Israel First non-European Country to Join Anti-human Trafficking Council

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A protest against the deportation of victims of human trafficking in Tel Aviv, 2018.
A protest against the deportation of victims of human trafficking in Tel Aviv, 2018.Credit: Moti Milrod
DPA

Israel became the first non-European country to join the Council of Europe's Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings on Sunday.

The aim is "to strengthen instruments in the fight against this terrible phenomenon and to adapt them to the new forms of modern slavery," the Israeli Ministry of Justice announced in a statement.

Israel is also the first non-member of the Council of Europe to join the convention.

A Council of Europe group named GRETA and based in Strasbourg, France, monitors the implementation of measures against human trafficking in the 47 member states.

Dina Dominitz, head of the department for the fight against human trafficking in the Israeli Ministry of Justice, said the country joining the convention was an "important step."

She said it would also enable Israel to apply to send its own experts to the GRETA group.

The ministry said a European Union seminar on combating prostitution was planned in Israel in a fortnight.

Since last year, a new law has been in force in Israel that prohibits the purchase of sexual services. It is not the sex workers who are punished, but the clients, who face heavy fines.

The Council of Europe is a body that predates the EU and is focused on upholding democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe.

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