From trafficker to client, the chain of trafficking involves many different people acting in different roles.

Step One: Recruitment
While some victims are kidnapped, most are recruited in their country of origin. Some are recruited personally by individuals, strangers or friends. While others respond to advertisements in the newspapers, promising high paying jobs and safe entry into a different country. Most of these women are living in abject poverty in the former Soviet Union and are desperately seeking an escape and a way to make a better life for themselves and their families. While some of these women are aware that they will be working in prostitution, none are aware of the terms under which they will be living. These women are recruited by or for traffickers, nationals of the FSU with ties to organized crime, who plan to sell these women as commodities to the highest bidder.

Step Two: Transportation
Most victims enter Israel through the border with Egypt. The traffickers arrange for them to be flown to Egypt where their passports are confiscated, preventing their escape. The victims are then transported across the Sinai desert by smugglers who often rape and abuse them along the way. The smugglers are mostly Bedouin tribesman with family relationships on both of the border, allowing them to coordinate the transfer of these women along with light weapons and drugs.

Step Three: “Sale” and “Purchase”
Once in the country, women are sold to pimps and brothel owners. Occasionally, a pimp will arrange to “purchase” a particular victim from a specific trafficker. More often, the women will be sold by private auction reminiscent of 19th century slave trade. They will be stripped and inspected and assigned a price tag of between 5,000-10,000 US dollars. Not all pimps and brothel owners have criminal records. Some men and women simply see this as an “industry” with relatively low risks and very high profits.

Step Four: Sexual Exploitation
Victims are transported to brothels and “discreet apartments” throughout the country. Pimps and brothel owners exploit the victims by forcing them to receive 10-15 clients per day on average, often without any pay. The average trafficking victim “works” between 14-18 hours a day regardless of her physical condition. Clients of trafficking victims represent a cross-section of Israeli society. It is estimated that men in Israel pay an approximately 1,000,000 visits a month to brothels around the country.

Other actors in the chain of trafficking:
Private industries, like hotels and newspapers, provide services also contribute to this atrocious human rights violation by providing services to pimps and brothels. Hotels provide special deals to brothel owners and pimps, promoting the exploitation of these women. Drivers transport the women to and from clients. Newspapers and Internet sites advertise “services” and print ads recruiting new victims into the chain of trafficking.

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