Justice Ayala Procaccia
Photo: Courtesy of Supreme Court

Migrant workers won't lose visa for pregnancy

Supreme Court voids Interior Ministry regulation that requires female migrant workers to leave Israel three months after giving birth. 'Regulation violates human rights,' Justice Procaccia says

In her last ruling before resigning from the Supreme Court, Justice Ayala Procaccia asserted on Wednesday that the Interior Ministry regulation to deport female migrant workers three months after they give birth should be voided.


"The core of the regulation does not stand the tests of proportionality and reasonability," Procaccia explained. "The benefits reaped from the regulation are minor, and it should be annulled."


Procaccia said that the procedure discriminates against employees who are pregnant and who have children, which is prohibited under the employment equality laws, and violates international agreements that call for the protection of migrant workers' rights.


She noted that human rights apply to everyone, "including those who entered Israel illegally."


The petition against the Interior Ministry and the National Insurance Institute of Israel was submitted in 2006 by the Association for Civil Rights, the Worker's Hotline and the women's rights organization Na'amat.


The petitioners asked the Supreme Court to establish that a migrant worker should not lose her work visa if she gives birth during her stay in Israel, and should be allowed to stay with her child until she completes her 63 months of employment.


Attorney Yuval Livnat of the Worker's Hotline noted in the petition that until 2005 the Interior Ministry allowed some of the migrant workers who gave birth in Israel to stay if they sent their babies abroad after three months, but this regulation was cancelled.


'Regulation is immoral'

The justice said on Wednesday that the regulation forces the migrant worker to choose whether to leave the country with her child and forgo the rest of her employment period, or return to Israel to work – without her child. "Both options violate her constitutional right for parenthood, and harm her financial prospects severely," she said.


Moreover, Procaccia claimed that the regulation is unworthy of the Israeli constitutional system and is immoral. "A different set of rules should be created… without unreasonably and disproportionately violating human rights, which should be guarded vigilantly."


It was only a month ago that the government began implementing its decision to deport migrant workers who are staying in Israel illegally. In March, the Population and Immigration Authority deported a Nigerian woman whose tourist visa expired, along with her infant daughter.


Less than two weeks later, police arrested two women from the Philippines and their two infant children. The four were taken to a detainment facility at Ben Gurion Airport, and were deported 72 hours later.



פרסום ראשון: 04.13.11, 13:32
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