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A new bill penalizing those who hire sex workers, which passed Monday is a step in the right direction but there is still way to go, legal experts say. Israel is the tenth country to implement what is known as the Nordic Model — an approach which decriminalizes sex workers and instead makes buying sex a criminal offense.
The effectiveness of the Nordic Model has long been a subject of debate, with some health professionals and sex workers arguing that only full decriminalization can effectively reduce harm to those involved, including lowering the spread of HIV. However, Lavie, who heads the Subcommittee on Combating Trafficking in Women and Prostitution and who helped write the original legislation, maintained that the new law stops short of what she had originally proposed over a year ago.
But we have to start somewhere. While prostitution is legal in Israel, brothels and pimping are not. The legislation is slated to come into effect in roughly 18 months in order to give law enforcement ample time to prepare.
Moreover, it does not offer enough support to the victims. She insisted that the State of Israel should provide a generous budget and supply a wide range of tools and services to women involved in sex work, but said that the law lacks the necessary budget and services. Should you deny a woman her right to do what she wants with her body?
According to the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, more than 14, women, men and transgender people work in prostitution, including 3, minors. Reprinted with permission from The Media Line. All rights reserved. Breaking News. Legal experts: New Israeli prostitution bill fails to provide rehab services.