Knesset passes human trafficking bill

NGOs estimate that there are more than 15,000 victims of human trafficking in Israel.

October 18, 2006 02:02
1 minute read.
Knesset passes human trafficking bill

human trafficking 88. (photo credit: )

In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the Knesset approved a law to strengthen and broaden laws against human trafficking. The bill, which was drafted by MK Zehava Gal-On (Meretz) and supported by the government, increases the time served for involvement in human trafficking to 16-20 years. It also broadens the definition of trafficking in men, women and children. Over the summer, a US report on human trafficking listed Israel as "in danger" of falling into the top 100 countries where human trafficking takes place. Estimates of the scope of human trafficking vary widely. In labor trafficking, NGOs estimate that there are more than 15,000 victims in the country, while government officers say there are only isolated incidences. In the area of sex trafficking, NGOs say there are thousands of victims, while the government claims only hundreds. "We are talking about an innovative, revolutionary, and precedent-setting law which deals harshly with traffickers of people and body parts. The law will provide law enforcement officers better tools to combat the phenomenon," said Gal-On. "We knew that if we didn't act now the problem would only grow to the point where we could not longer hope to battle it." In a recent meeting of the Committee on the Status of Women, chairman MK Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) listed the many problems with trying to stop the human trafficking movement. The challenges include the lack of funds and the lack of communication with neighboring countries so that cross-border information can be accurately logged.

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