human trafficking, informed Loretta Lynch, General Attorney of the United States on 2 June during the visit of the organization.  This was the first visit of the high official in Latvia. 

Within the visit, she and the Minister of Justice of Latvia Dzintars Rasnacs (Dzintars Rasnačs) met representatives of “Shelter “Safe House”” to learn about the accomplishments of the organization in the area of combating  human trafficking.

Dzintars Rasnacs, Sandra Zalcmane, Loretta Lynch, Gita Miruškina, Rasa Saliņa

From right: Dzintars Rasnacs, Minister of Justice, Sandra Zalcmane, Manager of “Shelter “Safe House”” , Loretta Lynch, General Attorney of the United States, Gita Miruskina, Lawyer of  “Shelter “Safe House”” and Rasa Salina, Press Secretary of the organization.

After the meeting, Lynch, General Attorney, and Rasnacs, Minister, participated in a press briefing; they expressed their gratitude to all employees of “Shelter “Safe House”” and recognized their impressive and excellent commitment to public service. 

"It is an honour to see this remarkable facility, to witness the all-too-necessary work being done here and to take inspiration from the hard - working staff who are committed, each and every day, to improving the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world. The individuals here are standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. They help to reduce the toll that human trafficking inflicts on citizens both in Latvia and abroad and restore the promise of a bright future that everyone deserves," said Lynch. "I have personally seen how government and civil relief organizations can work together to stem the scourge of human trafficking. "Shelter “Safe House”” where we gather today and Latvia’s interagency anti-trafficking working group are some of the shining examples of that approach."

Further in her speech, she emphasized the effort of Latvia to support the victims of human trafficking and especially the contribution of Lawyer Gita Miruskina in representation of the interests of the victims in proceedings.

"She has worked persistently to hone and expand her victim-centred approach, to lobby for heightened protection for trafficking victims and stronger penalties for traffickers and to raise awareness among government officials and the public about emerging trafficking threats in Latvia and around the world," told Lynch.

That is why the United States Department of State has chosen Miruskina to be formally named as one of its anti-trafficking heroes – an extraordinary and well-deserved honour.  It is envisaged that Secretary of State of the USA will personally bestow it in Washington later this summer. The representative of the Society is the first Latvian to be named an anti-trafficking hero.

"I know I speak for President [Barack] Obama and our entire administration when I tell you how proud we are of you and how inspired we are by all that you have accomplished," said the Attorney General of the USA when addressing Miruskina. 

Loretta Lynch, General Attorney of the United States, congratulates Gita Miruskina, Laweyer of Shelter “Safe House””.

Lynch further emphasized that the USA supports the broader Latvian efforts in combating human trafficking. "We extend that support in a variety of ways, including trainings for law enforcement officials investigating trafficking and grants for public-awareness campaigns. The USA is prepared to assist any country, including Latvia, in reviewing its legal procedures for trafficking cases, in expediting prosecutions and in securing convictions fairly, properly and efficiently," indicated Lynch. 

The speech of L.Lynch, General Attorney of the USA, is available HERE<<

The State Department of the USA recognizes contribution in combating human trafficking.  Recognition is expressed to the representatives of different states who are engaged in combating of human trafficking.  Miruskina is the first person from Latvia who has been recognized. In a conversation, Miruskina told that she felt honoured when recognized by the State Department of the USA.

From 2010 to 2014, lawyer of “Shelter “Safe House”” Gita Miruskina has prepared for submission in the court 27 claims about annulment of the marriages from the moment of conclusion thereof; currently there are 10 adjudicated matters.  The length of the proceedings on average was 14-16 months.

Many friends and partners of the organization from the Embassy of the USA, the Committee of Social and Labour Matters of Saeima, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the State Police, the Prosecutor’s General Office, the Ministry of Welfare, the Society Integration Foundation, Riga City Council, the Latvian Cooperation Network of Women`s Organizations and others had arrived to congratulate Gita Miruskina and Society “Shelter “Safe House””.

Since 2007, NGO “Shelter “Safe House”” had provided social rehabilitation for 113 persons.  In 2014, the help was provided to 38 persons – 8 men and 30 women. The organization with the support of the partners regularly implements different preventive activities – educates different specialists and young people, as well as organizes wide informative campaigns for the public that have been lately recognised internationally.

Information prepared by:

Rasa Salina, Public Relations Specialist

E-mail: rasa.salina@gmail.com

Visit of General Attorney of the United States, 02.06.
General Attorney of the United States - Loretta Lynch visited Society "Shelter "Safe House"" on 2 June. She and the Minister of Justice of Latvia Dzintars Rasnacs met representatives of “Shelter “Safe House”” to learn about the accomplishments of the organization in the area of combating human trafficking. After the meeting, General Attorney and Minister Rasnacs participated in a press briefing to recognize the accomplishment of Society "Shelter "Safe House"" in combating of human trafficking and congratulate lawyer of "Shelter "Safe House"" Gita Miruskina who is a Latvian nominee of 2015 for the award of Hero of the Report of the State Department "On Combating of Human Trafficking". Authors of the photos: Ministry of Justice, USA Embassy in Riga, "Shelter "Safe House"". 12.06.2015.