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Trafficking in women in Israel


The arrival of Russian migrants in the 1980s encouraged the establishment of mafia networks. They have developed human trafficking. Each year, 3,000 to 5,000 women and adolescent girls were "imported" to work primarily in the sex industry. But the nature of trafficking took several forms:

1- Trafficking for sexual purposes and prostitution externally and now internally

2 -Treatment in work

3 -Trafficking in human beings in the desert


1- The first, for sexual purposes and prostitution is traditional and commonly called white trafficking.

It concerned women from Russia, but also from Turkey, Asia, Africa and were brought illegally by criminal networks to work in brothels. These women were transported legally, others smuggled from the south by Bedouins, who made use of their "knowledge of how to move" in this desert terrain. They ended up in brothels on the shores of the Dead Sea or in various Israeli cities or in the Occupied Territories ...

It took more hidden forms, more secret in the face of the resurgence of efforts by the Police and the Israeli Government. It is less visible in the streets, sidewalks and brothels. More devious and underground form. It takes place mainly in private apartments, far from prying eyes and hidden behind bars, hotels, apartments, strip clubs, sex shops and the facades of "massage parlors" ...

In Tel Aviv, hundreds of bars, brothels and nightclubs are guarded by imposing physical security guards who guard the door which only opens to let the customer pass ... Cards with phone numbers are available. thrown to the ground because that is what girls are called, taxis then serving as touts. Some very furtively point their heads outside for a few minutes and hide ...

Another place, at night near the beach in Tel Aviv, a ballet of cars discreetly drops off young girls and men spin around and make their choice…


For years, the absence of law allowed this very profitable traffic to develop without control. Then under repeated criticism from the United States, the authorities began to act and made significant efforts to curb the trafficking in women, in particular with specialized Russian police units like those in Tel Aviv, which succeeded in dismantling trafficking networks. Mafiosi by going back to the source in the countries of origin and freeing a few years ago women locked in… walls.


Then with the 2004 Law, women were finally seen as victims rather than accomplices.

Accommodation centers were created by the government and protected by the army, such as the Maagan, a shelter for trafficked women in the center of the country. They are sheltered, cared for and benefit from reintegration and are granted a one-year visa if they denounce their trafficker.


Then, the slave trade widened internally in the country, bringing poor Israeli women from the North to the South of the State of Israel. Deceived by their relatives or friends, attracted by false promises of work ...


2 - Trafficking at work

Women and men, mainly from the Philippines, India and China, are employed in conditions close to slavery. The men work in the agricultural and construction sectors, the women are “Care-givers” with the elderly and housekeepers, who can thank you for doing it. These women are brought in by mafiosi.

Sequestration of identity documents, lack of salary, terrible working conditions, available 24 hours a day, paid for only 8 hours, without leave, "debts" to the trafficker and are left in inhuman conditions, sleeping on the floor. , without food. Many cases of breakdown and suicides ...

Some succeed in overcoming the fear and come to file a complaint with the NGO Kav Loved.


3: Human trafficking in the desert.

Only 70% of them arrive at their destination ...

According to the testimonies I have gathered, many are leaving from Sudan. They are first gathered in a so-called secret place (Kassala) in Khartoum, the smugglers wait to have about 40 people. During this time, they are not given any food, it is only on the road that they have only one meal per day consisting of rice. They suffer from hunger and lack of water, one bottle cap per day only… to wet their lips.

They pay $ 3000 to $ 4000 for the first time to go from North Sudan to South Israel. They are sold to other Bedouin smugglers who phone their families in the country. During the roll call, they torture them, burn them to terrorize the family as they scream and demand that $ 6000 be paid into a bank account. While waiting for the money, which can last several months, they are chained, tortured, beaten, raped several times.

Many will find themselves pregnant ...


But, apart from hunger, thirst, heat and confinement while waiting for passage, it is the harassment of the Bedouins that marks the migrants. Many say that they had to hand over all their documents to smugglers at gunpoint, and women still speak with difficulty of rape and other sexual abuse committed by these same smugglers.

As soon as the lights on the Israeli side are visible, the Bedouins abandon their "clients" to their fate, indicating the direction to take after having crossed the barbed wire fences.


With the increase in the number of migrants heading to Israel since the summer of 2007, the Egyptian authorities keep repeating that they are leading efforts "to fight against infiltration". These efforts are manifested in increased control and surveillance of the border area, but also result in an increase in the number of victims. Because, the Egyptian soldiers use the force and the weapons.

Many are shot and even worse shot.


On the Israeli side, a tightening of the repression and control of these border crossings is taking place.

The IDF Bedouin Unit tracks smugglers in the desert. Israel is building an electrified wall in the middle of the Negev desert in order to push back these poor wanderers doomed to certain death if they do not escape their tormentors.


Finally, protests by refugees are mobilizing in the streets of Tel Aviv against this state of affairs proclaiming "we did not choose to be refugees" And the government, in the person of Netanyahu and Perez awards awards to NGOs that work against this trafficking and trafficking.

Lizzie SADIN

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