New Israeli law criminalises buying of sex

January 1, 2019 by Mara Vigevani - TPS
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The Knesset plenum approved yesterday a bill that will impose fines on persons buying sex.

Photo by Esty Dziubov/TPS on 31 December, 2018

The law, submitted by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, provides a criminal prohibition on the consumption of prostitution and the prohibition on being in a place used for prostitution in order to consume prostitution.

According to the law, a person who is in a place that is used mainly for prostitution (such as a brothel) will be considered as having the purpose of consuming prostitution.

The proposal stipulates fines of up to NIS 2000 for persons convicted of utilising the services of a prostitute. A second offense within three years will lead to a doubling of the fine. The fines can be appealed in court; however, the court will also have the option of increasing the penalty up to NIS 14,400.

The bill was formulated following the recommendations of the interministerial committee to examine tools for reducing the phenomenon of prostitution, headed by the Director General of the Ministry of Justice, whose recommendations were submitted to the justice minister at the beginning of 2018

The legislation is part of a broader program by the Ministries of Justice, Welfare, Education, and Health to offer assistance to sex workers and their customers.

The program will deal with two main issues: Expanding therapeutic and health care options for prostitutes and persons buying sex from prostitutes and creating rehabilitation programs for women with a past as prostitutes.

In 2016, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Public Security published a survey that estimated the number of persons employed in prostitution in Israel at 12,000, mostly women, and the amount of money paid for prostitution in Israel at NIS 1.3 billion.



One Response to “New Israeli law criminalises buying of sex”
  1. Michael Barnett says:

    This has raised the ire of the transgender community in Israel.

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