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Questions and answers - Law prohibiting the consumption of prostitution

Questions and answers regarding the law prohibiting the use of identity on behalf of the Ministry of Justice's spokespersons, information and communication division. 07/05/2020

What does the new law stipulate?

The Law Prohibiting the Consumption of Prostitution (Time Order and Amendment of Legislation), 2019-2019 states that anyone who consumes prostitution or tries to consume prostitution commits a criminal offense. This is a new offense that is added to the criminal offenses that already exist in the Penal Code in connection with the phenomenon of prostitution in which the consumption of prostitution reduces, pimping, advertising services Prostitution and keeping a place for prostitution.

What is the main purpose of the new law?

To bring about the reduction of prostitution in Israel and its eradication as much as possible through the establishment of a ban on the consumption of prostitution, as part of an integrated process that includes enforcement actions, education and information to the public and the expansion of treatment and rehabilitation methods for populations in prostitution (the rehabilitation and treatment plan), in recognition of the offensive characteristics of prostitution and the damages involved in it.

Why does the law punish the consumers of prostitution and not those who engage in prostitution?

The guiding concept of the law is that those who are in the circle of prostitution are victims, and the state must help them. That is, the law will prohibit the consumption of prostitution, but there will be no punishment for A. Women who engage in prostitution.  This concept is typical of the "Nordic model", which exists in countries such as Sweden and Norway. Accordingly, along with the enactment of the law and the enforcement actions, a government decision was made allocating significant resources to the ministries of health, welfare and education in order to form suitable agents for the assistance, treatment and rehabilitation of those engaged in prostitution as well as to promote public and social awareness.

What will be the punishment for those who break the law?

According to the new law, an offense against the law prohibiting the consumption of prostitution is an offense for which an administrative fine of 2,000 NIS can be imposed. In the case of a repeat offense, this fine will be doubled and will amount to NIS 4,000. It should be noted that those who have been fined can request a trial instead of paying the fine. If the offense is committed under aggravating circumstances or a large number of times (starting from three times or more), it will be possible to file a criminal charge against a person who consumed prostitution, and at the end of the trial a fine of up to NIS 75,300 can be imposed on him. In the case of consumption of prostitution by a minor, the Penal Code already states today that this is an offense punishable by five years in prison.

How will the enforcement be carried out? Can a police officer decide to impose a fine as soon as the crime is detected?

Yes, the police will carry out the enforcement through police officers, detectives and investigators who have been trained for this purpose and have undergone training and preparation adapted to the new law. According to the law, a police officer will be entitled to impose the fine on a person who is found to be committing the crime of consuming prostitution or who is staying in a complex where prostitution services are provided.

Will the offense be recorded in the criminal record of the person who will be fined?

The report will be recorded in an internal administrative register managed by the Israel Police, prepared for the police's internal surveillance needs, for example in the case of a repeat offense.

How many women/men engage in prostitution in Israel?

About 14,000 women, including about 11,500 adults and about 1,100 minors, and about 550 men, including about 40 minors. According to the data of the national survey carried out for the Ministry of Welfare and the Ministry of Internal Security in 2016, only 7% of prostitution services in Israel are provided in street prostitution, with most prostitution arenas operating in various settings under one roof such as discreet apartments, brothels, massage parlors, etc.

What are the punishments that will be given to those in the circle of engaging in prostitution?

The government has committed to a series of tortures to be given to prostitutes with a total budget of NIS 90 million, some of which have already begun to operate through the ministries of welfare, health and education. The rehabilitation and treatment program for prostitutes will include, among other things: a flexible torture basket of about NIS 10,500 per individual, in which emphasis was placed on transgenderism, including torture for debt assistance, medical needs, temporary housing and other torture; The establishment of day centers in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for the needs of those engaged in prostitution; rehabilitation apartments for mothers and transitional apartments; Running a prevention program, preventive education for youth; Hospitalization alternative for women as needed; This, alongside rehab programs for men who are addicted to prostitution, and other torturers.

* The data from the national survey on the phenomenon of prostitution in Israel conducted for the Ministry of Internal Security and the Ministry of Welfare in 2016

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