The Center for International Migration and Integration (CIMI) reviews a year of varied and challenging activities. In the area of work migration, despite the multiple challenges caused by the pandemic restrictions, in partnership with the Population and Immigration Authority, the organization has continued its operations to bring foreign agricultural, construction and care workers to Israel, while ensuring professional and transparent processes of recruitment with no illegal commission fees.
In 2021, approximately 9,200 foreign workers arrived in Israel through the bilateral agreements with the organization’s assistance – 5,900 from Thailand, 1,300 from Ukraine, 1,200 from Moldova, and 800 from the Philippines. All the agricultural and construction workers participated in a professional orientation upon their arrival. Throughout the time that workers are employed in Israel, they are able to contact the Call Center run by CIMI with interpreters in their mother tongues. In the course of the year, the Center received 25,500 phone calls and handled 3,600 inquiries from 2,500 workers.
CIMI’s activities in the field of migrant workers are supported by research and evaluation. In 2021, this included publication of the biennial survey examining the status of workers brought into Israel through the bilateral agreements; a booklet with data from the Call Center; and findings of a survey of employers who hold permits to employ foreign caregivers but do not make use of them. We also conducted a survey of migrant workers from Thailand on digital communities and a survey of migrant workers from the Philippines in the financial literacy program about transferring and saving money.
The national distribution fund for asylum seekers that was introduced at the initiative of JDC-Israel, government ministries and philanthropic organizations when the COVID pandemic erupted and was headed by CIMI, was brought to an end last September. The fund distributed over NIS 27 million to 20,000 adults and children throughout Israel from Haifa to Eilat. CIMI is continuing to support asylum seekers according to international conventions ratified by Israel.
The staff and volunteer leadership at CIMI are all set for another year of productive work on behalf of these migrants in Israel.