10% of human traffickers are women

Monday's report by the Hotline for Migrant Workers found that 10 percent of people who traffic in women are female. The study, which profiled more than 300 people indicted for trafficking and pimping from 1992-2006, found that 34 of them were women, compared to 291 men. Nomi Levenkron, a lawyer who heads the Hotline's anti-trafficking program and authored the 110-page report, said while there were only 34 women whose cases came before the courts, "it would seem that the real number of women aiding traffickers behind the scenes is significantly larger, but they are not tried." In the document, she highlights the stories of several women who took active roles in intimidating victims of trafficking or managing various areas of their partners' trafficking enterprise but were never indicted for their actions. Initiated by MK Zehava Gal-On (Meretz), chairwoman of the Knesset Subcommittee on the Trafficking in Women, the study says there are three main groups of women who commit crimes in this area: Those who were themselves formerly prostitutes (19.3%), women who trafficked together with their domestic partners (41.9%), and women who trafficked together with other family members (23.5%). Among the remainder, there is also a small proportion of women (8.8%) who operate independently. "I was already aware of this phenomenon," Gal-On told The Jerusalem Post. "But I did not realize the scope of it." The study also found that only three of the female traffickers were born in Israel, with all the others born in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Most of the women had no criminal background; those who did, had criminal records relating to prostitution. Based on interviews with police officers regarding women traffickers, Levenkron also reported that some of the women were "even more evil and aggressive" than their male counterparts, with one female trafficker forbidding a victim to sleep for three days because she had been late in cleaning the massage parlor, and another demanding that her sex slaves clean her home when they were not entertaining clients.