A great way to get the attention of politicians is to challenge them in public. Catching them off-guard with questions about trafficking can motivate them to make their own inquiries into what is going on. The more questions they receive, the more important the issue will be to them. Israeli politicians and policymakers present lectures all around the world. Here are some instructions about how to raise the issue of modern slavery at these lectures:
Find out how about upcoming lectures by Israeli officials. There is no one way to find out about such lectures. If you are a student, there will probably be signs around your University from time to time. If you live overseas, you can contact the consulate or local synagogues in your area who might be able to provide information about upcoming lectures. Be sure to ask friends and colleagues who might have heard from other sources as well.
Inform yourself about trafficking. Read the materials on our site about the phenomenon of human trafficking in Israel to make sure that you are well-informed. The better informed you are, the more difficult it will be to ignore your question.
Attend a lecture. Be sure to get there with plenty of time to ensure that you can find a good seat. If you are sitting towards the back, it will be harder for the politician and the rest of the audience to hear your question.
Ask your question. Wait until the end of the lecture when the floor is opened to questions. Make sure your question is polite and precise. Here are some examples of questions you might ask:
- The Israeli government is still ranked by the US State Department as a country who does not comply with minimum standards to address the problem of human trafficking. What new initiatives for the upcoming year are planned to help counter the atrocious phenomenon of trafficking in Israel?”
- According to the Knesset Inquiry committee on human trafficking, thousands of women are trafficked into Israel and exploited in the sex industry. These women are exploited in a cruel and inhumane manner, beaten, raped and starved. Yet unlike most other countries, Israel still has no national task force to coordinate between law enforcement, police and the army to share information to help prevent the growth of the problem. When do you expect that such a task force will be put into place?
- Israel has been very successful at preventing the smuggling of terrorists and heavy arms over the border with Egypt. Yet victims of human trafficking continue to be smuggled across the very same border every year. In 2004, the army stopped only 43 women from being smuggled. That’s 43 out of 3000 women who the police estimate are being smuggled into the country. When will border patrol be making it a priority to stop the smuggling of these trafficking victims into the country?
Most politicians will do their best to make it sound like you are exaggerating the problem. Do not be discouraged! No matter what answer you receive, the fact that you asked the question draws attention to the issue. It will encourage others to make their own inquiries. And it will impress upon the speaker that this is an issue which private citizens care deeply about.