Israeli Teens in distress
In March 2007, the "Elem" report was published in the newspapers.. According to the report (as it was published in the newspaper6), approximately 30,000 kids are wandering the streets of Israel. The number of homeless youth went up 10% in the past year. Above 1000 adolescents are involved in prostitution, 27% of which are girls and that number has been steadily rising in the past 5 years. Most of the wanderers have dropped out of school, have no stable familial framework, and a part of them suffered from sexual abuse in their childhood. Zion Gabai, general manager of Elem, informed that now they are finding kids ages 10-13 wandering, exposed to different kinds of exploitation and to the use of different drugs
Elem also informed that throughout Second Lebanon War (in summer 2006) there was a 500% increase (five hundred percent!) in the number of appeals of mental strain to the association’s support website. Approximately 130,000 adolescents visited the website in the past year, and the lives of two girls who informed of having suicidal thoughts were saved. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of girls treated by the Ministry of welfare` "girls in distress" Unit. In the last three years there was a 50% increase in the number of young girls found by the association. It is estimated that in Israel there are 34,000 young girls in distress – half of them are not being treated.
Another stirring statistic provided by Elem, is that of every 1,000 adolescents that are involved in prostitution 60% operate through the internet, using chat rooms and acquaintanceship websites, thus making it difficult to track them. The report indicates that just until a few years ago many of the adolescents that were involved in prostitution did so in the street, making it easier to find them and assist them.
6,Meirav David, Ma`ariv 28.3.2007, p. 14- Ruth Sinai, Ha`aretz 23-3-2007, news p.11
SOURCE: National NGO report to the UN Human Rights Council: Evaluation of National Authorities activities and Actual facts on the sex industry in Israel as it is viewed in the Internet. Forwarded to Sigma Huda, the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children
By Leah Gruenpeter Gold, Maxim Burt, Edited in Hebrew: Idit Harel Shemesh
Translated to English: Natalie Ben Ezra
On behalf of
Awareness Center (Machon Toda`a)
Representative of the IAF in Israel