Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Ukrainian Women In Israel Complain Of Sexual, Labor Exploitation - Reports

Ukrainian women who fled to Israel last year to escape the conflict in their home country have complained of being subjected to sexual and other forms of exploitation and abuse, Israeli media reported.

More than 47,000 Ukrainians, most of them women, have arrived in Israel since February, according to the Times of Israel daily. Not a single one of them has been granted refugee status.

Some 15,000 remained in Israel as of January, while the rest chose to leave for other countries. Those who stay are not eligible for work or social benefits, exacerbating their already dire economic hardships.

Their desperate situation makes Ukrainian women an easy target for sexual predators, according to an investigation conducted by the Times of Israel.

Statistics are hard to come by, the daily said, but a report by the Tel Aviv Center for Ukrainian Refugees suggested that at least three rape cases were reported to police between March and August.

A further 18 cases of sexual harassment were under investigation and 12 others reported to volunteers but not to police.

Ukrainian women also fell victim to workplace exploitation or were scammed by those helping them find jobs illegally due to ambiguous rules, geographical restrictions and lacking language skills.

Robberies and physical assaults on Ukrainians have also been reported but investigation is slow and justice is hard to obtain for the victims, the daily noted, because police are reluctant to "waste" public resources for the benefit of foreigners, according to Liora Turlevsky, a lawyer who handles such cases pro bono.

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