Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared yesterday that Israel has improved the living conditions of the African refugees in Tel Aviv, and has relocated many of them to locations where they will be able to find work.
"We solved the problem," Olmert said during a Knesset committee meeting on the status of woman in Israel.
Sigal Reuven, who volunteers for the Hotline for Migrant Workers, said that while there are fewer people in the dingy shelters, they have not totally disappeared. She did say that the receipt of working permits from the state is what allowed the refugees to move out of the shelters.
Olmert, who is in the middle of a major police investigation, appeared exhausted during the meeting, and when asked about it he said that "only you [journalists] think so."
Olmert said that he came to the meeting in order to support the status of women in Israel. He said that in all aspects of Israeli life, the presence and weight of women's power and influence is not adequate. He called for ultra-Orthodox and Arab woman to join the workforce, since their absence is a great loss for the Israeli economy.
In regards to prostitution, Olmert said that the government has allocated NIS 20 million in order to fight the problem.
Olmert added that he also plans to double the number of centers in Israel for victims of sexual assault from three to six.
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