So, what happened at Kav LaOved this month?

Workers employed in Israel by the Turkish company Yilmazlar are escorted from work to home each night, and are otherwise not allowed to leave their residence. A biannual report concerning construction work accidents reveals that nearly half of all workers killed in Israel are Palestinians. And a feminist success story: thanks to Kav LaOved’s intervention female migrant caregivers were allowed to go on maternity leave and keep their work visas.
The Slaves of the Tel Aviv Towers

Two months ago, construction workers from the Turkish company Yilmazlar came to our offices after they managed to escape from their employer. Day by day, these workers were escorted to and from the construction site to their residence, always under the watch of their employers. Their residence was, in practice a closed labor camp in Kfar Qasem, which they were prohibited from leaving. Apart from depriving the workers of their basic freedom, the company also violated labor laws paying wages well below what the workers are entitled to by law.
These workers are brought to Israel as part of a special framework agreement between Israel and Turkey, in which the workers are bound to the Yilmazlar company as their employer, without any realistic ability to pick their employer or work for another company in the sector. And if a worker complains or dares to try to leave his job, he may be caught and punished by the "defector catchers" unit of the company, which are hired to keep the workers scared enough not to try to run away. In other words, Kav LaOved’s Director Michal Tadjer put it, "Our concern is that the case before us amounts to human trafficking." It seems that, when it concerns the lives of migrant workers in Israel, anything and everything is allowed.
Kav LaOved in cooperation with the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants are currently appealing on behalf of these workers, demanding that they be released from this abusive situation and permitted to work for a different employer in the construction sector.

Full article in Hebrew.
This week, Kav LaOved published a semi-annual report with statistics on construction work accidents.

The report shows that the rate of workers killed in the construction sector has risen by 20% when compared to this time last year. The numbers also reveal that falls from work-at-heights accidents account for 70% of all construction work accidents and 68% of fatal accidents.
Despite the ever-growing toll these accidents have on the lives of workers, the Israeli government has failed to make European scaffolding standards mandatory – a step which would immediately improve safety practices in the sector. In addition, despite the proud declarations of the Ministry of Labor and Welfare that they will impose fines on those construction companies found in violation of existing safety regulations, it turns out that so far no fines have been imposed. Only notices of the “intention” to fine have been issued and no information regarding actual fines is available to the public. This raises serious doubts as to the commitment of the Labor Ministry to improve safety in the sector as it continues to undermine any concept of deterrence. All this while enforcement of existing safety procedures remains toothless with as few as (in the best case estimate) 30 inspectors per 13,000 construction sites. 
The authorities might have taken action if not for this simple fact: 47% of workers killed are Palestinian residents of the West Bank, and 32% of them are Arab citizens of Israel. It seems that so long as they are the ones paying the price, for some, it hurts less than it should.

Full article (in Hebrew).
nd for some good news: despite the endless attempts to control every aspect of the lives of women migrant caregivers, essentially erasing their humanity, this month we obtained a modest accomplishment for two women and their bodies.

See Leena and Binsi in this photo? They both came from India to Israel and committed themselves to the difficult job of being a caregiver in Israel. The two arrived in the beginning of 2018, after paying $6000 USD in brokerage fees for the right to work in Israel. It is important to note that brokerage fees are illegal in Israel, but every migrant caregiver is required to pay these for the right to work in Israel and the Israeli authorities simply choose to look the other way as most of the money ends up in the hands of Israeli middlemen.
Soon after they arrived, each was surprised to discover that she was pregnant. Leena, who found out that she is pregnant with twins, was immediately fired as soon as she informed her 82-year-old employer of her pregnancy. Binsi, stopped working after experiencing severe pain. The Ministry of Interior argued that if they wished to keep their work permits, they must stay and give birth in Israel. This left them in an impossible position: unable to work due to their pregnancies, they lost both their livelihood and housing in Israel, and yet unable to go home to give birth while owing debts on a work visa that  would be impossible to pay back by working in India. Kav LaOved's intervention led to a solution: the two were granted permission to go home while pregnant, to have their baby while surrounded by the support of their families and only then return to Israel for work.
Help us show workers they are not alone in their fight for just employment! A monthly donation to Kav LaOved will assist workers in standing up for their rights. Any new donation of at least 300 NIS (approx. $85.00 USD total) - or donations that triple previous ones - will be matched by one of our funding partners.

 To securely donate via "Israel Gives":

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Mercaz HaBshorah
Phone: 04-6082228
Fax: 153-4-6082228

Wednesday, Friday
Herzl 18, Floor 2
Phone: 04-8643350
Fax: 04-8644238

Hotline Opening Hours:

Monday, Thursday

and via email at
Tel Aviv
Nahalat Binyamin 75, Floor 4
Phone: 03-6883766
Fax: 03-6883537

All donations will allow "Kav LaOved" to help workers get their rights at work and the money taken from them by their employers. Even a fixed contribution of 10 NIS per month. To donate by direct debit bank or credit card deposit contribution click here. Association account: Bank Hapoalim branch 781 Account 431095 in the name "Kav LaOved". To send a check to the offices of the association via mail: Kav LaOved PO Box 2319 ​​Tel Aviv 61022
Donations to Kav LaOved within Israel are income tax deductible under Section 46. Tax-deductible donations from abroad, by New Israel Fund. For more info: emilie@kavlaoved.org.il
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