In honor of International Women’s Day, the Task Force on Human Trafficking hosted a film screening and panel discussion about sex trafficking and prostitution. The event was held at the Jerusalem Cinematheque and featured The Price of Sex, a courageous documentary by photojournalist Mimi Chakarova. The film tells of tens of thousands of young Eastern European women trafficked throughout the world. It also addresses why the international community has allowed this to happen.
At the event, the Task Force recognized former Knesset Member Orit Zuaretz as a leader in the fight against sex trafficking and prostitution in Israel. TFHT was proud to present Zuaretz with ATZUM’s Ot HaDror Award which recognizes leaders who strive to abolish modern slavery. Throughout her four years in the Knesset, MK Zuaretz worked tirelessly to confront the evils of trafficking and prostitution in Israel. In addition to chairing the Knesset’s Subcommittee in Trafficking in Women, Zuaretz also sponsored and laid the foundations for the eventual passage of the Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services and Community Treatment Bill, a bill that criminalizes the purchase of sexual services to help eradicate the demand for trafficking and prostitution in Israel.
“This has been a very meaningful morning for me,” remarked Zuaretz. “I would like to thank all of my partners in this struggle throughout the last four years, and remind everyone that we still have many challenges ahead of us before trafficking and prostitution are eliminated in Israel.”
After the screening, Task Force Co-Founder Attorney Ori Keidar moderated a panel which discussed how prostitution and sex trafficking can be addressed by the new Knesset. The panel was composed of MK Dr. Adi Kohl (Yesh Atid), MK David Tzur (Hatenua), MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), and Dr. Merav Shuemli from the Anti-Trafficking Unit of the Ministry of Justice. The discussion considered the high level of child prostitution in Israel, the Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services and Community Treatment Bill, and educational initiatives that could help stem demand for sexual services.
“Even though we had representatives from several parties participating in the panel, all the MKs agreed that this concern be made an urgent priority. Moreover, the MKs committed to advancing legislation based on the Nordic Model, and we are looking forward to working with a Knesset dedicated to eliminating prostitution and trafficking,” remarked Task Force Director Attorney Gili Varon.