The Jerusalem Post recently published an article on the difficulties faced by domestic workers in Israel, highlighting the #OurHands social media campaign.
Marcie from Sri Lanka has worked in Israel for three years through a caregiver’s visa, but has never been allowed to do her job. The family that employs her requires her to undertake outdoor manual labor and take care of their 10 dogs, as well as clean and cook. She has never been permitted to care for the elder man that she was hired for, and does not receive days off. When she recently asked for two Saturdays a month off, and half of the month working inside the house in the position she was hired for, she was fired without notice and asked to move out immediately. When she asked her working agency for assistance regarding the situation, they went to the house and retrieved her belongings, but refused to negotiate with her employers. She came to Kav LaOved because, in her words, “I want to do something right, because they have been wrong. ” She resolved to use this experience to inform the family of their labor rights violations and ensure that the family’s next caregiver does not share her experience.
Through social media and dispersing of materials, “Our Hands” hopes to provide domestic workers with a means of ensuring rights protection, and to facilitate the ratification and enforcement of C189, a convention that attempted to rectify the marginalization of domestic workers and recognize them for their significant contribution to the global economy.