Israel leads the way

January 10, 2013

Israel leads the world in many fields. We often hear about her technology companies and desert reclamation. But there is one far less well known area in which the Jewish state is now a role model for the planet - dealing with human trafficking.

Where once the influx of Russian and Eastern European olim led to a dramatic increase in Russian women being trafficked into Israel as part of the sex trade, today it is a very different story. Last year, the US State Department awarded Israel rare "Tier One" status for the way it tackles human trafficking. The authorities now treat trafficking with the same severity as terrorism.

Through a combination of extra resources, police effort and a change of culture, the problem has been all but eliminated. Shelters which were set up to provide a refuge for Eastern European women are now empty of them. Not that anyone should be surprised; Israeli concern with human rights is fundamental to its outlook. Here is one area in which successive British governments should have learned from Israel.

Last updated: 4:37pm, January 10 2013