17 Apr

THFT Director Michal Leibel in the Knesset

Michal_Leibel_pic-237x300Every day, THFT Director Michal Leibel can be found in the halls of the Knesset and offices of government ministers and MKs in an effort to secure cross-party support of TFHT authored Nordic Model legislation. Last August, she added one more task to her already busy agenda.

For four months Michal made a weekly four-hour round-trip bus ride between Jerusalem and Haifa to facilitate an unusual discussion group in collaboration with Ofek Nashi (Women’s Horizons), a program that provides support and shelter for women who have left, or are in the process of escaping prostitution. An initiative of the Municipality of Haifa and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Ofek Nashi seeks to rebuild the lives of women who, as a result of being prostituted, have suffered substance abuse; mental, sexual, and physical violence; and family, health and legal problems. Over the course of one year, participants receive individual counseling, take part in group therapy, undergo job training, and meet women leaders in an effort to prepare themselves for independent life off the streets.

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13 Apr

It’s Israel’s Turn to Adopt the Nordic Model

On April 6, the French Parliament voted 64 to 12 to pass the Nordic Model to criminalize the purchase of sexual services, while offering aid and rehabilitation programs to victims of prostitution. According to the new French law, offenders will face a fine of €1,500 for a first offense and €3,750 for repeated offenses and will also be required to attend classes on the dangerous effects of prostitution. In passing this legislation, France joined Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland and Canada in proving its commitment to human rights and gender equality.

Countries that have adopted the Nordic Model have seen a considerable reduction in prostitution. In contrast, attempts to criminalize the sale of sexual services and/or legalize prostitution have proven ineffective. Only by eliminating the demand for such services can we limit and eradicate this phenomenon, sending a clear message that Israeli society is unwilling to tolerate the purchase of women, men and children’s bodies for sexual services.

According to a recent survey on prostitution in Israel, two thirds of women report turning to prostitution out of financial desperation, and 76% express desire to break out of the cycle of prostitution. The time has come for Israel to demonstrate its own commitment to justice. We call on Knesset Members of Israel to support legislation to criminalize the purchase of sexual services while providing support for those in prostitution.

Frace

11 Apr

HAARETZ – Punish Clients, Not Prostitutes

11Haaretz Editorial, Haaertz Newspaper, 11/04/2016

Prostitutes in Tel Aviv.The photograph shows two figures wearing high boots standing on a street, their backs to the camera.

A “major advance” for human rights and women’s rights was how French Prime Minister Manuel Valls described the law passed by his country’s parliament on Wednesday, making it illegal to pay for sex in France. From now on, engaging the service of a prostitute is a criminal offense that carries a fine.Continue Reading HAARETZ – Punish Clients, Not Prostitutes

01 Apr

Prostitution and Brothels – how legal are they across the world?

By Asa Bennet, The Telegraph, 01/06/2016

From today, paying for sex becomes illegal in Northern Ireland, following the examples of Norway and Sweden in criminalising the clients of sex workers.  Many believe the move will prompt similar laws in the rest of the UK, despite strong opposition from those who argue that legalisation would be the best protection for those involved.

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07 Mar

Int’l Women’s Day and Prostitution

This week we will celebrate International Women’s Day. Though it has been over one-hundred years since the founding of this Day, we have yet to achieve true equality in our society and have yet to eradicate the exploitation of women in prostitution.

When speaking about prostitution, we generally discuss the destructive influence it has on women trapped in the cycle of the trade. In recognition of International Women’s Day, we would like to address the link between prostitution and other issues of gender equality: equal pay for men and women; equal representation in the government, the judicial system and in core decision-making posts; sexual violence; and violence against women in the home and in public spaces.

Prostitution is a form of violence against women, situated at the furthest point on the continuum of gender inequality. It engenders a situation in which a woman’s body is commoditized even as the woman herself becomes invisible. Prostitution is thus the point where we cease to see women as people and perceive them as objects, vessels, bodies for sale.

For this reason, there is a close relationship between the status of every woman in our society and the phenomenon of prostitution. In the same way, as long as slavery remained legal in most of world no man or woman was truly free, so too as long as it is acceptable to use women for the purpose of prostitution, no one among us is truly free.

Therefore, on this International Women’s Day, we call all Knesset Members of Israel to act to eliminate prostitution from the world in the only proven, effective way – adoption of the Nordic Model which criminalizes the purchase of prostituted services, while assisting women to escape the cycle of prostitution. Only in this way will we be able to pave the way for a new generation of children with equal respect for women and men who understand no one is allowed to misuse or abuse their bodies.

It is 2016, time that the State of Israel pass the National Struggle Against Prostitution Bill prohibiting the purchase of sexual services and providing aid to prostitution survivors.

06 Mar

Prostitution in Israel Netted $308 Million in 2014, First-ever Survey Finds

By Lee Yaron and Or Kashti, Haaretz Newspaper, 06/03/2016

The first-ever government survey into prostitution in Israel found that annual payments to sex workers amounted to an estimated 1.2 billion shekels ($308.2 million) in 2014. The survey by the social affairs and public security ministries found there were between 11,420 and 12,730 prostitutes in Israel that year, 95 percent of them female. The data, published last week, showed that each sex worker had approximately 660 clients a year.

Continue Reading Prostitution in Israel Netted $308 Million in 2014, First-ever Survey Finds

15 Feb

UK’s First “Red-Light” District: Leeds Cruel Solution to Prostitution and Violence

By Taina Bien-Aimé, The Huffington Post, 08/02/2016

On an ordinary winter day in 2014, Mary Honeyball led her colleagues in the European Parliament to pass a groundbreaking resolution urging member states to examine their policies on sexual exploitation, prostitution and its impact on gender equality. The purpose, the report describes in detail, is to tackle sex trafficking and its end goal, the sex trade, by targeting those who purchase sexual acts while solely decriminalizing those who sell their bodies.

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08 Feb

Shutdown of sex-trafficking websites long overdue

By Alisa Bernard, The Seattle Times, 22/01/2016

alisabernard

I CRIED with joy when I learned the King County Sheriff’s Office, the Bellevue Police Department, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the FBI shut down one of the longest-running sites promoting prostitution in the Northwest.

I know it’s one of the oldest online sites because more than a decade ago my body was being sold on it.

This website allows sex buyers to review women they have bought, encourages other men to do the same, and it does nothing to reduce the harm to these women. Reviews include such details as whether the women matched their pictures, to prices for each sex act or hour, thinly veiled in board lingo as “donations.”Continue Reading Shutdown of sex-trafficking websites long overdue

20 Dec

Review ‘Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution’

By Rachelle Tchiprout

PaidFor

‘Paid For – My Journey Through Prostitution’ by Rachel Moran is an autobiographical book about her experiences as a prostituted woman in Ireland for 7 years. There are a number of things Rachel Moran has taught me – and her story is one that should be shared with all. All of these lessons are essential to the knowledge of the world of prostitution, and essential to my understanding of the roles of women in today’s society. The key things I have learnt from Rachel can be summarized as:

  1. Prostitution is not, and never will be, a product of ‘sexual liberation’
  2. Women do not ‘choose’ prostitution. Is it a ‘choice’ when there appears to be no viable alternative?
  3. Prostitution should not be made illegal. The act of buying sex should be. Why punish the exploited and not the exploiter? (Also known as the ‘Nordic model’)
  4. There is no difference between a ‘high-class prostitute’ and a street-walker.
  5. Drugs are commonly a result of prostitution (and thus perpetuate it), as the women involved search for a mental escape from their traumatic lives.
  6. If you have never experienced prostitution, you cannot possibly assess the extent of its mental and physical influence over an individual.

Continue Reading Review ‘Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution’

20 Dec

UN Report – where is Israel’s response to child prostitution?

A recent report by the UN slammed Israel’s response to child prostitution – stating that there is no controlled coordination between agencies of the state to deal with the problem, no clear data and no sufficient prosecution for perpetrators.

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