Israel Makes Buying Sex a Crime

On the final day of 2018, the Israeli government unanimously voted to Ban the Purchase of Sex, and break away from their current practice of legal prostitution. In doing so, Israel joined seven European nations and Canada in choosing to criminalize sex buying. These nine countries have determined that the best solution to the trauma and violence of the commercial sex trade is to target the buyers, rather than imprisoning the victims.

anti prostitution rally Israel
Anti-prostitution rally in memory of a murdered sex worker, 15 Aug 18 (Courtesy Haaretz News)

Conversely, this new law removes any legal penalties against the sex workers, many of whom are  trapped in the cycle of sex trafficking that are integral to any large scale commercial sex operation.  The bill includes about $24 million each year to equip and rehabilitate survivors of the sex trafficking trade. For some, is it a step toward Gender Equity. An Israeli reporter following this issue stated their position on this law:

From the first day I began documenting the prostitution industry, I believed the bill to ban patronizing prostitutes was the most moral answer to the hell I saw going on around the country. It was happening in apartments, hotels, brothels, strip clubs, “massage” parlors and on the streets. This went on in Israel for many years with a wink from the police and the legal system (1 Jan 19)

The establishing of the Abolition Model in every nation is the single most important step to ending sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in the world. May these just laws continue to spread to the ends of the earth.