Forced and Temporary Migration
Israel was established with the intention of creating a Jewish state that would provide a safe haven for Jews and a place for the national expression of the Jewish people. As a direct consequence, Israel's migration policies were focused almost entirely on Jewish immigrants and their integration. However, in recent years Israel is increasingly facing migration management challenges similar to other states in terms of dealing with large numbers of (African) refugees and asylum seekers and (mainly Asian) labor migrants, in addition to human smuggling and trafficking. CIMI, in partnership with IOM, UNHCR, and other international experts, seeks to enhance migration management capacity of relevant government authorities as well as civil society. In doing so, it seeks to improve services for migrants in accordance with international standards.
In addition, CIMI seeks to develop effective and dignified return programs for migrant populations in Israel, such as victims of trafficking, returning refugees, and labor migrants. Drawing upon related Israeli and international expertise in these fields, this service area focuses on pre-departure information and preparation, return assistance as well as socio-economic reintegration.
Asylum Seekers and Refugees
CIMI Program: Migration Management Capacity Building in Israel: Supporting Effective Mechanisms to Combat Trafficking for Forced Labor and Protect Refugees in IsraelView Brochure (pdf)
In 2009, CIMI launched an initiative, the first of its kind in Israel, to combat human trafficking and to protect refugees. This program includes capacity building for relevant government officials and professionals, assistance to asylum seekers and victims of trafficking, and improvements on systematic and policy levels. It is in partnership with the Israeli Ministry of Justice, Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and is funded by the EU.
Cultural Competence Trainings, Series, 2009-2010
As part of CIMI's Migration Management Capacity Building program, CIMI is organizing and implementing a series of trainings to improve the cultural competence skills of Israeli law enforcement officials, who work directly with asylum seekers, migrant workers and victims of human trafficking. The program includes four one-day cultural competence seminars as well as the development of a reference manual. The manual will provide information about the cultural characteristics of five of the main countries of origin of these migrant populations: Philippines, China, Thailand, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Trainings to Increase Identification of Victims of Labor Trafficking, Series
As part of CIMI's Migration Management Capacity Building program, CIMI is organizing and implementing four 1-2 day sessions focusing on strategies to identify victims of human trafficking. At the sessions, participants also present and discuss ways to handle victims' reports of trafficking incidents or the lack of such reports and ways to help victims overcome the traumas they have faced. Increased identification of and enhanced methods of working with trafficking victims will help Israel address this terrible situation, which has become a new reality in the country. The trainings are conducted with attention to cultural and gender sensitivity in working with the victims. The first identification training was held on October 14th in Jerusalem for top officials in Israeli government offices and other relevant authorities. CIMI has planned three additional sessions, targeting NGOs and other professionals in the field.