These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Help Israel combat sex traffickin​g and prostituti​on

Posted on January 23, 2012 by Rose

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Dear all,

At Sunday’s community lunch I mentioned a new project I was working on for Rabbi Levi Lauer’s organisation Atzum and the Task Force on Human Trafficking.   Please see below for more details and how you can help with the mere click of a button.

As I am sure you are aware Israel is a major destination for sex trafficking and research shows that most of Israel’s prostitutes enter the sex industry between the ages of 12 and 13. In its Trafficking in Person’s Report for 2011 the US State Department labelled Israel a “tier 2” country, meaning that Israel has not only a significant amount of human trafficking but has failed to take adequate steps to combat it. It is estimated that there are currently more than 10,000 prostitutes working in Israel, 4,000 of whom of minors. Most of t he women and girls who work in prostitution are controlled by pimps, and experience significant acts of violence at the hands of their clients. The customers of prostitutes come from every segment of society, and they make an estimated million visits a month to forced prostitutes.

Next month on February 12th, the Ministerial Committee, comprised of 21 ministers, will be voting on a crucial piece of Israeli legislation. The legislation under consideration, proposed by Kadima Knesset Member Orit Zuartez, criminalizes the purchase of all sexual services. This bill is based closely on the Nordic Law, which has been enacted in Sweden, Iceland, Norway, and most recently France. The Nordic model, which establishes consequences for those who purchase sexual services, works on the principle that in order to effectively combat sex trafficking and prostitution the demand for sexual services must be addre ssed. It has proven to be an effective deterrent to potential clients of prostitutes and the countries that have passed legislation based on this model have seen significant declines in both prostitution and sex trafficking.

In addition it is vital that we lobby the Ministerial Committee to send the proposed bill to the Knesset, and allow it to be put to a vote. Without your help in lobbying for this the Committee could decide to kill the bill. We therefore ask that you take part in our 119 campaign to lobby the individual members of the Justice Committee by writing to explain how important this legislation is and how urgent the need is for it to be passed now. To send an automatic letter to the Justice Committee showing your support for the bill please click on the link below:

And invite all your friends to join the facebook group here:

We are also hoping to organize demonstrations on this issue outside international Israeli Consulates on the 5th of February at 11am. If you know people in your home towns who may be willing to take part please do let me know and I will help you to organise. With your help this bill will make it into the Knesset, where we will continue to lobby for it to be passed into Israeli law.

The Task Force on Human Trafficking strongly believes that Israel must eradicate this form of modern slavery. The time has come for our society to stop tolerating the purchase of sexual services. There must be real  consequences in place for those who purchase sex to the great detriment of women, children, and Israeli society as a whole. This is a call to action. If you care about the future of Israel, if you want the State to be a leader in the war against modern slavery, then we urge you to get involved in our campaign.

If you have any questions, want to do more to help or would or like to see a copy of the proposed bill please either email or find me in person to discuss.

Best wishes,