The Knesset Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved on Sunday a bill that seeks to define solicitation of prostitution as a criminal offense.
Three original bills which were written by MK Shulamit Mualem-Rafael (Bayit Yehudi) MK Zahava Gal-On (Meretz) and MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), will be attached to a government bill drafted by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, according to which anyone caught engaging in hiring prostitutes will face a fine.
"In order to eradicate the phenomenon of prostitution and trafficking of women, the struggle of the enforcement authorities against pimps and human traffickers is not sufficient. A coherent and comprehensive system of legislation must be proposed to deal with this phenomenon," the explanatory notes to the bill read.
Similar to the current traffic violation model, the bill stipulates that a perpetrator will be charged with a fine handed out by the police of no less than NIS 1,250 for a first offense. The offender will have the option to stand trial if he disagrees with the fine, for example if he believes it was wrongly issued.
At the same time, the bill includes measures to ensure that men and women currently involved in the prostitution business receive assistance and protection in the process of rehabilitation and return to the community. Moreover, the bill seeks to establish a national authority to deal with prostitution.