Hotline for Refugees and Migrants

The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants (Hotline) is a human rights organization that utilizes direct service provision, litigation, and advocacy to uphold the rights of refugees, migrant workers, and survivors of human trafficking in Israel. In Hebrew, the organization is known as המוקד לפליטים ולמהגרים (hamoked l'plitim v l'mehagrim).

Hotline for Refugees and Migrants
Founded1998; 24 years ago (1998)
Area served
Key people
Dr. Ayelet Oz, Executive Director[2]
Naomi Chazan, Board Member[3]


In 1998, Israeli journalist Einat Fishbain and her colleagues opened a voicemail hotline for migrant workers in Israeli immigration detention, and published articles about the situation of migrant workers in Ha'ir. Three women reached out to her, asking if they could help the migrant workers, and Ms. Fishbain introduced them to one another.[4] These three women went on to found the Hotline for Migrant Workers, which later changed its name to the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants.[5] The Hotline staff succeeded in gaining permission to enter immigration detention[4] and today is the only non-governmental body with access to Israel's immigration detention centers.

Organizational structureEdit

The Hotline carries out its activities through three main departments:

Crisis Intervention CenterEdit

The Hotline provides free consultation and paralegal representation. This service is offered in the Hotline's office at weekly reception, over the phone, and through visits to periphery cities and immigration detention. The Hotline's Crisis Intervention Center has released thousands of migrants and asylum seekers from detention over the years.[6]

Legal DepartmentEdit

The Hotline's legal department litigates strategic cases with potential to affect policies and practices for the entire community.[6]

Public Policy DepartmentEdit

The Hotline conducts research, media work, public events, and meetings with stakeholders and decision makers. Through this work, they engage in both local and international advocacy about migration policy and its implications, both for migrants and society as a whole.[6]


  • Preventing the forced deportation of Congolese asylum seekers back to the Democratic Republic of Congo (March 2019)[7]
  • Preventing the forced deportation of Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers to Uganda and Rwanda (April 2018)[8]
  • Gaining refugee status for the first and only Darfuri refugee in Israel (June 2016)[9]
  • The High Court's ruling on the 5th Anti-Infiltration Law limiting detention time in Holot to a maximum of 12 months (August 2015)[10]
  • State-funded legal aid to victims of trafficking and unaccompanied minors (2007)[11]
  • Spearheading significant changes to Israel's trafficking laws, culminating in the passing of the Fight Against Human Trafficking Act, which banned all forms of human trafficking (June 2006)[12]
  • Granting of legal status to hundreds of children of migrant workers (June 2006 & August 2010)[13][14]
  • Precedent-setting legal case against employment arrangements that bind workers to their employers (March 2006)[15]

Research Reports and PublicationsEdit

Detention Monitoring ReportsEdit

The Hotline has produced an annual report on the situation within Israeli immigration detention since 2015.

Other Reports and PublicationsEdit



  1. ^ "Hotline for Refugees and Migrants | Contact Us".
  2. ^ "Hotline for Refugees and Migrants | Our Staff".
  3. ^ "Hotline for Refugees and Migrants | Board of Directors".
  4. ^ a b "20 Years of Achievements" (PDF). 2019. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  5. ^ "Hotline for Refugees and Migrants | We're changing our name!".
  6. ^ a b c "Hotline for Refugees and Migrants | Our Activism".
  7. ^ "Interior minister delays planned deportation of Congolese migrants".
  8. ^ Taylor, Adam. "Netanyahu said Israel had a deal to resettle African migrants in the West. Hours later, he suspended it". Washington Post.
  9. ^ Lior, Ilan (June 23, 2016). "Israel Grants Refugee Status to Sudanese Asylum Seeker for First Time". Haaretz.
  10. ^ Pileggi, Tamar. "Court upholds 'anti-infiltration' law, but limits migrants' detention time".
  11. ^ "Ministry of Justice". GOV.IL.
  12. ^ "Data for Denmark" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  13. ^ Sa'ar, Relly (May 7, 2006). "PM Vowed to Help Foreign Workers' Kids, but the State Wants to Deport Them". Haaretz.
  14. ^ Weiler-Polak, Dana (July 25, 2010). "'Israel Doesn't Have the Moral Right to Deport a Single Child'". Haaretz.
  15. ^ "Foreign Workers Can Now Switch Employers Without Risking Permit". Haaretz. March 31, 2006.
  16. ^ "New Israel Fund – Human Rights Awards Dinner 2018".
  17. ^ "Hotline for Refugees and Migrants | Human Trafficking".
  18. ^ The Association For Civil Rights in Israel. The Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award: The First 30 Years 1981-2011. 2012.