Monitoring report: Detention of Migrants and Asylum Seekers in Israel during 2022
As we do every year, we investigated the detention conditions of undocumented migrants and the state’s implementation of detention, arrest, and deportation laws and policies. We did this to ensure that the detainees’ rights are protected and their dignity is not jeopardized, even in vulnerable situations.
At the beginning of 2022, international migration statistics pointed to a potential return to pre-COVID-19 migration patterns following two years of deviation and a significant decline.1 This tendency abruptly changed on February 24, 2022, with the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, which resulted in a massive internal displacement of Ukrainian civilians as well as their flee to other countries.
This year, as in previous years, we proactively worked to protect the rights of detainees and those denied entry. These are some of our major activities and accomplishments in 2022:
In response to our petition opposing the removal of group protection for Congolese citizens, the state committed to the district court that the group protection will not be removed from children under 18 years old or their family members with Congolese citizenship.
After many years of public action and judicial work, the state announced to the Supreme Court that the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Aid office will provide lawyers to represent “those held in detention under the Entry to Israel law in complicated circumstances in which they cannot represent themselves”.
In response to our appeal to the then Minister of Interior Defense, Omer Bar-Lev, the Israeli Prison Service issued an order clarifying that those detained and brought to court for detention review will not be handcuffed.
HRM activity in the Knesset committees and the media, in collaboration with the Refugee Rights Forum, positively affected the policy adopted by the Ministry of the Interior towards Ukrainian asylum seekers, who sought protection from Israel with the outbreak of war in their country.