Upon implementing various projects MARTA expands its work within the field of research and gathers research results, making sure these gain the widest publicity possible and are quotable and influential, thus promoting gender equality and the rights of women, fostering MARTA’s cooperation with other national and international institutions, facilitating a sustainable growth of the society and caring for the recognition of MARTA.

Research. Youth violence and well-being. 2022

Reinforced and upgraded youth group methodology on building healthy relationships (Re-GROUP) is a strategic partnership project funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. The project focuses on the use of the Youth Group methodology, developed by the MARTA Center in Latvia, as well as on research in the partner countries of the project - Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania, Spain. 
In 2010, MARTA Centre started a prevention program – Youth Group methodology. It was created through years of piloting by young people for young people (ages 12-18) who are building their adult selves so this transition can be as free, healthy and empowering as possible. The methodology has proved itself to be a meaningful educational tool in the context of Latvia. Re-GROUP as a project has covered the need for bigger and broader piloting of the methodology, but also for research on the topic. From the most important topics of the Youth Group Methodology, Re-GROUP as a partnership decided to focus on conducting national research in our four countries, focusing on well-being and violence among young people. As our work has proven that far too often, young people don’t have their voices heard about their own needs, we conducted large parts of this research by reaching out directly to young people. To balance and provide scale to the research, we also reached out to youth workers, who have daily interactions with young people and know their struggles and victories closely. We also examined the existing data, legal framework and literature, to provide the needed framework of this research paper. We believe the findings of this product will be useful to youth workers and others in the field of youth, for future policy frameworks, for reference, and for future initiatives. The insight that the Re-GROUP Research paper provides on the topics of youth violence and well-being could be impactful for future actions not only by project partners, but by all actors in the field of youth and violence prevention in the partner countries. 
This Research paper was created by: Raya Tsvetkova, Ali Honaramiz, Madara Mazjane, Kourosh Honaramiz, Anna Kurska, Alise Švandere, Marta Muižniece, Ako Cekulis, Mihai Lupu, Vlăduț Andreescu. Download research

Mind the Gap Report. Needs analysis for the integration of female migrant victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation

The objective of the COALESCE project is to provide support to female migrant victims of trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation in Europe. By providing gender-specific psycho-social, legal and economic support and assistance to migrant women victims of sex trafficking, the project seeks to develop synergies and complementarities in facilitating needs identification, assistance and support to female third-country nationals victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. Download research

Sexual violence against men

The topic of sexual violence is still relevant in Latvia, and many improvements are still needed in law enforcement, social and educational systems that would promote understanding of sexual violence, its detection and prevention. So far, Latvia has not had a separate focus on sexual violence against male victims, which, on the one hand, is to be supported, as violence is a serious violation of human rights regardless of gender, but, on the other hand, given that sexual violence is more common women, men often remain in the shadows. Download research

Sexual abuse is widespread among young people in Latvia

A study carried out by the MARTA Center with the financial support of the European Commission in 2013 found that sexual abuse among young people is widespread in all European countries, and 73% of young people aged 13 to 18 have been subjected to at least one type of sexual abuse more than once.

The study defines sexual harassment as a term that covers sexual harassment, intimidation due to a persons sexual identity or expression, and transphobic harassment.

The leading partner of the project "Recognition of Sexual Bowling in Europe" and the author of the research methodology is Leeds Beckett University in Great Britain. Download research

Research on prostitution signals - You could be hurt too!

"You could be hurt too!" was the name of the March 2014 information campaign, in which we wanted to draw attention to the fact that everyone is vulnerable and due to the coincidence of different circumstances can end up in the “business” nails of human trafficking.

The campaign is based on the first study in Latvia, which tries to answer the questions:

What conditions affect women into prostitution?
How are girls and women recruited for prostitution in Latvia and sexual or other exploitation outside the country?

A set of economic, social and psychological conditions leads to prostitution as a last resort. But recruiters are increasingly using interesting methods to engage young women in prostitution. For example, by placing job advertisements with great “career development” opportunities abroad, without the need to know foreign languages ​​or present educational documents.

Read the opinions of the persons involved in prostitution, the assessment of specialists, the analysis of the objectification of cultivated women in the media environment and also the opinion on the fates of Latvian and Estonian women in Great Britain.

The research is carried out within the framework of the project "Security Compass: Effective Solutions for Preventing Trafficking in Human Beings" of the European Commissions CRIME PREVENTION AND FIGHTING program. Download research

The Effect of Blasting Gender Stereotypes

In order to change the perception and patterns of traditional gender stereotypes, demonstrating it to be possible to have a more active life by promoting diversity of opinions, centre MARTA carried out the first systematic research in Latvia on the work of youth groups in order to see whether increasing self-confidence helps to reduce the risk for violence and human trafficking.

The research was conducted in cooperation with researchers from Scandinavia.
For the last 20 years the so called girl and boy group method has been successfully implemented in Scandinavia, motivating young people to live a responsible life, in consent with oneself rather than adopting to the norms of the society, which aren’t always genuine, correct and true.

Scandinavians have verified that educating young people is an effective way to shape an active and democratic society of tomorrow with each individual being empowered to fulfil itself, enjoy life and live an individual lifestyle.

The first research in Latvia proves that as a result of the work of the girl and boy groups young people raise their awareness and challenge the common values and behavioural norms prevailing in the society and among the contemporaries. They consider gender stereotypes and norms, allow for a diversity of opinions and are aware of their capabilities and ability to actively shape their personal life rather than just passively react to the externals.

The research shows that understanding gender stereotypes is an important aspect for prevention of violent behaviour. Only understanding femininity and masculinity can give teenagers a possibility to deliberately reject a violent behavioural model as a norm.

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The Friendly Lifestyle of Women

Centre MARTA conducted the first research of the ecological footprint in Latvia, aiming at comparing the consumption patterns of the society from a gender perspective. The results are not surprising and are similar to the tendencies elsewhere in the world — women live a more environment friendly lifestyle. The use of transportation shows the greatest difference with regard to the habits and liability of women and men.

The results of the research reveal a difference among age groups having an impact on their surroundings — older people harm the environment much less if compared to younger and middle aged people.

The research proves that differences in gender and age cannot be explained with a wish to keep the environment clean, but rather with the diverse financial means of the various groups of people to meet their needs.

The research results reveal social segregation in Latvia and demonstrate the value of social status in the society.

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