John  Kerry with Pres. Peres
John Kerry with Pres. PeresIsrael news photo: Flash 90

The United States has praised Israel for its efforts to battle human trafficking in the 2013 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report released Wednesday by Secretary of State John Kerry. The report is considered the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts.

It is the second year in a row that Israel has received a "Tier 1" ranking for the government's efforts to prevent human trafficking, prosecute offenders, and protect trafficking victims.

"I applaud the Government of Israel for continuing to focus on eliminating the scourge of modern day slavery," said U.S. Ambassador Daniel B. Shapiro. "Israel has taken an all-of-government approach to tackling this global phenomenon, including legislative action in the Knesset, police training, and providing shelters and services for trafficking victims."

In the TIP Report, the U.S. Department of State places each country into one of three tiers. A Tier 1 ranking, the highest possible, indicates that a government has acknowledged the existence of human trafficking, made efforts to address the problem, and complies with the minimum standards for the elimination in trafficking.

The TIP Report lauded Israel for its law enforcement against sex and labor trafficking, improved identification of trafficking victims, and government-funded shelters for victims. The Report also identified areas for improvement, including imposing stricter sentences for convicted trafficking offenders, improving enforcement of foreign worker labor rights, and increasing investigations of forced prostitution of Israelis.