Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
SDG 16 - Israel Fights to Protect its Weakest
Once an underdog among powerful nations, Israel had to struggle for its very existence. Now considered a force to be reckoned with, Israel is looking inward to protect the rights of its weakest members. The rights of children, women and the elderly, Ethiopians, Arabs, the Ultra-Orthodox and other minorities have been and are being violated, and the problem of human trafficking cannot be ignored. But Israel is taking real steps to correct these injustices.
Several ministries of the government are promoting treatment for children from birth to age 6, whose goals include identifying children at risk and assisting them. Children’s advocacy organizations fight for children’s rights and well-being, serving all religions, ethnicities, and income levels in Israel. Among other services, they provide legal and other assistance to child victims. Additionally, a Knesset bill was drafted providing compensation to minors who suffer abuse or sexual abuse, and legislation was passed forbidding the employment of any person who has been convicted of child pornography issues.
Racism against minorities is being challenged on the governmental level as well. The vision of the National Anti-Racism Coordinator’s Office at the Ministry of Justice is the “elimination of the phenomenon of institutional racism, while leading a positive change in the perception of difference alongside dealing with demonstrations of racism in the public sphere, promoting social-economic strength in the State of Israel.” It achieves this by spearheading anti-racism policy; receiving enquiries from citizens who have experienced or witnessed racism; and researching, writing and disseminating knowledge – at times through media broadcasts – about preventative and policy measures taken to promote equality and prevent discrimination, as well as messages for the eradication of racism.
Levelling the playing field even further, Israel’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was established by law under the Ministry of Economy. The Commission was established in order to respond to discrimination against a wide range of populations in the Israeli labor market, including women, older people, Ethiopians, the Ultra-Orthodox and Arabs.
But perhaps the most vulnerable members of Israeli society are those who are subject to human trafficking. The Directors General committee on the struggle against human trafficking is responsible for formulating decisions in the battle against human trafficking, in areas such as the prosecution of perpetrators, the protection of the trafficking victims, and the creation of a prevention strategy plan. The committee has further discussed critical topics on this issue, including medical care for victims, identification of victims, unaccompanied minors who were identified as trafficking victims, and more.
An innovative and practical website protecting the rights of all of Israel’s citizens, is “All Rights”, assisting municipalities, organizations, and the public at large claim their rights related to health and illness; immigration; disabilities; aging and a myriad of other matters.
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