From Margins to Mainstream: Economic Empowerment for Minorit...
From Margins to Mainstream: Economic Empowerment for Minorities in Israel
While recent years have seen a concentrated effort to encourage minorities and vulnerable groups within Israel to join the labor force, there has been no equivalent effort to ensure their equal rights and adequate labor protections once there. Arabs in Israel face significant challenges integrating into the workforce condemning them to conditions of poverty and social, economic and political marginalization. Against this situation, the government initiated Resolution 922 intended to promote the inclusion of minorities into the labor market. According to Harvard Kennedy School’s report published in 2018, only 33% of Arab women are employed, while the general population employment rates are above 80%. The Plan was intended to allocate resources and increase investment in the Arab sector, among other elements it promoted the integration of Arab Israelis into the workforce. In respect to entry to the labor force, these plans seem to be making progress with greater and greater entry rates of minorities into the economy. However, there seems to be insufficient monitoring and research about the conditions and terms of employment of these minorities once inside the workforce. KLO knows from nearly 30 years of experience with different populations, that vulnerable workers tend to suffer from higher rates and distinct violations of their labor rights. KLO seeks to launch a project to raise awareness among Arabs in Israel of their labor rights, empowering them with the knowledge to demand their equal treatment under the law and provide those facing violations with legal/paralegal assistance to remedy the situation. Furthermore, KLO will conduct a preliminary mapping of key stakeholders as well as researching labor terms and conditions faced by minorities in order to better tailor future service and address needs of population, to be distributed to relevant government agencies and other stakeholders.
Among the long term goals this projects seeks to (a) establish greater channels of cooperation with CSOs and change agents within the Arab community in Israel, and expand their capacity to address labor issues and support the populations they work with on these matters; and (b) establish partnerships with responsible government agencies to support their initiatives to promote minorities in the workforce.