In November 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted a protocol for the prevention and elimination of the trafficking of human beings and the placed a punishment for it - in particular trafficking in women and children, which is annexed to the UN convention against organized international crime.
The UN ranked countries into three categories according to their efforts in the fight against human trafficking. Tire 1 - Countries whose governments fully comply with the minimum standards for the eradication of trade in human beings; Tire 2 - Countries whose governments do not fully comply with standards but make significant efforts to follow them; Tire 3 - Countries whose governments do not fully comply with standards and that do not make significant efforts to comply. The US's policy is not to provide assistance to these countries that is not humanitarian or trade related.
At the start of the 1990's a significant amount of human trafficking began in Israel.
The United States State Department monitors the international phenomenon of human trafficking and issues its ranking of the countries each year according to the volume of human trade that is conducted within them.
Until the middle of the first decade of the 2000s, Israel was considered one of the main countries targeted for human trafficking, mainly because of the large amount of trafficking of women for prostitution that took place here.
At the height of this phenomenon, the police estimated that the amount of human trafficking in Israel was about 3,000 people a year. A 2006 both a UN study and information from the United States State Department indicated that Israel was one of the countries with the largest amounts of human trafficking.
Israel panicked and set out to fight against human trafficking. In order to combat the phenomenon, a law banning human trafficking was passed in Israel. Debates began in the Knesset as far back as 2003 and in 2006 further amendments were made to the law in order to include various types of human trafficking. Similarly, punishments were hardened against offenders and the punishment for human trafficking was raised to a maximum of 20 years in prison.
These amendments were a great success and Israel climbed the ladder from the lowest rating (Tire 3) to the highest rating (Tire 1), where it has remained for the past decade.
However Israel has become complacent in it's fight.
On the 1st of July this year, the US State Department's annual report on the global fight against human trafficking was published and for the first time Israel was downgraded to Tire 2, alongside countries such as Mexico, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, India, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq and more.
Israel has fallen asleep in it's fight against the human trafficking of women for prostitution, and this has all resurfaced in the last three weeks with the arrest of Moshe Hogg under suspicion of human trafficking.