02 Feb

Preventing the next victim of prostitution

Two prostituted women, M’ who was 21 and N’, 46, have tragically died last month. Both were known to the welfare authorities for their repeated attempts to exit the circle of prostitution. They now join a too long list of 51 prostituted women in Israel who died in the past decade – and of these there is public record, there undoubtedly being many more. May their souls rest in peace. Click here to read the article published in Haaretz about M’.

For those trapped in prostitution, every day that passes without significant, progressive, legal and social change is critical. Last year, an inter-ministerial committee was established by the Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, to examine possible Government sponsorship of the “Nordic Model” bill written by TFHT.

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19 Dec

A viral video revealing the true story of prostituted women

On December 13th, a video clip related to the business card was published on social media revealing the true story of many prostituted women and the pain, suffering, and daily violence and abuse they endure. The video was produced by “Probon” Advertising and donated to TFHT. The video became viral, viewed by 740,000 individuals, and received thousands of “shares”. The video evoked widespread discussion about prostitution and its effects on society, as well as the need to address potential and current consumers of prostituted services. We are also aware that the video’s provocative language, “immodesty” and its directness engendered criticism about the limits of that discussion.
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Continue Reading A viral video revealing the true story of prostituted women

15 Dec

It’s about time to close the Pussycat Club

TFHT repeatedly confronted the Tel-Aviv Municipality and Israeli Police about the Pussycat Club, a strip club notorious for running a brothel in its back rooms undisturbed by any local authority. Finally, the police raided the Club, founding evidence of sexual services solicited, and ordered the destruction of its “private” rooms.

Subsequently, last week TFHT filed an administrative appeal against the Tel-Aviv Municipality and its Mayor, Ron Huldai, asking the court to cancel it’s license and close the Club.

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Continue Reading It’s about time to close the Pussycat Club

17 Jul

Keeping Up with the Times: Combating Prostitution on the Internet

According to the national survey on prostitution, conducted by the Ministries of Social Services and Public Security, the virtual world has become a significant platform for the recruitment, advertisement, operation and sale of sexual services and prostitution. The survey found that in 2014 there were about 670 active Israeli “sex websites.”

Examination of these websites exposes an entire virtual industry with thousands of advertisements of sexual nature. They include many that clearly violate the law against prostitution-related offenses (such as pimping and advertising the sale of sexual services), feature erotic pictures of minors and solicitation ads for prostitution, and offer sexual services that are provided online.

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Continue Reading Keeping Up with the Times: Combating Prostitution on the Internet

17 Jun

In Israel’s Prostitution Industry, the Women Supervisors Get Exploited Too

Non-sex work at a brothel is still selling sex. Plus there’s the danger of a violent customer, while male managers make the big money. If only Israel’s courts understood.

Vered Lee,  Jun 17, 2016,  Ha’aretz

Over the course of a year, Meital, a 35-year-old single mother, ran a brothel – a “small and solid” place, she says. “I rented a simple furnished apartment in a poor, neglected and crumbling building. I published an ad and employed a woman as a prostitute. I started with one and moved on to two as things developed,” says Meital – all the women’s names have been changed for this story. “The place was open from 9 A.M. until 4 P.M., when I would answer the phone from my other job, and when there wasn’t any interest in the morning, the place was open in the evening.”

Continue Reading In Israel’s Prostitution Industry, the Women Supervisors Get Exploited Too

09 Jun

One brothel closed, what about the rest?

On May 30th, Judge Itai Hermelin of the Tel Aviv Magistrate Court ruled that the brothel at 36 Yitzhak Sadeh Street must be closed for 90 days. At the same time, the judge stated that in the future brothels run by women – as opposed to men – should not be targeted.

The Yitzhak Sadeh brothel is a well-known and especially large operation and we welcome its closing as a part of a trend of greater law enforcement against commercial sex establishments in Tel Aviv and the rest of the country. However, we must also recognize that the ruling exposes the failure of our current laws to provide a comprehensive solution to prostitution in Israel. By concentrating only on related offenses (such as pimping and owning a brothel), our laws attempt to tackle the issue without addressing the two main players – the women trapped in the cycle of prostitution and the customers who continue to fuel the demand for the “industry.”

The ruling puts Israel on a dangerous path towards legalization by providing the conditions under which the operation of a brothel may be legal. Allowing women to operate brothels does not empower or improve the conditions of women in prostitution. It only helps further entrench in our society the acceptability of purchasing sexual services and ensures institutional support for the exploitation of women in the sex industry. Furthermore, it supplies pimps and human traffickers with the know-how to mask their operations as legitimate businesses – for example, by instructing the prostituted women to claim ownership of and support for the business when questioned by police.

We must stop this dangerous trend toward legalization of prostitution in Israel. The time has come for Israel to reform its prostitution laws and adopt the Nordic Model. We call on the Israeli Knesset members to join the Coalition Against Prostitution’s demand to criminalize the purchase of sexual services and provide aid to those trapped in prostitution.

פילוח זירות זנות בישראל

08 Jun

The Coalition Against Prostitution Statement Regarding the Closing of the Brothel at Yitzhak Sadeh 36, Tel Aviv

The Coalition Against Prostitution
Statement Regarding the Closing of the Brothel at Yitzhak Sadeh 36, Tel Aviv

On Monday, May 30th a verdict was finally given regarding the brothel on 36 Yitzhak Sadeh Street, Tel Aviv. His Honor Judge Hermelin’s ruling is an excellent example of the anomaly that exists in Israel’s current prostitution laws. In a feat of legal gymnastics, the judge arrived at the only possible conclusion of the proceedings, a 90-day shut-down of the brothel (the maximum amount of time allowed by law).

Continue Reading The Coalition Against Prostitution Statement Regarding the Closing of the Brothel at Yitzhak Sadeh 36, Tel Aviv

02 May

In anti-prostitution battle, Israel takes a trick out of Europe’s book

Justice Ministry to mull the popular ‘Nordic model’ of criminalizing the frequenting of sex workers, but Israelis aren’t sold on the idea

MARISSA NEWMAN, May 2, 2016, THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

You may glimpse them lingering, all decked out at Tel Aviv’s decrepit old bus station, loitering around the train station in Beersheba or soliciting customers on Haifa’s coastline. But apart from the occasional headline (such as when a long-time prostitute hanged herself in a Tel Aviv brothel), tucked away in so-called “discreet apartments,” Israel’s some 12,000 sex workers in the NIS 1.2 billion ($318 million) industry are largely invisible to many Israelis.

But the issue may soon head to the Knesset: The Justice Ministry announced last week it will form a committee to evaluate whether to criminalize paying for sex, broadly modeling itself on such countries as Sweden, Norway, and, as of earlier this month, France. The director-general of the Justice Ministry, Amy Palmer, will head the committee, and representatives from other ministries will be on it as well but have not yet been appointed, according to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s spokesperson.

Continue Reading In anti-prostitution battle, Israel takes a trick out of Europe’s book

26 Apr

NGO Report: Israel Fails to Crack Down on Human Trafficking

Government agencies aren’t cooperating enough and more sex workers are arriving from Eastern Europe than before, the report by Hotline for Refugees and Migrants says

Ilan Lior  Apr 26, 2016, HA’ARETZ

Human rights organizations are identifying far more victims of human trafficking than the state, a rights group says in a new report. According to the report, prepared by the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, about 80 percent of trafficking victims from the asylum-seeker community were identified last year by human rights organizations rather than state agencies. The Hotline itself identified 28 African asylum seekers as trafficking victims who had suffered torture in the Sinai Peninsula en route to Israel. At the organization’s urging, the state recognized 19 of them as trafficking victims, and four were released from Saharonim Prison.

The report adds that last year saw a rise in the number of women who came to Israel on tourist visas from Eastern Europe and were put to work in the sex industry. It says 11 such women, after being arrested on suspicion of engaging in prostitution, were deported by the Population, Immigration and Border Authority without any coordination with the police or examination of the circumstances that brought them to Israel. Even though the administrative tribunals that deal with such cases have harshly criticized this lack of coordination, there have been no signs of any improvement, the report says.

Over the past decade, Israel worked hard to improve its handling of human trafficking in order to earn a Tier-1 ranking on the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report, Hotline says. And as long as Israel was trying to improve its ranking, state agencies were careful to coordinate in an effort to end human trafficking. But in recent years, cooperation between the population authority and the police has deteriorated, the report says.
As a result, women arrested for prostitution are sometimes deported even before police have questioned them to find out whether they were trafficking victims, making it impossible for the police to find the traffickers.

Continue Reading NGO Report: Israel Fails to Crack Down on Human Trafficking