Israel Leading the Battle Against Human Trafficking

For years, Israel struggled with human trafficking. US State Dept. now says it’s leading the fight against the phenomenon.

By David Lazarus |
Photo: Moshe Shai/Flash90

Israel is leading the world in the battle against human trafficking for the eighth straight year. A report by the US State Department rates Israel as the top country dealing with the global tragedy that enslaves men, women and children, the Israel Ministry of Justice announced.

It is estimated that millions of people are transported from one country to another every year to be used in forced labor and work in the sex industry. This “industry” rakes in billions of dollars annually for the crooks who run these sinister criminal activities.

The problem was a growing issue in Israel for years, particularly the buying and selling of women and young girls for sexual exploitation. These women are often smuggled into the country and kept in captivity while they are exploited to make their “owners” rich. Sources estimate that the sex-trade industry in Israel was bringing in over $1 billion annually.

The US report reviews efforts on countering human trafficking, and Israel had a very low rating. Countries rated in the lowest levels are liable to face economic sanctions by the US.

Israel began taking the battle to the offenders in 2012, and has continued every year since to reduce the numbers of human trafficking. As an example, the report mentions the indictments filed last year accusing two Israelis aged 26 and 36 of managing a criminal organization that trafficked in women from the former Soviet Union, persuaded them to come to Israel, made them prostitutes, and laundered the profits from the services they provided.

The indictment also states that the two men operated an organization with drivers for transporting the women to apartments, managers, real estate agents, website operators and accountants transferring funds through concealed channels.

In another case in 2018 following an investigation by the central unit of the Tel Aviv police department, over NIS 4.5 million ($12.6 million) was seized from those suspected of human trafficking, tax offenses, and money laundering.

Ministry of Justice Director General Emi Palmor said, “The unit that coordinates the struggle against human trafficking in the Ministry of Justice is continuing this year to lead the use of integrated tools and the state’s authority in the various spheres in the struggle against the phenomenon of human trafficking.”

“There is a good reason why Israel is on the highest level of the US State Department’s report,” Palmor continued. “The coordination unit will continue advancing Israel’s efforts in this area, and preserving its clear achievements, while coping with new patterns of human trafficking in all of its forms in Israel.”


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