Some 3,000 babies and toddlers from the communities of asylum seekers and labor migrants in Tel Aviv stay throughout most of the day in a chain of unregulated kindergartens, referred to by these communities as “babysitters”. During February 2015 alone, three babies died in such kindergartens, and another two died in March. Unfortunately, these cases only scratch the surface of a wide range of phenomena, including exposure to dangers and negligence, which occur every day in the unregulated kindergartens of Israel’s invisible babies.Only a comprehensive and systemic intervention may save the next baby.
The detention of migrant children has become commonplace since February 2011. Before that, the Population and Immigration Authority avoided expelling migrant women with children and instead expelled the fathers, with the hope that the women would follow their husbands. The situation created in Israel is that children of migrants, though raised and steeped in Israeli culture, remain without official legal status.
Many migrant workers live in fear and hide their medical condition to avoid losing their work permits, since according to Israeli law, the right for medical treatment is provided only so long as the workers are employed. This law reflects the social perception of migrant workers as a tool to be cast aside the second they are no longer productive.
The government latest amendment to the “Anti Infiltration Law” addresses the employment of asylum seekers for the first time. The amendment does not comprehensively regulate the employment of asylum seekers and does not guarantee labor rights. Furthermore the amendment includes draconian directives that are detached from the reality of asylum seekers' lives.