Implementation of Bilateral Agreements
In the last two decades, the migrant labor population in Israel has stood at hundreds of thousands of people. They are employed in the agriculture, construction, and care giving, most of them from Asia and Eastern Europe. Although the rights of labor migrants are more protected and supervised than in the past, many immigrants come to Israel without an understanding of their rights and obligations. Even in cases where employees are aware of their rights, many violations are not reported for fear of negative consequences or punishment from employers. Labor migrants are particularly vulnerable to exploitation through the payment of illegal brokerage fees, accumulation of debts, non-payment of wages, being bound to an employer, working under conditions of near slavery and more.
CIMI assists the government of Israel in the implementation of bilateral agreements in agriculture (Thailand) and construction (Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria), as well as in the implementation of pilot agreements for migrant workers in care giving from Nepal and Sri Lanka. These agreements create a legal and normative framework for recruiting labor immigrants in Israel. The government's decision to recruit labor migrants through bilateral agreements remains unchanged, despite a stubborn struggle of various groups whose interests go against the agreements.
However, only through these agreements, professional employees are recruited without the payment of brokerage fees and through supervised payments only. In addition, the agreements create a support network that includes a Call Center in the countries of origin and in Israel that allows employees to make complaints about violation of rights. CIMI addresses the complaints or sends them to the relevant authorities, mainly in the Ministry of Labor and the Immigration and Population Authority.