On June 7th, 2017, Member of Knesset Dr. Aliza Lavie, head of the Subcommittee on Combating Trafficking in Women and Prostitution, led a session investigating the current government ministries’ efforts to combat prostitution and women’s trafficking in Israel. Present at this meeting were representatives from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Internal Security, the Ministry of Justice and the Population and Immigration Authority, as well as from several non-governmental organizations that help former prostitutes.
Also in attendance was Kadi Keiklani, a high-achieving student at the University of Ottawa, and former prostitute. Painfully, Kadi shared her horrifying personal story with the committee. After being raped at the age of 14, Kadi was sold into prostitution by a former classmate. She was raped on a daily basis, often in exchange for small sums of drugs or for thousands of dollars – payments that she, as a sex slave, never received. When Kadi finally escaped, she did not receive any resources or protection from the government. As a result, she had to work to bring her life back together entirely on her own.
In support of the proposed legislation to incriminate the clients of prostitution, Kadi asserted that as long as there are willing buyers of sex, there are willing sellers. Her testimony is further evidence that women neither want nor choose to become prostitutes. “This is the exploitation of men and women who have been abused, and the State has a responsibility to care for them,” MK Lavie declared. “I am sure that 2017 will be the year that we can join a line of advanced countries that have realized that prostitution is unacceptable and carries devastating consequences.”