"Workers Not Slaves"
A unique aspect of the TraffLab research project is the close collaboration with the TAU Law Workers’ Rights Clinic. Led by Adv. Idit Zimmerman and Adv. Irit Ulman, the Clinic expanded its mission to become a ‘laboratory’ for the study of labor-based anti-trafficking tools, by pursuing a labor approach to trafficking in the Israeli legal context. The Clinic’s legal activity provides experiential and empirical data to answer the project’s research questions regarding the potential and the limits of labor-based tools to combat human trafficking.
Ongoing Clinical projects
Representing migrant construction workers in a suit against their employer, a foreign construction company. The suit advances a novel claim for compensation for being employed under conditions of “precarious employment” (Ha’asaka Pog’anit - a term of art under Israeli labor law), amounting to human trafficking. The case is pending before the Tel Aviv Labor Court (no. 14051-08-18) available here. [Hebrew]
Representing (together with Kav LaOved – Worker’s Hotline) agricultural engineering students from Guatemala in a suit against the training center and against the students' employers, a regional council. The suit advances a novel claim for compensation for being employed under conditions of “precarious employment” (Ha’asaka Pog’anit - a term of art under Israeli labor law), amounting to human trafficking. The case is pending before the Be'er Sheva Labor Court, available here. [Hebrew]
Community Building and Outreach
Producing an informational video in Chinese, explaining basic and important workers’ rights. The script is written in collaboration with a community of Chinese migrant workers based in Tel Aviv.
We are assisting the first sex workers’ organization in Israel - Argaman [“Scarlet” in English] – Organization of Working Women - in their establishment and registration process. Argaman seeks to ensure the voice of sex workers is heard in policy processes, to fight the stigmas against sex work, and to promote sex workers’ rights.
Hotline for Employers of Migrant Care Workers
Migrant care workers in Israel are mostly employed by dependent elderly, many of whom receive a social security long term care benefit to pay for their services. Employers of migrant care workers often describe their situation as being “stuck” in the status of an employer by necessity, and not out of volition. In this sensitive dynamic, both the employers and the workers find themselves in need of assistance on various legal issues related to the employment. This understanding led to the foundation of the hotline for employers of migrant workers – an email address and a Facebook page - which is operated by the Workers’ Rights Clinic. Through the hotline, we seek to assist employers of migrant care workers, inform them about their duties toward the workers they employ and their own rights as benefit recipients, and map the challenges of employment created by governmental policies on in-home care.
Care Workers’ Migration: Towards an India-Israel Bilateral Labor Agreement
In 2018, NALSAR Law School in Hyderabad and TAU Law school held a global classroom where students from each side studied the situation of migrant workers in the India-Israel corridor and worked on understanding the migration process and working conditions upon migration. The students learned about the rise of bilateral labor agreements as a tool to regulate migration and its powers and limits in protecting workers’ rights. They then drafted an annotated model bilateral labor migration agreement between the two countries, in an attempt to reduce workers’ vulnerability in the migration process, and create mechanisms to enhance their bargaining power.
Clinical collaboration: The Labor Migration and Trafficking Clinic at NALSAR and the Workers’ Rights Legal Clinic at TAU.
Course Instructors: NALSAR: Prof. Vasanthi Numshakavi; TAU: Dr. Hila Shamir, Adv. Idit Zimmerman, Adv. Shimri Segal, Prof. Neta Ziv.