Prostitution policy: Nordic Model

December 31, 2018 will be remembered by many as the day Israel’s Knesset did the right thing by finally passing the “Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services Bill” based on Nordic Model legislation, the international standard criminalizing the sex buyer and protecting the prostituted person, nearly always a girl or woman trafficked or coerced into prostitution. In doing so, Israel became the tenth country to demand an end of socially accepted, paid rape.

The Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services Act has been enforced in Israel on 10 July 2020.

Task Force on Human Trafficking and Prostitution (TFHT)

Established in 2004, ATZUM’s Task Force on Human Trafficking and Prostitution (TFHT) is the leading organization pursuing the eradication of human trafficking and prostitution into and within Israel and the protection of victims through legislative and other means.

Since 2007, TFHT has been actively promoting the Nordic Model in Israel, which calls for the criminalization of prostitution consumers. TFHT has been an instrumental partner in composing and promoting the bill Prohibiting the Consumption of Prostitution. Following TFHT’s long struggle the Israeli parliament passed the bill prohibiting the consumption of prostitution on December 31st, 2018. In addition, the government authorized a budget increase of 90 million NIS to expand and improve rehabilitation programs for survivors of prostitution.

The Criminal Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services and Community Treatment Bill was approved by the Knesset’s Ministerial Committee on Legislation

July 16, 2017
TFHT – The Task Force on Human Trafficking and Prostitution, a joint project of ATZUM and Kabiri-Nevo-Keidar: “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).

> Israel shifts blame for prostitution from sex workers to clients

Israel becomes the 8th Nordic Model country as it implements its Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services Act

By Dana Levy
The battle for the Nordic Model in Israel was long and hard. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Israel became a destination country for sex trafficking of women from the ex-communist countries. The authorities were mostly indifferent to what was going on and generally people incorrectly saw the trafficking victims as women who were voluntarily in the sex trade because they were seeking to improve their standard of living.

Only a small coalition of feminist activists, in collaboration with some members of Parliament, worked to eradicate this explosion in sex trafficking. They utilised international pressure and exposed the situation to the rest of the world. This led to Israel’s downgrading to Tier 3 in the US ‘Trafficking in Persons’ report – and subsequently to the Israeli Anti-Trafficking Law, which came into force on 29 October 2006. This prescribes penalties of up to 16 years’ imprisonment for sex trafficking of an adult, up to 20 years for sex trafficking of a minor, up to 16 years for slavery, and up to 7 years for forced labour. As a result, Israel has been associated with Tier 1 in the ‘Trafficking in Persons’ report now for many years.

Halting the sex trafficking did not satisfy the feminist activists, however, and they decided to continue the fight against the domestic commercial sexual exploitation industry.
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> What price for ruining the lives of 100s of young women?

Ministerial Committee approves fines for prostitution clients

Aug 5, 2017
Customers of prostitutes will face NIS 1,500 fine, courts will be able to impose up to NIS 75,300 for repeat offenders if they choose to go to trial; legislation seeks to fund rehabilitation programs and clinics, and increase awareness.

Israel takes a historic step towards the elimination of the economic and sexual exploitation of women and girls in prostitution

July 18, 2017
The Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution (CAP international) strongly welcomes the Israeli Government’s decision to approve two parliamentary bills aimed at criminalising the purchase of sex and at increasing social support and exit options for victims of prostitution.

CAP international commends the outstanding and cross-party work of female Members of the Knesset, and in particular of MKs Zehava Galon(Meretz), Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Habayit Hayehudi), and Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid).
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