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How Israel Stopped Trafficking in Women

Chairman of the Knesset Subcommittee on Trafficking in Women David Tsur explains that Israeli determination and American pressure have led to the virtual eradication of human trafficking in Israel.
A woman with a price tag on her hand is displayed in the window of a store called Woman To Go in a shopping mall in Tel Aviv October 19, 2010, The store was opened for one day to raise awareness and protest against the trafficking of women. REUTERS/Nir Elias (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY) - RTXTLHD

“The phenomenon of trafficking in women in Israel has disappeared,” according to Knesset member David Tsur of the HaTenua Party, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Trafficking in Women and Prostitution. Tsur, a retired major general in the police, was previously the commander of the Tel Aviv police district and the head of the operational headquarters of the Ministry of Public Security. In these roles he had first-hand exposure to the phenomenon, which was quite widespread in Israel at the beginning of the millennium. The reports of the US State Department from 2002 included Israel, alongside countries such as Sudan and Somalia, on the blacklist of countries where women are trafficked on a daily basis and sold into the prostitution industry.

Thus it is indeed a noteworthy accomplishment that in the State Department's latest report, published in June, Israel received, for the second time in a row, the highest grade in the fight against the phenomenon. But beyond the accomplishment in itself, it’s important to understand how the state of Israel managed to deal so effectively with a problem that involved a lot of money, international criminal organizations and even security implications, since most of the women were brought to Israel through the border with Egypt, which was then very porous.

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