By Erin Kopelow
Liliya Dudnik, 23, first came to Israel from her home in Belarus on Sar-El, a three-week program that gives participants an intensive taste of life in the Israeli army, including drills, running, and pushups. Looking back Liliya comments with a grin, "It wasn’t fun for any of us, but I’m really happy I did it."
Wanting a deeper experience of the country, Liliya decided to come back to Israel on Career Israel
, an attractive option for the post-graduate due to the level of independence granted to the participants.
"In addition, the independent framework of the program will allow you to experience real life in Israel. This is a wonderful opportunity for college/ university graduates looking to prepare for graduate school and/or for entering the job market in their profession."
Having studied English and German, and wanting to pursue a second degree in Linguistics, Liliya sought an internship where her primary work would focus on translation. Career Israel matched her with The Task Force on Human Trafficking (TFHT), an organization that works to eliminate human trafficking in Israel.
Before coming to the organization Liliya exclaimed that she never knew the sex-trade existed in Israel. During her interview with TFHT she was warned that the work would not be easy. However, she decided to go through with it and now works not only with translating general information for the TFHT's website but also directly translating victim testimonials. “It’s very hard. They tell you everything.”
It is estimated that between 600,000 and 800,000 women and children are trafficked across international boarders every year. Number estimates concerning the amount of trafficked women in Israel are difficult to calculate, but the Israeli government estimates over 3,000 individuals are trafficked into Israel every year, while NGOs place the number significantly higher.
Liliya explains that TFHT functions to target human trafficking in Israel in three ways: first, by encouraging stronger government measures to stop traffickers, second, by securing better rights and services for victims, and third, by promoting public awareness about trafficking in Israel. The day before our interview, Liliya attended a conference on the issue in Tel Aviv which was attended by prominent individuals including Knesset members and the American Ambassador to Israel. The response the conference received was encouraging, Liliya commented, and since the initiatives of the Israeli government and such NGO’s as TFHT she continues, the “numbers (of trafficked women) have decreased dramatically.”
Liliya Dudnick is 23 years old from Belarus and currently a participant on Career Israel interning for the Task Force on Human Trafficking. Liliya is planning on making Aliyah.