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by the Task Force, the business license of central Tel-Aviv’s strip club, the “Pussycat”, a front for a brothel, was revoked!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