Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Virtual pimps and Escort webmasters may pay the price in Israel

Tal Zohar was arrested in Israel for the escort agency he ran on the internet. The charges were for trafficking, pimping and exploitation. He cheated some of the girls of their wages. Israeli law enforcement seldom convicts pimps who operate virtual brothels or escort agencies.

The Hotline for Migrant Workers last month submitted a bill to the Knesset Subcommittee on Trafficking in Women, to amend the wording of the existing law prohibiting the operation of a business involved in prostitution to include virtual brothels.

The traffickers in women do their homework, learn the market and keep up to date. The law must also be updated. The law's current format allows for the trial of a person who operates a virtual brothel, but the proposed amendment stresses the severity of this type of whorehouse."

"The proposed amendment also states that not only are the owners or operators of a virtual brothel accountable to the law, but also the graphic artist and the site's content editor.

"This determination has a foundation in the existing law, according to which not only the operator of a regular brothel is liable, but also the cashier, the driver and the guard."

"It doesn't matter if you are only a graphics geek who once set up a site. If the woman you advertised is a victim of human trafficking, you must be accountable," says Levenkron.

Quotes from Virtual Pimps may pay the price by Ofri Llani .

This takes it to another level if the graphic artist, and webdesigners are accountable. I imagine escort photographers would be accountable too.

I wonder how the escort webmasters and escort photographers, are able to verify that the escorts they do work for are not trafficked?

Times are changing.


I am having a problem with my email at the moment. I am not ignoring anyone, but some mail, hotmail mainly is taking three or four days to get me. If I have not responded to anyone, please resend your mail.

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Exploitation is one thing, trafficking quite another.

Even the laws over here about "promotion of prostitution" are broad enough to gather in anyone who profits from it -- not just an agency owner, but even a website designer might qualify, I think. I can understand that, to some degree, even though I would prefer that none of it be illegal unless true exploitation. (But how do you judge that?)

Trafficking, on the other hand, should require not only knowledge that the women in question were engaged in prostitution but also that they were trafficked, unless someone is using "willful blindness" as a defense.

Mixed feelings, because the problem that they're attacking -- trafficking -- is a very serious one; but the means they're using seem like overkill.


Thank you for your comments. I feel strongly about trafficking as you know.

I wonder whether these webdesigners, and photographers will be more cautious now. What is tricky, is determining who is and is not trafficked.
this is a most informative website. thank you. i would like to link to you in hopes that other folks will take a step to become more informed.

Thank you for your comments, and for stopping by.
I think the whole point is to make it more difficult for traffickers to get Web designers etc., however if I were a Web designer I would require clients to sign an affidavit saying that the girls concerned were not trafficked or coerced in any way, and have a signed consent from each model on file. Lots of other professions have to do things like that--for example makers of pornographic movies.

I don't know if this would provide complete legal immunity, but it would show that you had attempted to take due care.
Entre Amigos,

Thank you for your comments. The signed affidavit may work in court,lol.
One simple way of finding out if a girl is trafficked or not is to ask her to show you her passport. If she is trafficked, she probably won't have it.

Thank you for your comments. I see what you are saying, and I wonder how many escorts carry their passports with them, when they are meeting clients?

I certainly don't, do you?
No, I don't carry my passport, my photo is the pits :)
To clarify, as I think you mised my point, probably because of the way I worded it... I meant when suspected illegals are interviewed by police/immigration, and cannot produce their passports. Not by clients..LOL

*thinking now about the shock/horror on my clients faces when they see how old I am on the passport*
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