Riga's Best Night Life Guide for sex tourists

Riga's Best Night Life Guide for sex tourists

Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Publishing Riga’s Best Night Life Guide for Adults Only educates tourists on the sleazy side of tourism, showing them that women in Latvia are not sexual objects to be sold and bought.

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Your idea
Sector Focus

Civil society

Year the initative began (yyyy)


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Positioning of your initiative on the mosaic diagram
Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Inadequate govt response/action

Which of the principles is the primary focus of your work?

Mobilize peer groups and communities to raise awareness

If you believe some other barrier or principle should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic

This field has not been completed. (333 words or less)

What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?

Publishing Riga’s Best Night Life Guide for Adults Only educates tourists on the sleazy side of tourism, showing them that women in Latvia are not sexual objects to be sold and bought.

Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?

Riga’s Best Night Life Guide has been published using the prototype of Riga This Week, that gives information about sex services in Riga. As a result of this many tourists confuse them. Our magazine contains information on AIDS statistics, laws, cultural objects, stories of sex tourists with sad consequences and stories of women when they are approached as sex objects, giving the general message that our girls are not for sale. It ends with a nice view of Riga and a postcard to send to wives or girlfriends at home with the enscription “I miss you”. We believe that our idea in unique, because we have not seen this kind of brochure in other countries

Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?

Riga’s Best Night Life Guide has been disseminated to local pubs, bars, night clubs, and the airport. In these places there are a lot of tourists and sex tourists. This guide reminds the casual tourist of the sleazy and dangerous side of tourism and entertainment at night, but our attractive cover hides different information inside- not what sex tourists expect.

How do you plan to grow your innovation?

The first printing was 3,000 copies of and it was very well received so we made an additional 10,000 copies because there was a high demand. In the future we would like to continue this work and to make this a regular magazine. In future we would like to include the latest information about legislation, sex tourism, human trafficking and other actual issues connected with the aim of Riga’s Best Night Life Guide in order to scare sex tourists, and influence politics for action. Additionally, we would like to find partners that would be ready financially contribute in edition of this magazine.

Do you have any existing partnerships, and if so, how do you create them?

We involved Ombudsman’s Office, The International Migration Organisation, The Ministry of Interior to issue this publication. We did it within the framework of a common project where Marta was a lead partner. However, now the political situation has changed and we have difficulties with state institutions as partners.

Provide one sentence describing your impact/intended impact.

To actualize and decrease the sex tourism problem in Riga, to increase awareness of sex tourism, to protect women from abusive behavior and to raise the value of women.

What are the main barriers to creating or achieving your impact?

Financial barriers to publish and to asses the impact.
Societies and governments conservative attitude and values about sex tourism and human trafficking.
In governments priorities there is a low attention on issues connected with human trafficking.

How many people have you served or plan to serve?

This field has not been completed. (166 words or less)


13,000 tourists and sex tourists in Riga, women in vulnerable situations being exploited by sex tourists.


All society. This is one of the ways how to change attitude about sex slavery.

Please list any other measures of the impact of your innovation?

After publishing Riga’s Best Night Life Guide we received a positive response. There were a lot of emails thanking us for our work. Now one of the writers is a volunteer in our organization and helps us with translations.

Is there a policy intervention element to your innovation?

One of the Centre’s “Marta” main working fields is policy lobbing to protect women’s rights in Latvia. Its also includes legislation about selling and buying women. One of our results is that legislation about prostitution has been changed. The only place where person can provide sex is their own apartment or house and for trespassing this rule both (the client and person who provides sex) are punished.
In 2005 we pointed at sex tourism problem in Latvia and we demanded that all placards with half naked girls were removed from the International Airport “Riga”. Now we want to continue our work to get politicians and all society attention to this problem with Riga’s Best Night Life Guide.

Exactly who are the beneficiaries of your innovation?

The beneficiaries are women in vulnerable situation with few opportunities who could be the target group for exploiters. Also women, who want to enjoy night life in Riga and do not want to get disturbed by sex tourists with improper offers.

How is your initiative financed (or how do you expect your initiative will be financed)?

Publishing were financed by EQUAL project.

If known, provide information on your finances and organization

For the Centre “Marta” one of the greatest challenges is to get financing for our work. The Latvian government does not support NGOs in Latvia also it is difficult to get resources from other funds because the EU member countries are not priority. There is a smaller amount of foundations supporting human trafficking issues.

What is the potential demand for your innovation?

Every year more then two hundred thousand tourists visit Riga. A lot of them are sex tourists who have came to Latvia with only one aim. Riga is attractive place also for bachelor’s parties- most men are from the U.K., Ireland and Italy. With Riga’s Best Night Life Guide we want to address especially them. And let them know that our girls is not for sale and there are a lot of other interesting things to do for entertainment in Riga.

What are the main barriers to financial sustainability?

The situation for NGOs in Latvia is difficult now as the government does not support this sector and funds priority for outside donors is for non-EU countries.

The Story
What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.

The Centre “Marta” has had more than 8 years of experience with women’s right issues. Since 2005 we also have provided assistance to victims of human trafficking. Last year we supported 20 victims. Latvia is origin and recent time also target county. There is high level of internal trafficking as well.
In the last years Latvia has been known as a sex tourism country. To decrease the number of sex tourists and victims of human trafficking, our team brainstormed a lot of ideas about what we could do to fix this problem. For our resources at that time (year 2006) the best and most realistic idea was publishing Riga’s Best Night Life Guide, an attractive and creative way to direct attention on to the action of sex tourists.

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material

The Resource Center for Women Marta is a non-profit non-governmental organization that provides a rehabilitation services to the victims of human trafficking, free of charge. We also provide a number of educational workshops to stop human trafficking by educating at risk women, border guards, police, judges social workers, teachers etc., about the dangers of human trafficking. We also facilitate the social integration of low-income women, provide support services and rehabilitation for victims of domestic violence, influence and monitor processes of political development.

Emphasis of Work

The Resource Center for Women “Marta” works in all levels prevention, prosecution and protection. In 2005 there was an international exhibition entitled “Trafficking” in the biggest cities of Latvia. It was the artistic way to engage society about this issue. Our specialists have organized a lot of seminars and trainings for different specialists. Also trainings for pupils were provided. We have created hotline which provides information on safe work abroad and human trafficking; also home page www.cilvektirdznieciba.lv (human trafficking) was formulated.
Our everyday work is connected strongly with prosecution we are monitor all the processes in politics and point to the weakest links and give advice.
We work directly with all women who need our services and support in difficult situations. We offer rehabilitation for victims of human trafficking, legal assistance for women suffered from domestic violence, psychological consultations, legal consultations and other services such as study circles, internet etc..