Human trafficking in Israel rakes in very easy more than USD billion a year.Thousands of women are being smuggled into Israel, creating a booming sex trade industry that rakes more than USD one billion a year, a parliamentary committee said on Wednesday. That's over a billion and very easy could be more...The question is how many of these women are being smuggled into America & Canada.
This has always been a problem in Israel and has had many groups along with groups around the globe pointing fingers and all eyes on Israel (who is seen as a leader in the industry) to do something about this growing problem. The pressure was so bad that The Parliamentary Inquiry Committee, headed by Knesset member Zehava Galon of the left-wing Yahad party, commissioned a report in an effort to show that Israel is prepared to combat the sex trade in Israel. Conservative findings showed that some 3,000 and 5,000 women are smuggled to Israel annually and sold into the prostitution industry, where they are constantly subjected to violence and abuse.
Their report, issued annually, said some 10,000 such women currently reside in about 300 to 400 brothels throughout the state. They are traded for about USD 8,000 – USD 10,000, the committee said.
Israel under pressure passed a law in 2003 that would allow the state to confiscate the profits of traffickers, but watchdog groups say like every other law that has something to do with non-Jewish is rarely enforced.
Most foreign prostitutes in Israel come from Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Russia and many are smuggled in across the Egyptian border.
The committee found that the women work seven days a week for up to 18 hours every day and that out of the NIS 120 paid by customers, they are left with just NIS 20, while the rest of the money is passed on to their traders.
The prostitutes face constant threats of abuse and murder, the report said, and Israeli law does little to help them. Delays in trial dates and prolonged hearings force the women to remain exposed to violence for more than a year until they are called in to provide testimony, and courts rarely collect early testimonies, as permitted by law.
To help combat the problem, Officials should refrain from making plea bargains with sex traders and severe punishment for officials in the state and police officers that are making lots of money from turning a blind eye.I would also advise they should also raise the threshold of punitive measures also allow for financial compensation for sex trade victims.
Lets look at who these women are and the living hell they go through. Several dozen women have successfully escaped the grip of pimps that have turned their lives into a living hell. These women live in a secret shelter in Tel Aviv until they testify against their former pimps, then they are deported to their countries of origin.
Thursday, some of them went public as part of a new exhibition in Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station, sharing the harsh details of their experiences.
The exhibit, called “Over the Road”, focuses on the public’s approach to women as chattel. It is intended to be a harsh protest against the underground brothels that continue to flourish despite legislation banning them.
Thousands sold each year
The women say the exhibit is primarily intended to reach the customers of their former bosses - the individuals who keep the business rolling along.
Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of women, men and children are sold each year. In Israel, a very conservative number puts 1,000-3,000 women being sold annually, all for the sex industry.
Volunteers from the Center to Help Foreign Workers and the Clinic for the Fight Against Women Trafficking at Hebrew University have collected many testimonies of victims of women trafficking and documented the way in which they were brought to Israel.
K., from Russia, worked on Erlinger Street in Tel Aviv. She says her boss would “fine” his workers “for everything—if I asked to have
a shower between customers, if I went out without permission. At first we had enough food, but after a while it they said it was too expensive. We barely had enough soap—and during the dirtiest time of my life.”
N. says her pimp used the women for bartering. “If he wanted vegetables from the supermarket, he would ‘give’ one of the girls to a worker in exchange for the vegetables. He bartered us for food, jewelry and other things.”
Y., from Moldava, says she was forced into sado-masochism. “Customers would beat us. They had special instruments. They would drip hot wax all over my body and force me to do painful, degrading things. Of course they enjoyed it—they paid extra for it.”
One woman, also from Moldava, said she received no wages for her services. “(My boss) told me he bought me for 50,000 shekels, and that I had to ‘return’ the money (by working for free) before I could start to earn wages. They also made me pay 50 shekels a day for food and condoms”
N., from Ukraine, worked on Peretz Street in Tel Aviv, explains why women don’t run away. “We all dreamt of escaping, but they even managed to steal the dream from us after someone did leave. A week after she disappeared, her family's home in Moldava was firebombed.”
She says they were given one rest day per month: the first day of their period. “The first day we could take off. The rest of the time I was having my period, I had to use a diaphragm to prevent bleeding. But I had to continue taking customers.”
Nowhere to run
“We had nowhere to run,” says H. from Ukraine. “The door was always locked, bars on the windows, and there was a closed-circuit TV in each room.
“And even if you managed to get out—where would you go? What would you do? Several customers were police officers, and other cops would check our visas and leave. So who would we have turned to for help?