Peres at the ceremony
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Peres slams human trafficking in Israel

President hands out awards at ceremony honoring individuals working against the worrying phenomenon, says 'loathsome' practice goes against Jewish heritage

"The fact that this loathsome disease exists in a Jewish state is a disgraceful stain on the most basic commandments of our legacy," President Shimon Peres said at a state ceremony honoring activists against human trafficking on Sunday evening.

Gal-On accepts the honor (Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO)


This is the first time such a ceremony is held, and Peres intends to make it an annual event.

"There is no people that sees liberation – the transition from slavery to freedom – as such a pivotal moment in its history as we do,” said Peres, in reference to the coming Passover holiday.


"There is nothing more outrageous than the oppression of women and coercion into prostitution, than taking cruel advantage of people in need or the abuse of foreign laborers who have no standing or rights."

The president called on those being honored to "root out this heinous phenomenon, this deplorable and despicable thing that is human trafficking, which goes against the very notion of society."


Winners of a special badge awarded for combating the phenomenon include former Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On, police detectives and volunteers who operate a hotline for foreign laborers.


Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also spoke at the event: "The slaves of the 21st century are not living on a different planet. If we only looked we would see human trafficking taking place all around us. These are people whose freedom was stripped from them, whose honor has been trampled. They are sold as currency to traders, they are traded from person to person and lose their right to live in dignity."


פרסום ראשון: 03.29.09, 20:01
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