Centre dispels concerns on recruiting Indian workers for Israel : The Tribune India

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Centre dispels concerns on recruiting Indian workers for Israel

MEA rules out including Israel as ECR country; says will keep an eye on their safety

Centre dispels concerns on recruiting Indian workers for Israel

The MEA pinned hopes for workers’ welfare on Israel being a member of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which has strict labour laws. iStock



Tribune News Service

Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi, January 18

The Ministry of External Affairs ruled out putting Tel Aviv on the ‘Emigration Clearance Required’ (ECR) list following concerns that the ongoing recruitment of tens of thousands of workers for Israel could endanger their lives and welfare.

The MEA pinned hopes for workers’ welfare on Israel being a member of Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which has strict labour laws.

After the workers have gone to Israel enmasse, the Government will continue to keep an eye on their security as it does in case of Indian citizens anywhere in the world. In this respect, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal gave the example of ‘Operation Ajay’ launched to evacuate willing Indians from Israel after conflict broke out with Hamas on October 7.

Several thousand youth from mainly north Indian states of Haryana, Punjab, UP and Rajasthan, have reportedly arrived in Rohtak for interviews by a private team of Israel contractors to make up the shortage of caregivers and construction workers, many of whom either fled or were barred after the Israel-Hamas conflict. Currently, the recruitment is for construction, painting, and farming jobs.

The labour mobility agreement with Israel was unconnected with the Gaza conflict, said Jaiswal while pointing out that it was inked well before the conflict broke out.

“The idea was to put in place an institutional mechanism which regulates migration to that country. We already have a large number of people especially in the care-giving sector in Israel. Want to ensure that there is regulated migration and the rights of people who go there are protected.,’’ he said.

On the question of putting Israel on the list of ECR countries, Jaiswal said labour laws in Israel are very strict and robust. “It’s an OECD country. Therefore as such they provide for protection of labour rights. We are very conscious of our responsibility to provide safety and security to people abroad,” he observed.

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