A recent report issued by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child sharply criticized Israel for mishandling sex crimes against children, human trafficking of minors, and children exploited for prostitution – the Knesset's own research arm's findings support the UN's claims.
Israel Mishandles Sex Crimes Against Children, Does Little To Stop Child Prostitution, Few Perpetrators Ever Punished, UN Report, Knesset’s Own Research, Show
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A recent report issued by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child sharply criticized Israel for mishandling sex crimes against children, human trafficking of minors, and children exploited for prostitution, Ha’aretz reported earlier this month.
The UN criticism isn’t new. As far back as at least 2008, the UN issued similar findings. The governments of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, essentially ignored that report even though Israel – which likes to bill itself as a Western state – ratified the portion of the international Convention on the Rights of the Child that deals with trafficking in children, child prostitution, pornography in 2008.
The UN now says Israel’s deficiencies in dealing with all these issues are still significant and are almost unchanged since it issued its 2008 report.
According to the UN:
• There is insufficient – really often little to no – coordination between different government agencies tasked with dealing with trafficking of children, child prostitution and sex crimes against children.
• Israel has no plan in place for dealing with these problems and does little data collection to document their scope.
• This is especially true in the area of prosecution and punishment of sex offenders – something Israel is notoriously deficient in. Of all the criminal investigations opened into sex crimes against minors in 2014, about 45 percent have been closed without prosecution. When you add in the cases that are open but which won’t lead to prosecutions because of corruption, police incompetence and inefficiency, or simple apathy on the part of police and prosecutors, the number alleged perpetrators allowed to walk free and endanger more children is staggering.
The UN previously urged Israel to create a government agency dedicated to children’s rights that could act as a quarterback for the government’s programs to help these exploited children. Israel, led by Netanyahu, did not do it.
The average age children are first trafficked into prostitution is 12-1/2 years old.
The UN noted people suspected of sex crimes against minors are rarely investigated by police and those who are rarely are put on trial. The few offenders who are convicted frequently get ridiculously low sentences – for example, knowingly soliciting a minor for sex carries a maximum prison sentence of three years.
According to Ha’aretz, the latest data compiled by the Knesset’s own research center appears to confirm the UN’s scathing findings. Of 2,349 cases opened into sex crimes against minors in 2014, only 11 percent have yet produced a verdict, the Knesset researchers found. Almost 45% of these cases had simply been closed by police for reasons that would be shocking to most westerners: 30% were closed because the alleged criminal was unknown; 13% were closed due to “lack of public interest” in the case.