JERUSALEM - Any person who coerces another person into slavery by way of force, threats or any other type of pressure will be sentenced to 16 years in prison, a bill approved Sunday by the Ministerial Legislative Committee says.
This marks the first time the term “slave” has appeared in any Israeli law.
The new bill, drafted by the Justice Ministry, is aimed at preventing trade in human beings. It grants the authorities the right to enforce against those who trade in women for purposes of prostitution purposes and against employers who hold their workers under conditions of “modern slavery.”
Moreover, the bill offers authorities the ability to better deal with crimes of organ trafficking and the kidnapping of babies for monetary gains.
Three readings before becoming law
The bill still needs to pass three Knesset readings before it becomes a law.
The bill states the minimum sentence for human-trafficking crimes is four to five years in prison, thus partially impeding the ability of court judges to hand out relatively light sentences to convicted criminals.
According to the Justice Ministry, the bill is meant to match Israel’s legislation with international treaties the country has signed since 2001.
Funds collected from the fines imposed on those convicted in human trafficking will be allocated toward protection for the victims, who will be permitted to remain in Israel for humanitarian reasons.