Prostitute hooker street walker 390 (R).
(photo credit: Edgard Garrido / Reuters)
Israel, for the second year in a row received a Tier 1 ranking for its efforts
to prevent human trafficking, prosecute offenders and protect victims, according
to this year’s US State Department report on human trafficking, released on
Wednesday afternoon by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
legislative level down to nonprofit organizations working with victims of sex
and labor trafficking to Israel, the annual Trafficking in Persons report
commended the country’s efforts to tackle the problem, including prevention and
treatment for the victims.
The report lauded Israel for its “law
enforcement against sex and labor trafficking, improved identification of
trafficking victims, and government- funded shelters for victims.”
report places Israel among the upper echelon of countries that are combating
modern slavery,” Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told Israel
“Nonetheless we ought to remember that the traffickers are growing
more sophisticated and they continue to sell women who are raped, beaten, and
starved. As such, we need to continue pouring in resources to prevent and deter
these crimes and to care for the victims,” she said.
Meretz leader Zehava
Galon welcomed the findings but said there was still a lot of work to be done to
combat human trafficking.
“In spite of the good news, human trafficking
still exists in Israel and we must continue to fight against it until it is
totally eradicated,” Gal-on stated.
US Ambassador Daniel Shapiro also
applauded the government for “continuing to focus on eliminating the scourge of
modern day slavery.”
“Israel has taken an all-of government approach to
tackling this global phenomenon, including legislative action in the Knesset,
police training, and providing shelters and services for trafficking victims,”
However, the report also identified areas for improvement,
including imposing stricter sentences for convicted trafficking offenders,
improving enforcement of foreign worker’s labor rights and increasing
investigation of forced prostitution of Israelis.
It cited the Knesset
Subcommittee on Trafficking in Women and the anti-trafficking unit in the
Justice Ministry among the mechanisms put in place to prevent the smuggling of
foreign workers, primarily from the Sinai Peninsula, and the exploitation of
“The anti-trafficking unit within the Justice
Ministry continued to hold meetings with government ministries, NGOs, and the
Knesset, as well as conduct training, research trafficking trends and coordinate
Israel’s response to the vulnerable group of migrants, refugees, and
asylum-seekers arriving from the Sinai,” the report stated.
the report, the hundreds of victims’ testimonies have been collected in Israel,
documenting African migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers entering the country
irregularly from Sinai “Although the numbers of migrants arriving irregularly in
Israel has decreased significantly...
abuses committed in Egypt against
this vulnerable group of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers –some of whom are
the victims of trafficking – continue to increase,” the report
NGOs have noted that conditions in detention centers are
substandard, citing a lack of access to medical, legal, and social
The TIP report is the most comprehensive worldwide study on the
efforts of governments to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons, and its
assessments are based on material collected from local government and