Photo: Allison Kito Zigler

Victims of human trafficking and torture are entitled to free legal representation by the Legal Aid Department at the Ministry of Justice. If their traffickers or attackers are caught, the victims are entitled to receive compensation of up to $70,000 from the perpetrators. In addition, the victim can file a civil suit along with the criminal conviction. If the traffickers are caught and brought to trial, the victims are entitled to a stay visa until the end of the legal proceedings. Following the trial, the victims are entitled to a one-year work visa for rehabilitation.

There are two shelters funded by the Israeli government for recognized trafficking and slavery victims. The ‘Maagan’ shelter for women that was established in 2004 and the ‘Atlas’ Shelter for men that was established in 2009. Each one of the shelters can provide refuge to 35 persons and they are operated by the NGO Keshet. Both shelters operate according to an open format and provide their residents with medical and psycho-social care as well as training and rehabilitation services

Over the years, thanks to legal proceedings, the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, the Ministry of Interior put in place procedure under which trafficking victims receive rehabilitation work permits. This procedure was first applied to trafficking victims who were brought to Israel for the sex trade, mostly from the former Soviet Union. Due to pressure, mostly of the NGO Kav LaOved, the Ministry of Interior began issuing work visa for slavery victims from Thailand as well.

Asylum-seekers who are recognized as victims of human trafficking because they were held and enslaved at the torture camps in Sinai are not given the same rights as other trafficking victims. While female trafficking victims receive the one-year rehabilitation work visa, male asylum-seekers do not.