An exciting day as the bill criminalizing clients of prostitution passes its second and third readings just before the end of session.
MK Dr. Aliza Lavie (Chairwoman of the Sub-Committee for Combating Trafficking of Women and Prostitution), released the following statement in response to the Law on the Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution, which passed unanimously in its second and third readings:
‘I am overjoyed that three years after having accepted the mission to head the sub-committee, and six years after I expanded the authority of the committee, Israel has finally joined a series of countries who have made it clear that prostitution is an unacceptable norm, with disastrous consequences.’
After many years of struggling, we have achieved rare cooperation among Knesset members from all factions of the House, together with government and civil society. This issue became center stage and has won significant public support. I would like to thank Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, for her support, professional work and the establishment of a thorough interministerial committee headed by the director general of the ministry, Ami Palmor, who examined the issue of incriminating prostitution consumers, the Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan and the Welfare and Education ministries.
This law will correct an injustice that has lasted for too many years and will help reduce the demand for prostitution, by rehabilitating and reintegrating women and girls formerly trapped in prostitution.
MK Lavi added: “Before we celebrate, we still have a long way ahead. It will take a year and a half for this law to come into force, in which time the government ministries will act to complete two other significant components of this law namely, rehabilitation and education. I am committed to making sure that the law will work in its entirety and protect the rehabilitation, safety and health of all those affected by prostitution. Further, I am committed to establishing special educational programs to raise awareness of the prevention of this phenomenon from an early age. Through a combination of effective enforcement, suitable financial assistance, education and raising public awareness, we will dramatically reduce the extent of prostitution in Israel. “