The bill outlawing human trade was approved by the Knesset Tuesday evening in its second and third readings. The proposal addresses a number of key issues, including battling dealers, and aid to the victims of human trade. Thirty MKs voted unanimously in favor of the bill.
According to the law, the punishment for human trade offenses for the aim of taking an organ, birthing a child, slavery, forced labor, prostitution, pornography, or perpetrating any other sexual offenses will merit a 16 year prison sentence. If the victim is a minor, the punishment could reach 20 years.
The main new element introduced in the law was the extension of what qualifies as a human trade offense; previously the law applied only to human trade for the purpose of prostitution.
Additionally, the punishment for kidnapping for the purpose of human trade will be up to 20 years in prison. Forcing someone to cross the borders of his home-country will be punished by up to 10 years in prison. Likewise, the punishment for withholding someone’s passport will be extended from one to three years.
The bill also requires the court to compensate victims of human trade and slavery. Compensation will be given as part of the criminal process. If the accused fails to pay, the victim will be allowed to collect the money from the fund from seized materials.
In addition, the court was authorized to hold trials related to human trade offenses behind closed doors and to block publication of details identifying the victims.
Chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee MK Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson (Kadima) expressed satisfaction that the law was approved.
“This law puts Israel in line with the most progressive countries in the world in dealing with the problem, which is one of the biggest problems in the world in terms of corrup
tion and criminality. This law has a number of unprecedented phrasings characteristic of the modern world, including slave trade, forced labor and the ‘global village’s’ social responsibility for the underprivileged and weak,” he stated.
MK Zahava Galon (Meretz), who was involved in initiating the law, said: “This is an innovative, revolutionary and precential law, that will let the county operate diligently and uncompromisingly against human and organ dealers. The law will provide the authorities with improved law enforcement tools in their struggle to contain the phenomenon,” she said.
Miri Hason contributed to the report.