By Mika Hackner, Kav LaOved InternIn June 2012, the Haifa Municipality attempted to implement a policy which would revoke the license of any business found employing refugees or asylum seekers. Not only would this policy have been in contravention of the law, but it would only have served to create a widespread social problem in the region, threatening to leave many refugees with no work or source of income. Since then, Kav LaOved in Haifa and Tel Aviv have continued to work to support and protect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.After being alerted to the issue by several alarmed employers and employees who had received letters from the Haifa Municipality, Kav LaOved launched a public campaign against the policy. Thankfully, the campaign was successful and the policy was struck down.
Though refugees and asylum seekers in the Haifa area no longer have to worry about this particular policy, there are still many challenges to be faced – particularly regarding non-payment of social benefits, severance pay or pension. Clearly, there is still a lot of work to be done for the protection of the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in the North, who have less access to support and resources, as most offices and non-profit organizations for refugees and asylum seekers are located in Tel Aviv.
The Kav LaOved Haifa team, with one full-time staff member and 16 dedicated volunteers, hopes for more achievements and successes in the next year in the effort to promote the rights of asylum seekers and refugees.