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Human trafficking in Israel includes the trafficking of men and women into the country for forced labor and sex slavery. The country has made serious efforts to reduce the problem in recent years and now ranks 90th out of 167 countries who provide data. Identification of victims, criminal justice work and efforts to co-ordinate with business and government agencies has been concerted in reducing this problem in the last decade.

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  • Human trafficking in Israel
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  • Human trafficking in Israel includes the trafficking of men and women into the country for forced labor and sex slavery. The country has made serious efforts to reduce the problem in recent years and now ranks 90th out of 167 countries who provide data. Identification of victims, criminal justice work and efforts to co-ordinate with business and government agencies has been concerted in reducing this problem in the last decade.
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  • Human trafficking in Israel includes the trafficking of men and women into the country for forced labor and sex slavery. The country has made serious efforts to reduce the problem in recent years and now ranks 90th out of 167 countries who provide data. Identification of victims, criminal justice work and efforts to co-ordinate with business and government agencies has been concerted in reducing this problem in the last decade. Low-skilled workers from China, Romania, Africa, Turkey, Thailand, the Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India migrate voluntarily for contract jobs in the construction, agriculture, and health care industries. Some, however, may subsequently face conditions of forced labour, such as unlawful holding of passports, restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical intimidation. It is not known if labour recruitment agencies in source countries and in Israel require workers to pay recruitment fees- a practice that makes workers highly vulnerable to trafficking. Israel had been a destination country for women trafficked from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Belarus, China, South Korea and perhaps the Philippines for the purpose of sexual exploitation. In 2008, NGO had noted an increase in the internal trafficking of Israeli women for commercial sexual exploitation, and reported new instances of trafficking of Israeli women abroad to Canada, Ireland, and England. African asylum seekers entering Israel illegally were also vulnerable to trafficking for forced labour or prostitution. Large numbers of Eritreans had been trafficked into Israel. In 2007, the government increased the number of convictions for sex trafficking offences, and conducted a campaign to prevent forced labour. Israel also continues to provide victims of sex trafficking with shelter, legal aid and protection assistance. NGOs claimed, "the shelters are insufficient to treat the scale of trafficking victims who were not officially identified in Israel, particularly among migrants and asylum seekers arriving from the Sinai." In 2012 it was reported, "the number of women affected continues to decline since the passage and implementation of Israel's 2006 anti-trafficking law` The construction of the 245 mile Egypt–Israel barrier in 2013, is credited with further reducing human trafficking into Israel, by preventing irregular migration along the Sinai-Negev trafficking route. U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons placed the country in "Tier 1" in 2017. However, it was downgraded to Tier 2 in 2021, meaning "countries whose governments do not fully comply with all of TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards." The State Department reported: "For the fifth consecutive year, the Police Anti-Trafficking Coordinating Unit (PTC), which remained the only authority to officially recognize victims of trafficking, remained severely understaffed, which further impacted the efficiency of victim identification procedures and referral of victims to protection services. Therefore Israel was downgraded to Tier 2." The State of Israel ratified the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children on 23 July 2008.
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