[Fwd: ISRAEL: Dozens protest over lax anti-pimping laws]

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Subject: [Fwd: ISRAEL: Dozens protest over lax anti-pimping laws]
From: Kinsey Dinan (dinank@hrw.org)
Date: Sun Mar 05 2000 - 20:25:11 EST

According to the article pasted below, women are being trafficked into
forced sex work in Israel from Japan (as well as from the former Soviet
Union). I've done research regarding the trafficking of women into
Japan but -- until now -- have not heard any reports about women being
trafficked out of Japan. Has anyone else?

- Kinsey Dinan (dinank@hrw.org)

Dozens protest over lax anti-pimping laws

 The Jerusalem Post
 Page 05
 (Copyright 2000)

 Several dozen protesters gathered outside Tel Aviv police headquarters
 yesterday afternoon to protest the lax enforcement of laws against

 "Police say that they can't do anything because there's no interest,"
 Leah Gruenpeter Gold, one of the activists who organized the protest in
 hope it would show that there is an interest.

 Gold explained that women from the former Soviet Union and Japan are
 often kidnapped, smuggled into Israel, and forced to work as

 Other women are tricked, she said, explaining that "some are beautiful
 women who went to [fake modeling] agencies and were told they are being

 sent abroad to model."

 When they arrive, the women are sold to pimps for thousands of dollars
 are threatened, beaten, or raped until they agree to work as
prostitutes. She
 added that some women are chained to beds in brothels to keep them from

 running away, adding: "I don't understand how a customer can go to a
 woman when he sees this."

 The women, who are generally smuggled into the country illegally,
 turn to police for help out of fear they will simply be sent home,
where the
 pimps who originally kidnapped or tricked them can track them down and
 harm them and their families, she continued, adding that steps must be
 to protect them.

 According to the Israel Women's Network, 2,000 to 2,500 such women are
 brought here each year and sold to pimps for as much as $20,000 each.
 pimps make between $50,000 and $100,000 a year off each woman.

 Esther Herzog, of Shin (Equal Representation for Women), called on the
 police to change its policy and crack down on pimps, adding that the
 that police policy allows trafficking in women demonstrates the extent
 society allows women to be exploited.

 Veteran women ' s rights activist Esther Elam said the problem has only

 gotten worse since she wrote an article about prostitution in Israel 12
 ago, because it has become part of organized international crime
 large amounts of money.

 According to Israel Police assistant spokesman Dep.- Cmdr. Ofer Sivan,
 the police is not indifferent to the problem and recently considered
ways to
 deal with it more efficiently. Police both respond to complaints and
 operations against forcing women into prostitution. He cited an
increase in
 the number of cases opened against pimps: 279 in 1997; 370 in 1998; and

 506 in 1999.

 He added that "most of the victims chose, for various reasons, not to
 complain or to cooperate with police, something which makes dealing
 this more difficult, but the numbers show a definite increase in
 in this area."

Laura Ioana Rusu
Women's Rights Division
Human Rights Watch
1630 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009
Tel: 202-612-4350
Fax: 202-612-4333

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