Israel - With War Comes Whores

Association for struggle against women trafficking concerned about presence of multinational force in south Lebanon: "Thousands of solitary men on vacation in north will greatly increase demand for prostitutes," leaders of Task Force on Human Trafficking call on PM to deal with issue as part of cabinet for rehabilitation of north.

The efforts in United Nations to create a multinational force to be deployed in south Lebanon are ongoing, while in Israel there are concerns about it. Representatives of the Task Force on Human Trafficking sent on Thursday a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warning him that the arrival on 15,000 soldiers to the area will transform the border settlements to "burgeoning sites for the exploitation and trafficking of women for prostitution."

The heads of the task force Ronny Alony Sdovnik and lawyer Yadida Wolf applaud in the beginning of the letter the passing of the bill that forbids human trafficking, that was passed on Wednesday in the Justice Committee, and they call for a prompt second and third reading. Following that, they express their concerns regarding the arrival of the soldiers to Israel's northern border.

"We wish to caution you and to ask that you get involved in order to prevent the north from becoming an area plagued by woman trafficking in light of the arrival of the 15,000-strong multinational force to our territory," states the letter.

"The arrival of this mass of solitary men will lead to their need for short vacations and breaks from their service in south Lebanon.

They will prefer to spend their free time in the northern areas of recreation and will increase tenfold the demand for prostitutes. Past experiences prove that when aircraft carriers arrive to the shores of Haifa, for example, and thousands of foreign soldiers go to the city, it triggers the increase in the exploitation of women, violence and it amplifies the trafficking of women."

The heads of the task force point out in the letter that Olmert should include the struggle against this potential phenomenon in the list of issues dealt with in the cabinet for the rehabilitation of the north, which he leads.

"Areas such as Naharia, Haifa and Kiriyat Shmona, as all other villages in the border with Lebanon are at the center of the cabinet you coordinate, as well as anything related to their restoration following the war. We're calling on you to bring up this subject as an integral part of the struggle to keep their cities from becoming hubs of trafficking of women, crime and any other related social disaster."

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