(photo credit: Bloomberg)
Israel has been designated a 'Tier 2' country in US State Department's annual Trafficking in Person's Report.However, in its criticism of Israel,
the report said that although it "continued law enforcement actions
against sex trafficking and continued to make strong prevention efforts,
the government continued to take inadequate steps to identify and
protect labor trafficking victims and prosecute and convict labor
trafficking offenders in the reporting period."
ranking is reserved for countries that do not fully comply with the
minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but are making
significant efforts to do so.
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The non-profit organization Physicians for Human Rights - Israel (PHR-Israel) released a statement Tuesday in response to the report.
The statement says that the report reinforces the grave failures of the Israeli government to fully address and defeat human trafficking. They are pleased that the issue of how migrants that arrive from Egypt are dealt with has been raised.
PHR-Israel also said that they hope that Israel will provide more assistance to refugees and victims of human trafficking under this renewed pressure from its most powerful ally.
of State Hillary Clinton said in a letter opening the report "We must
ensure that our efforts continue to address all forms of trafficking,
whether for sex or labor, internal or transnational, or affecting men,
women, or children. We must prevent this crime by forging partnerships
that will hold source countries responsible for exploitative recruiting
and ensure that destination countries employ vigorous victim
identification efforts and forcefully prosecute traffickers."
to the report, "The Israeli government made sustained progress in
preventing trafficking in persons over the reporting period."
the government has taken to help prevent trafficking include
well-coordinated inter-agency work, several investigations and
prosecutions of human traffickers, and an amendment to the Foreign
Workers Law in November 2010, which authorizes inspectors to enter and
inspect a private household where migrant workers are employed.
Israeli government also posts an annual summary of their
anti-trafficking efforts on the Internet and holds a Knesset meeting to
discuss each years' report.
addition, the report is critical of Israel's treatment of migrants
arriving from Sinai, saying that Israel needs to strengthen victim
identification and accord trafficking victims full protections and
It also states that Israel should "cease practice of immediately
returning migrants back to Egypt (“hot returns”) without determining if
they were trafficking victims in the Sinai."As a country with
a high level of immigration, Israel is also a destination country for
men and women subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The report
states that "low-skilled workers from Thailand, China, Nepal, the
Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, and, to a lesser extent, Romania, migrate
voluntarily and legally to Israel for temporary contract labor in
construction, agriculture, and home health care provision.
however, subsequently face conditions of forced labor. According to the
Ministry of Interior, organized Bedouin groups keep migrants captive in
the Sinai with an unknown number of them forced into sexual servitude or
labor to build homes and serve as domestic workers. Some women from the
former Soviet Union and China are subjected to forced prostitution in
Israel, although the number of women affected has declined since the
passage and implementation of Israel’s 2006 anti-trafficking bill."