Kav LaOved (KLO)
Tel Aviv Israel
In January 2011 UAF received a request from KLO in regards to a proposed amendment to the “Entry into Israel Law” that could intensify the problems faced by women migrant workers employed in the state. KLO is an organization that works to protect the rights of disadvantaged women, children, and men employed in Israel/Palestine. At the end of January 2011, the Interior Committee plans to discuss possible changes to the “Entry in Israel Law,” which regulates the employment of migrants to Israel. The proposed change in question would limit the number of times a migrant working in the caregiving sector is allowed to switch employers at the risk of losing their visa if they terminate their contracts. This proposal would allow the exploitation of migrant workers, 80% of whom are women, binding them to potentially abusive employers, illegal working conditions, and forced labor. In response, KLO requested UAF funds to advocate against the passage of the amendment, including meetings with members of the Knesset and a media campaign.
With UAF funds, KLO started an awareness raising campaign to expose the issues women migrant workers face. They launched a Facebook group for women caregivers to disseminate information on the bill, and the call to the community through Facebook mobilized dozens of caregivers to attend a public gathering in the center of Tel Aviv that invited human rights defenders and women caregivers to a meeting of parliament. KLO also held individual meetings with thousands of women asking for information on the bill and filing complaints in their offices. The funds also enabled KLO to hold meetings with parliament to discuss the bill, and launch a petition with 53 signatories entitled “Women Against the Binding of Women.” Although KLO was unable to dissuade the parliament from enacting the bill, KLO has future plans to prepare a petition to the High Court against the exclusion of Migrant Workers from the protection of the Ombudsman on the Rights of Migrant Workers. KLO notes that the awareness-raising campaign has created the foundation for the mobilization to launch the new petition.