2 March, 2009Issue 8.6Photo EssaysThe Middle East

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Traffic in Tel Aviv

Eddie Gerald

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Neve Sha’anan neighbourhood – In recent years, thousands of foreign women have been smuggled into Israel and sold into sexual slavery.

The women work shifts as long as 18 hours under conditions of virtual slavery. They are sold at auctions for $8,000 to $10,000 and say they are forced to have sex with up to 30 men per day. The women say they receive, on average, $5 for every $80 to $120 paid to pimps for their services.

There are between 5,000 and 10,000 trafficked women in Israel and more than 280 brothels in Tel Aviv alone. Together, those who profit from the brothels—smugglers, brothel owners and pimps—earn millions of dollars each year.

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Eddie Gerald is a photographer based in Tel Aviv. He has received numerous awards for his long-term photographic projects. Eddie is represented by the German photo agency Laif.