State Comptroller Confirms: The Immigration Authority and the Ministry of Economy failed to enforce the rights of migrant workers.

Kav LaOved, The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, Physicians for Human Rights, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and Amnesty International responded today to the report presented by the State Comptroller about failures related to the rights of migrant workers.

“The State Comptroller confirmed the allegations that human rights organizations have been making against the state for years now. While the Immigration Authority in the field of detention and deportation excels in optimal administrative efficiency, and is known for being both well budgeted and generously staffed – its activity in the aspects of enforcement of the rights of migrants is characterized by tedious bureaucracy, lack of basic coordination with other authorities, and refraining from using its authority when needed. The State Comptroller also confirmed today that the Department of Immigration has consistently refrained from making use of its granted authority to void employment permits given to employers who are convicted of serious crimes committed against their employees.”

“The report also reveals that the central institution responsible for enforcing the rights of workers, the Ministry of Economy, is not doing its job. The report particularly points out the endless lengthening of arbitration complaints filed to the Ministry of Economy for breach of workers’ rights and a lack of effectiveness of the institution responsible for migrant workers’ labor rights which made no use of the enforcement powers at its disposal. This institution did not realize, for many years, the purpose for which it was established. ”

The organizations call on the state to act immediately to implement the State Comptroller’s report, including a substantial increase in enforcement resources at the various departments of the Ministry of Economy in terms of the budget and personnel, as well as making use of their authority for revoking permits of law breaking employers.

Translated by Shira Haddad