February 05, 2007

Seminar on combating trafficking in persons

Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman:

The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a first of its kind seminar on the subject of vombating trafficking in persons on 31 January 2007, in Jerusalem.

Combating trafficking in persons is a priority for the Israeli government, which has undertaken increased efforts to prevent such trafficking, to protect its victims and to prosecute the perpetrators. Last year the government decided to appoint a National Coordinator responsible for coordinating the battle against trafficking in persons. At the same time, the government established a committee of directors general to forge a policy in order to combat such trafficking. This committee recently adopted a national plan. Another important step in the process was the passing of the landmark legislation - The Anti Trafficking Law (Legislative Amendments), 5766-2006, that entered into force on October 19, 2006. For the first time, Israel has defined an anti-slavery offense, and a broad forced labor offense with heightened sentencing and punishment for exploitation of vulnerable populations. The seminar on combating trafficking in persons, organized by the Israel Foreign Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and the NGO "Woman to Woman", was attended by ambassadors, consuls and diplomatic representatives from Central and Eastern Europe and Central
Asia
. The seminar reflected Israel's desire to cooperate with other states, through sharing experiences and learning good practices one from another in this field.

The list of speakers included MK Ms Marina Solodkin, member of the Knesset Subcommittee on Trafficking in Women, Ms Rachel Gershoni, Government Coordinator for the Combating Trafficking in Persons, representatives from the Ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs and the Interior, as well as from the Israel Police and various NGOs. In addition, Ms. Larisa Miculet,
Ambassador of Moldova to Israel, talked about her experience as head of the International Cooperation and European Integration Department in the office of the General Prosecutor's office of Moldova.