26 Sep

Shana Tovah from TFHT

There is always something to be thankful for.

Dear Friends of the Task Force on Human Trafficking and Prostitution,

Over the past year, the Task Force took major steps forward in our struggle for a more just and equal society – and the fruit of our efforts is finally showing.

This was a year of societal awakening – for the Knesset and the courts to begin addressing the exploitation, the anguish and injury that occur to those forced to work in prostitution. Tens of news articles were published about the work of the Task Force. On the eve of Rosh HaShana, the public’s commitment to finally putting an end to the destructive cycle of prostitution is stronger than ever!

This was a year in which the proposed Criminal Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services and Community Treatment bill passed the Knesset’s preliminary hearing, and the government recognized the need to take responsibility for the 12,040 prostituted women in Israel today.

This was a year which included other significant progress moving us forward, step-by-step:

  • Proposed legislation to cut off phone numbers published on “business cards” advertising sexual services passed its first reading.
  • The bill to restrict access to websites that advertise prostitution was approved by the Knesset and became law.
  • Following a petition submitted by the Task Force, the business license of central Tel-Aviv’s strip club, the “Pussycat”, a front for a brothel, was revoked!
  • The proposed legislation which forbids soliciting for prostitution through advertisements has been brought before the Knesset.

With 74 Knesset members voting support for the Criminal Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services and Community Treatment bill, and none opposing; together with the announcement from the Minister of Justice that the bill will be brought forward by the government, this coming year looks like the year for which we have long been waiting for.

May this year be a year of Tikun.
May this be the year in which the State of Israel explicitly says “No” to the consumption of prostitution services.
May this be the year in which the State of Israel establishes a rehabilitation system for women leaving prostitution!
May this be the year in which every prostituted woman knows she is not invisible and has the possibility of another life.

With many thanks and blessings for a Good, Sweet New Year,
The Task Force on Human Trafficking and Prostitution

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17 Sep

Stripping ‘sex entertainment’ down to its bare, ugly bones

(This article is taken from Haaretz website.  Click here to read it fully)

Written by Vered Lee

“The precedent-setting ruling issued Monday by Tel Aviv District Court Judge Michal Agmon Gonen that shut down a strip club in Ramat Gan puts an end to the whitewashing of prostitution and strip clubs, and aims to remove the camouflage and expose the hellish reality that’s existed in the heart of the city’s Diamond Exchange district for over 20 years.”

Continue reading Stripping ‘sex entertainment’ down to its bare, ugly bones.

12 Sep

It’s been two years. Remembering Jessica and the victims of prostitution

It has been two years since Jessica’s suicide, a woman who has been living in a brothel for the past fifteen years and exploited daily by tens of prostitution consumers. Last Thursday, August 10th 2017, we gathered for a march and a memorial ceremony held for the honor of Jessica and other 58 prostitution victims in Israel.

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We invite you to watch and share this related brief video:

13 Aug

Moving Israel to the forefront of women’s rights

(This article is taken from The Time of Israel website. Click Here to read it on the site)

Written by MK Aliza Lavie

Last month saw a historic success in the fight against prostitution in Israel: the Knesset gave unanimous preliminary approval for a bill incriminating the clients of prostitution and providing rehabilitation services to survivors of prostitution. It was a bill I submitted along with colleagues from across party lines in the Knesset, which is intended to ensure Israel joins a united front of advanced countries, who have made clear that the sale of women’s bodies as sexual merchandise is unacceptable and carries devastating consequences for women, men, children, and society as a whole.

Aliza LavieContinue Reading Moving Israel to the forefront of women’s rights

06 Aug

Sex education at Machane Yehuda market

(Click here to read the article on “Times of Israel”)

During the peak lunch hour in the middle of Jerusalem, at the Machane Yehuda shuk today, the arrival of a new food truck caused quite a bit of rukus. Calls to “come get your meat” on a loudspeaker, and girls passing out small sandwich bags, brought about large crowds expecting to get a free taste.

Meet the Meat was a typical looking roadside food truck, with a large kosher sign.  The difference was that rather than selecting your cut of meat from the cow diagram, there was an image of the female body. Each portion of the female body was labeled and numbered. The menu consists of sexually descriptive names of the female anatomy.Continue Reading Sex education at Machane Yehuda market

31 Jul

Thanks to you, we achieved so much last week

With your help, last week marked significant success in the fight to eradicate trafficking and prostitution in Israel! There is much to report, please read on.

Our New Favorite Number: 74
On July 16, TFHT’s Criminal Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services and Community Treatment Bill, based on internationally recognized Nordic Model legislation, passed a preliminary vote in Israel’s Knesset with 74 Members of Knesset (MKs) voting approval. Notably, there were no abstentions or nay votes.

Watch the discussions and voting from the Knesset session (with English subtitles):

Continue Reading Thanks to you, we achieved so much last week

24 Jul

TFHT’s bill approved by the Ministers Committee

A Historic Step Towards Changing the Face of Israel Society!

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved the proposed Criminal Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services and Community Treatment Bill, 2017, drafted by the Task Force on Human Trafficking and Prostitution and by MKs Shuli Mualem-Refaeli and Zehava Gal-On. The Committee also voted support for parallel measures submitted by MKs Dr. Aliza Lavie (Chair of the Sub-Committee on Sex Trafficking and Prostitution), Aida Toma-Suleiman, and Merav Ben-Ari (Chair of the Committee on Advancing Women’s Status).

Continue Reading TFHT’s bill approved by the Ministers Committee

12 Jul

This Sunday TFHT’s bill will reach the Ministers Committee, it’s time for pressure!

Sunday, July 16, a bill initiated and shaped by TFHT and  promoted by MKs Shuli Mualem-Refaeli and Zahava Galon, will be submitted to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation. The bill seeks to criminalize the purchase of prostitution and provide rehabilitation for prostituted persons.

In preparation for this ministerial decision, the first and critical step toward passage in the Knesset’s current session, we seek to mobilize all possible support to ensure that the proposal will be passed. Therefore, we ask you now to email the members of the Ministerial Committee of Legislation, urging their support of this bill  to abolish prostitution in Israel.

Please forward this letter to friends, relatives and community leaders so that they might also help. This Sunday is the time to demand Israel’s decision-makers fulfill the will of the public and act without delay to prohibit the consumption of prostitution and rehabilitate victims of prostitution in Israel.
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Continue Reading This Sunday TFHT’s bill will reach the Ministers Committee, it’s time for pressure!

06 Jul

Even if we ignore it, prostitution exists, and this is how it sounds

One of the least discussed issues regarding prostitution is the role of the consumer, the client (or john) who drives the entire “industry”, creating demand for prostitution.

Prostituted people report that johns come from diverse socioeconomic and religious backgrounds.  Most are in committed relationships, or married, with families.The recently published National Survey on Prostitution in Israel conducted by the Ministries of Social Affairs and Public Security revealed that men purchase sex one million times each year, paying over one and one-quarter billionIsrael shekels for such services.

Disappointingly, however, the survey contained only limited research into the primary driving factor – consumption. It is unfortunate that government authorities have yet to acknowledge the critical role of clients in the enduring phenomenon of enslaving others in prostitution.

It is time for Israel society to raise the curtain on those who purchase prostitution, to bring to attention their responsibility in perpetrating the systematized violent exploitation of thousands of people, the majority girls and women. We must call out the client, who, together with pimps and traffickers, sustains the vicious cycle of prostitution.

Continue Reading Even if we ignore it, prostitution exists, and this is how it sounds

16 Jun

BUSINESS LICENSE REVOKED FOR LARGE STRIP CLUB FOLLOWING PROSTITUTION ALLEGATIONS

The Tel Aviv Municipality revoked the business license of the well-known Pussycat strip club in late April following prostitution allegations and an NGO is planning to oppose efforts to renew their license.

The revocation follows a petition filed by the Task Force on Human Trafficking (TFHT) in the Tel Aviv District Court in December and police findings that sex services were provided in private rooms in the club.

 

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Click here to read the article on the Jerusalem Post website.