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Post-doctoral Fellow and  TraffLab Research Fellow

Yahel Kurlander


Dr. Yahel Kurlander

Dr. Yahel Kurlander is a Sociologist of the labor market who specializes in migration and gender and a TraffLab Research Fellow.


Kurlander received her PhD from the Department of Sociology at Haifa University. Her PhD analyses agricultural labor migration from Thailand to Israel and deals mainly in patterns of the recruitment industry in light of a bilateral agreement between Israel and Thailand (1983-2013). In the course of her PhD work, she was a visiting scholar (2013-2015) in the Geography Department in the Economic Geography Unit of the University of Zurich. She is currently an adjunct Lecturer in Sociology at the Department of Human Services, Tel-Hai Academic College. Kurlander is an avid activist and passionately partakes in groups fighting for gender and migration issues.


Research at TraffLab: Kurlander brings to TraffLab her unique insight as a labor market qualitative sociologist. Kurlander researches intersectional perspectives of women labor migrants employed in men-dominated occupations, focusing on the agricultural sector in Israel as a case study.  This project builds an expands a labor approach to trafficking to assess, understand and analyze the vulnerability of women migrant workers working in male-dominated labor sectors to severe forms of labor market exploitation and human trafficking.


Relevant Publications

Yael Kurlander and Zeevik Greenberg, Editorial Introduction: Agriculture Labor Migration in an (Un)changing World, 43(1) Geography Research Forum, Special Issue: Exploitative Farm Labor Migration: North American and Israeli Perspectives (co-editors Yahel Kurlander and Zeevik Greenberg) (2024). [Full Text] [Link to Full Volume]

Yahel Kurlander, Shahar Shoham and Matan Kaminer, Crucial Yet Disavowed: Thai Migrant Farmworkers and Israel’s Migration Regime, 43(1) Geography Research Forum, Special Issue: Exploitative Farm Labor Migration: North American and Israeli Perspectives 105 (2024) [Full Text


Yahel Kurlander, Michal Tadjer and Zoe Gutzeit, Privatization, Exclusion and Neglect – The Health of Migrant Workers in the Israeli Agricultural Sector, Mishapt U'Mimshal (Law and Governance) (2022).  [Hebrew]


Avinoam Cohen and Yahel Kurlander, Agriculture as a Site of Trafficking in Persons, Modern Slavery and Forced Labor: Between Migrant Recruitment and Worker Rights, 6 Law, Culture and Society, Special Issue: Trafficking in Persons 239 (2023). [Hebrew] [Abstract in English]


Yahel Kurlander and Avinoam Cohen, BLAs as Sites for the Meso-Level Dynamics of Institutionalization: A Cross-Sectoral Comparison, 23(2) Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Special Issue: Bilateral Agreements 246 (2022). [Full Text]

Yahel Kurlander, On the Establishment of the Agricultural Migration Industry in Israel's Countryside, 41 Geography Research Forum 19 (2022). [Full Text]

Yahel Kurlander and Idit Zimmerman, "Suitable Accommodation" for Agricultural and Migrant Home Care Workers  Before and After Covid-19, 12 Hagira [Hebrew] Full text available here.  

Maayan Niezna, Yahel Kurlander and Hila Shamir, Underlying Conditions: The Increased Vulnerability of Migrant Workers under COVID-19, 6 (2) J. of Modern Slavery 133 (2021). [Full Text] Available at SSRN:


Yahel Kurlander, Maayan Niezna and Hila Shamir, COVID-19’s Impact on Non-Israeli Workers: Vulnerability, Commodification and Hope, 2 Israeli Sociology 82 (2021). [Hebrew] [Full Text] Available at SSRN: 3830342

Yahel Kurlander, Placement and Manpower Agencies, in Hila Shamir and Maayan Niezna (eds.), An Alternative Anti-Trafficking Action Plan: A Proposed Model Based on a Labor Approach to Trafficking, TraffLab Research Group Policy Paper, Tel Aviv University (2020). Full text [Hebrew] and abstract in English available on the TraffLab website Policy page.

Yahel Kurlander and Matan Kaminer, Permanent Workers in the Backyard: Employing Migrant Farmworkers from Thailand in the Israeli Countryside, 98 Horizons in Geography 131 (2020). [Hebrew], Available at SSRN:

Yahel Kurlander,The Marketization of Migration – on the Emergence, Flourishment and Change of the Recruitment Industry for Agricultural Migrant Workers from Thailand to Israel, Doctoral Thesis, University of Haifa (November 2019). [HebrewFull text [Hebrew] and abstract in English available at: 


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