Dear Friends and Partners,

We reach out with deep sorrow and grave concern as the situation here intensifies, with no foreseeable end to the violence and suffering affecting both sides. The likelihood of an imminent release of the hostages remains uncertain, lacking adequate evidence. It became strikingly apparent to us at Kav LaOved, and to many others across Israel, especially since October 7th how significantly the State's functionality had diminished. In this void, civil society has notably risen to the urgency of the situation. Kav LaOved, true to its mission, continues to advocate for and support thousands of vulnerable workers, many of whom have been directly impacted by this war.     

We urge you to join us in remembering all those who tragically suffered in a conflict they were not a part of, and to extend support to the survivors, their families, and their communities. As of this writing, we are aware that 20-25 Thai workers have been abducted, and the status of another 15 remains unknown. Tragically, 39 Thai workers have lost their lives. Additionally, three individuals participating in agriculture student programs have been abducted, including one from Nepal and two from Tanzania. Sadly, 10 students from Nepal were killed. Two Philippine citizens, one a caregiver, have also been abducted. The conflict has claimed the lives of six individuals working as caregivers, hailing from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Moldova. Four asylum seekers, two each from Sudan and Eritrea, are either deceased or their whereabouts are unknown. Moreover, 6-7 construction workers from China have also been killed in this conflict.

As the war began, we were inundated with urgent requests to evacuate migrant agricultural workers stranded in the southern regions close to the Gaza border. Caught in the midst of life-threatening situations, facing potential harm, and hindered by language barriers, these individuals endured prolonged periods of isolation, desperately needing protection and assistance. Responding to this crisis, we actively provided evacuation and rescue services, and navigated through complex bureaucratic processes to ensure their safe relocation. Further details of these efforts are documented in KLO’s war chronicle.

In the midst of the current war situation, migrant caregivers, who care for the elderly and sick, face a harrowing choice: should they return to their home countries, at the cost of losing their hard-earned compensation and benefits, or continue their caregiving duties in homes that may not have adequate shelters? They grapple with the challenge of protecting themselves while also caring for bedridden elderly individuals. We are committed to safeguarding their wages and benefits, irrespective of their decision. The urgency and complexity of these situations have driven us to enhance our support, offering continuous, around the clock hotlines response for assistance and guidance.

The tragic consequences of the current crisis extend beyond those already mentioned. KLO is leading the charge in protecting and aiding various groups of workers we represent. This includes Palestinian workers from the West Bank and Gaza, who urgently needed our immediate help after being forced to evacuate their workplaces. Additionally, the plight of Palestinian workers from East Jerusalem, as well as local Arab citizens, is particularly alarming. They are experiencing a surge of unjust job terminations due to the prevailing political tensions.
Furthermore, other vulnerable groups, including asylum seekers and refugees and low-income Israelis, are grappling with numerous labor rights infringements and uncertainty regarding their rights in this emergency legal context. Our efforts are focused on providing these impacted workers with legal advice, support, and protection. We are also proactively bringing these issues to the attention of authorities and stakeholders to promote awareness and advocate for a fair and equitable solution.
Our team is facing overwhelming challenges as well. The nature of our daily operations has drastically changed, moving swiftly from our standard functions of offering legal advice and advocating for policy reforms to providing essential emergency responses for various social groups. In what felt like an overnight shift, our organization was swamped with urgent requests for aid, compelling us to adapt our working approach and resources. We are now focused on creating support systems to ensure safety, which includes facilitating access to shelters, providing legal assistance, and connecting individuals to vital social and psychological support services. These services are particularly crucial for traumatized and disoriented workers who have endured unspeakable horrors, including witnessing the loss of colleagues to violence or abduction.
In concluding this appeal, I wish to reaffirm our unwavering dedication to supporting vulnerable people, even during the most challenging times. However, to continue this vital work, we urgently require your backing. Our organization is in critical need of support to maintain our essential mission of protecting people's rights and lives. Each day brings added layers of suffering, desperation, and necessity. Meanwhile, fear and diminishing hope place an increasingly heavy burden on us as a civil society organization. You can continue following our work also through our webpage of devoted to featuring news articles which KLO contributes towards. 

This update is dedicated to remembrance of those who have tragically lost on all fronts, in the fervent hope for the swift return of the abducted, and for the rapid healing of the wounded, both physically and emotionally.

Stand by Kav LaOved – Stand by workers.

Adi Maoz, Director
Kav LaOved