Useful links

The Human Trafficking Cycle: Sinai and Beyond
December 2013

On the 4th of December 2013, The Human Trafficking Cycle: Survivors of Sinai Trafficking and Beyond was presented in the European Parliament with the participation of EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. The report was also presented in Tel Aviv, Cairo, Lampedusa, London and New York.

Since the beginning of 2009 thousands of refugees from the Horn of Africa have been abducted and held for ransom in the Sinai desert. They include men, women, children and infants fleeing from desperate circumstances in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. An estimated 95% are from Eritrea. Smuggled across borders by middlemen, or kidnapped from refugee camps and surrounding areas in Ethiopia and Sudan, they are held close to the Israeli border in inhumane conditions and tortured for ransom. Many refugees die - in captivity, after their release or simply disappear - killed by their captors, shot by border guards, or from simply being lost in the desert.

ARDC reports and position papers

"You are Ethiopian Until Proven Otherwise"
September 2013

"You are Ethiopian Until Proven Otherwise":
Report about: Contested Nationality, Ethnic Eritreans and Stateless Persons in Israel

Do Not Send Us So We Can Become Refugees Again
March 2013

The report examines the State of Israel’s collective non-removal policy towards asylum seekers. We focused in particular on the case of the South Sudanese and—following Israel’s decision to no longer apply this policy—its aggressive campaign of arrest and deportation in mid-2012 of 1,038 asylum seekers to the newly independent state. Israel’s motivation to end the application of the non-removal policy was influenced not only by the creation of South Sudan as a new nation, but also inappropriately by political agendas in Israel. Further, the government failed to take into account the troubled situation developing in South Sudan, thereby contravening the principle of non-refoulement, which applies in circumstances where a person’s life or liberty would be threatened if he or she were returned.

The Balagan: Issues of Crime and State Interaction In South Tel Aviv
August 2013

This report outlines and analyzes the issues of crime in the area of south Tel Aviv and its casual factors, with an emphasis on issues within the refugee community of south Tel Aviv.

This report was written by Leah McDonnell based on research conducted as part of the ARDC research team, AAA Project.

Strangers in a Strange Land: Jewish textual analysis on African refugees in Israel
September 2012

This is an educational activity created by one of our volunteers to explore Jewish texts and how they can inform us on how to encounter refugees.

Alternative report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
January 2012

This alternative report to the UN human rights monitoring body demonstrates that Israel continues to ignore its international obligations towards asylum seekers and refugees and that various laws, policies and practices are racially discriminatory at their basis against this vulnerable population.

Report to the UN Committee of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
September 2011

This report is ARDC's responses to the 'list of issues' published by the CESCR in its consideration of the third periodic report of the State of Israel under the the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

World Refugee Day Report 2011
June 2011

This report is released by ARDC to coincide with World Refugee Day marked every year on June 20 and to highlight recent developments in Israel’s refugee situation.

Youth Movements Information Pack
July 2012

This pack contains detailed information on the issue of African refugees in Israel and the work of ARDC, as well as examples of how these issues can be integrated into youth education. It should be used as a resource for youth movements and educators to introduce these issues into their programs.

Further reading on Israel's asylum regime

Human Trafficking in the Sinai: Refugees between life and death
September 2012

This report describes the horrific situation of trafficking of refugees in the Sinai desert, a crisis that started in 2009. The refugees include men, women, children and accompanying infants fleeing from already desperate circumstances in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. An estimated 95% of the refugees held hostage in the Sinai (also referred to as hostages) are Eritreans. Smuggled across borders by middlemen, or kidnapped from refugee camps in Ethiopia and the Sudan as well as their surrounding areas, and then captured or sold, the refugees are held hostage close to the Israeli border in inhumane conditions and tortured for ransoms up to USD 50,000.

Caught in the Borderlands (Laurie Lijnders)
December 2011

Numerous African asylum-seekers experience and bear witness to torture, kidnapping, extortion, rape, and organ removal during the journey to Israel. This dissertation explores the ways in which Eritrean asylum-seekers in Israel narrate their experiences of violence in the Northern Sinai desert by human traffickers en route to Israel.

African Migration to Israel Debt, Employment and Remittances (Rebecca Furst-Nichols and Karen Jacbosen)
September 2011

This report details the migration experience and livelihood choices of Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers and migrants in Tel Aviv. The research is based on a scoping study conducted in November and December 2010. It provides an overview of Israeli policy toward African asylum seekers, routes taken to Israel, experience with Bedouin smugglers, employment opportunities, legal status, protection issues, and the role of remittances in repaying smuggling debt to family and friends in the diaspora.

The Self-Perceived Needs of Homeless African Refugees in Tel Aviv's Levinksy Park (Suhail Stephen and Michael Schmautz)
July 2011

Of the over 33,000 African refugees currently in Israel, a considerable albeit undocumented number have had or currently face various experiences of homelessness. South Tel Aviv’s Levinsky Park is one locale in which this reality is most visible. The objective of this qualitative study was to understand the perceptions of Levinsky Park’s homeless African refugees relative to their most important needs, in order to provide a frame of reference by which refugee service providers may more effectively determine and evaluate current and prospective service offerings, and ultimately improve the lives of homeless African refugees in Israel.

2010 Human Rights Report: Israel and the occupied territories (US State Department)
April 2011
Ordered disorder: African asylum seekers in Israel and discursive challenges to an emerging refugee regime (Yonathan Paz)
March 2011

This paper analyses Israel‘s response to a recent influx of African asylum seekers, a phenomenon whose nature and scale are unprecedented in Israel‘s history. It addresses three intertwined questions. What are the discursive challenges to the construction of an Israeli refugee regime? What dynamics foster their development? And how can those challenges be explained and deconstructed?

Israel detention profile (Global Detention Project)
February 2011

The Global Detention Project (GDP) is an inter-disciplinary research endeavour that investigates the role detention plays in states’ responses to global migration, with a special focus on the policies and physical infrastructures of detention.

"The Dead of the Wilderness" - Testimonies from Sinai 2010 (Hotline for Migrant Workers)
February 2011

During 2010, Hotline for Migrant Workers collected testimonies from 60 asylum seekers, mainly from Eritrea, who were victimized by the smugglers in the Sinai Desert while en route to seek refuge in Israel. Volunteers met the asylum seekers in Saharonim Prison or after they were released from prison. Based on these testimonies, the report reveals the torture the victims underwent, and their everyday lives in the torture camps in the desert.

Responsibility sharing and the rights of refugees: The case of Israel (Tally Kritzman-Amir and Yonatan Berman)
January 2011

This paper examines the Israeli asylum regime through the lens of responsibility sharing. It critically analyzes the implementation of this regime, with a particular interest on the impact the regime has on responsibility sharing. It also analyzes the present discourse regarding responsibility sharing, despite its limited scope. Notwithstanding the limited conversation on this issue—both in Israel and in the Middle East generally—this Essay argues that responsibility sharing is a necessary pillar for refugee protection and that it should be considered a central tenet for any nation devising an asylum regime.

Procedure for Handling Political Asylum Seekers in Israel (Population, Immigration and Border Authority)
January 2011

The purpose of this document is to set out the process of handling political asylum seekers in Israel, and those who were recognized as refugees by the Interior Minister.

The Infiltration Prevention Bill: Lies and Reality (Refugee Rights Forum)
February 2010

This report details the main components of the Infiltration Prevention Law before its deliberation by the Knesset's Internal Affairs Committee on February 3, 2010. If the law is passed, Israel's obligations to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees will be annulled, refugees who never committed a crime could be jailed for up to twenty years, refugees could be deported to their home countries in a manner that could endanger their lives, and the deeds carried out by aid organization employees and volunteers could become criminal.

A promised land for refugees? (Karin Fathimath Afeef)
December 2009

The purpose of this UNHCR research paper is to provide a concise and up-to-date overview of the asylum and migration issue in Israel. It outlines the broader features of the Israeli migration regime, the history of non-Jewish migration, a historical overview of asylum in Israel and the different responses to asylum seekers in Israel including the government's policies towards asylum seekers.

African Refugees' Influx in Israel from a Socio-Political Perspective (Haim Yacobi)
April 2009

The paper focuses on socio-political dynamics in Israel in relation to the increased flow of African refugees and asylum seekers. The main argument presented is that there is an inherent tension between the ethnocentric ideologies and the questions of territorial control that define Israel, and the pressure exerted by NGOs and civil society in relation to the ongoing influx of African asylum seekers and refugees.

"Otherness" as the Underlying Principle in Israel's Asylum Regime (Tally Kritzman-Amir)
March 2009

This paper aims to be one of the first thorough descriptions of the developing asylum system in the State of Israel. The argument presented in this paper is that, despite the inherent moral and doctrinal differences between asylum and immigration regimes, the Israeli asylum system is essentially an extension of Israel’s immigration and citizenship regime, as it excludes the non-Jewish refugees and frames the refugee as the “other".

Israel - A safe haven? (Tel Aviv Univeristy and PHR)
September 2003

In the year 2001, while the world celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, Israel took its first, hesitant steps towards the full implementation of the Convention. Contrary to its declared ethos, Israel had done very little over the years to protect persons being persecuted by reason of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.