New trends in human trafficking which exploit the asylum system in Israel


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Since 2016 there has been a sharp rise in the number of Ukranians and Georgians applying for asylum in Israel. Data collected by the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants (HRM) shows that Israeli entities, including human resource companies, are involved in this rise by spreading mis-information in the the Ukraine and Georgia about the possibility of working legally in Israel. They charge large sums of money as agents’ fees, and they may also be involved, to varying degrees, in selling fake documentation.

At the same time, due to the backlog at the Population and Immigration Authority’s Refugee Status Determination Unit (RSD) in Tel Aviv, the processing of asylum requests can be very slow2 . Despite the fact that the Population and Immigration Authority (PIBA) has been handling services for an ever growing population for a long time, the necessary changes have yet to be made. The dysfunctional asylum system is therefore being exploited3 to bypass the regulatory system for bringing migrant workers to Israel. This is assumably due to the cap on the number of migrant workers the system allows coupled with a significant demand for workers.

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