Dear Friends,
We look at all the things we’ve done this year and try to think of how to share it with you. How can we update you without causing your head to spin and fit everything into a few paragraphs? How can we celebrate the New Year and in the same breath talk about workers’ rights, legal procedures, petitions and parliamentary advocacy? We chose a middle way by summarizing our work and achievements this year and providing you with links to more information so that yu can dive more deeply into those topics that are most interesting for you. We chose to tell you about 2022 at Kav LaOved in one long breath!
We would like to wish you a Happy New Year and say thank you for the partnership and care you have shown throughout this year. Just on the cusp of diving into 2023 we are providing you with a taste of the past year at KLO.
We helped thousands of workers—Israelis earning low wages, migrant workers, Palestinians and asylum-seekers—to exercise their rights with regard to their employers and the authorities. We distributed rights leaflets, answered questions and advised those who faced difficulty standing up for their labor rights. Since January of this year, over 23,000,000 NIS was returned to workers thanks to our intervention. Is it magic? Definitely not. Behind every shekel returned is hard, Sisyphean work: complex calculations, explanations, correspondence, mediation and lawsuits.
What else did we do?

We also appeared quite a few times in Knesset committees where we spoke out about a number of key issues:
In the Special Committee for Foreign Workers, we raised the issue of the illegal trade in work permits for Palestinian workers, the continued lack of enforcement of migrant workers’ rights, sexual violence experienced by migrant caregivers and the dire situation facing workers employed by foreign contracting companies.
In the Labor Committee we expressed reservations regarding the high brokerage fees that will now be demanded of migrant caregivers. We also put a spotlight on trafficking in persons among migrant workers, highlighting the ease with which problematic employment structures translate into modern day slavery and trafficking. In the Work Safety Subcommittee, we called on the authorities to take a proactive, preventative approach to improve the enforcement of labor rights for migrant workers.
We petitioned the High Court regarding the employment model of workers in foreign construction companies and pointed out ways their human rights were being trampled upon; we petitioned against the offensive programs that bring international agriculture students to Israel and exploit them to the bone; we petitioned the Contractor’s Registry and Safety Administration, demanding that they issue regulations on holding hearings for contractors who violate the safety of workers and impose sanctions in response to safety violations in construction; and we demanded that asylum-seekers be allowed to work as municipal cleaners despite regulations seeking to prohibit their employment. We recently petitioned against the Ministry of the Interior and Immigration Authority (PIBA) demanding that they cancel deeply harmful regulations that propose limiting the employment of asylum-seekers—we demanded logic and justice.
We issued a number a of reports this year, all based on meticulous research of various spheres, that were shared with workers and decision makers:
A report covering the multitude of sophisticated routes that have been paved to bypass bilateral agreements and enable the exploitation of migrant workers;
A report exploring blind spots in enforcement of workers’ rights by the Population and Immigration Authority;
A report on the dismal safety situation responsible for the high number of work accidents;
A report on the poor occupational health of Palestinian construction workers;
A report, published in collaboration with the Association of Ethiopian Jews, that described the employment situation facing Ethiopian Israeli Jews.
Our principled work was carried out in a variety of arenas and resulted in important collaboration with our partners and with the authorities:
  • Prior to the elections, we published our position on key reforms needed to improve protection of workers’ welfare, health and rights and called on the new government to act on behalf of workers. We turned to Knesset members and asked to hear their opinion. 

  • Publication of our report on the occupational health of Palestinian construction workers laid the foundation for establishment of a committed coalition of professionals who care about this issue, led by Kav LaOved. 

  • We demanded the inclusion of safety measures in proposals submitted by contractors responding to state tenders for construction. 

  • We presented our vision for regulating work in extreme weather conditions at the Climate Forum. 

  • We provided a detailed position paper to the UN pointing to the problematic employment of migrant workers in agriculture in Israel as part of their effort to eradicate human trafficking phenomena. 

  • We led advocacy initiatives to promote fair employment of Palestinian workers from the West Bank and Gaza

  • We participated in a comprehensive advocacy initiative to promote regulation of domestic work, led by The Joint, in order to help domestic workers attain their rights at work.

  • We advocated on behalf of migrant caregivers who face abusive regulations, abusive employers and abusive working conditions.

That is just the tip of the iceberg.
Although in a good name is better than good oil, you cannot maintain an organization by a good name alone and we also need your financial support to continue our efforts on behalf of workers into 2023. Just before the year ends, the tax authority allows you to submit receipts for donations and receive generous tax credits. Having you by our side is empowering and we are grateful for any and every donation, friendship and partnership.
Best wishes for the New Year!
Adi Maoz, KLO Executive Director
And all the staff and volunteers here at KLO