Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Israel: National service volunteer fights trafficking in women

ISRAEL - "Women trafficking and prostitution are one and the same, and the women who are exposed to both phenomena display similar symptoms," 21-year-old Naama Yehezkel says. As an activist for Isha L'Isha - the Haifa Feminist Center, which aids local and foreign women working in the sex industry, she should know.

"Women who engage in prostitution usually suffered sexual abuse or neglect at an early age. They're usually looking for a way to survive, and prostitution is just that - a means to survive, but not to live. Not in the full sense of the word, because the pimps know how to prey on them," she says.

Several weeks ago, Yehezkel toured the Tiberias hotel strip with volunteers from the Hotline for Migrant Workers. There, they handed out flyers and booklets listing emergency numbers for women who have fallen victim to human trafficking. They talked to hotel workers, kiosk employees and taxi drivers to find out where women were being exploited in the local sex industry...


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