Safety for Refugees and People Seeking Asylum - New Israel Fund Australia

Safety for Refugees and People Seeking Asylum

In January 2018, the Netanyahu government announced its plan to forcibly deport the 35,000 people seeking asylum currently living in Israel. Since they began arriving from Eritrea and Sudan almost ten years ago, they have been subject to periods of mandatory detention, prohibitions on working, inadequate access to healthcare and uncertain legal status.

NIF Australia worked in partnership with two Israeli organisations to help stop the deportations and continues to assist in limiting detention and to find a permanent solution to people seeking asylum in Israel.

Podcast with Tamara Newman and Julian Burnside

Interested in learning more? Listen to our podcast episode with Australian human rights lawyer Julian Burnside and Tamara Newman from the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants – Israel.

Projects we support:

Hotline for Refugees and Migrants

NIF Australia has supported the Hotline for a number of years and in January, following the announcement that mass deportations would begin soon, we raised more than $20,000 in an emergency campaign to offer additional support.

NIF Australia supports two areas of the Hotline’s work: the walk-in clinic and its precedent-setting cases to the High Court.

The clinic sees more than 1,000 people seeking asylum each year, providing important case management services, helping them apply for their refugee status, and fight back against detention and deportation orders.

Some of the Hotline’s landmark cases include improving the conditions of detention, having anti-refugee laws declared unconstitutional, and achieving judgements providing protection for Eritreans seeking asylum from their government’s military conscription.

We continue to fund the Hotline’s work to provide certainty and security for people seeking asylum.


  • 2020 – $30,000
  • 2019 – $23,000
  • 2018 – $39,136
  • 2017 – $11,000


ASSAF provides humanitarian aid and social work services to people seeking asylum and refugees in Israel. Our funding began in early 2020 as it became clear that the COVID-19 crisis, which left many people seeking asylum without employment due to the widespread lockdown, would disproportionately affect this community.


  • 2020 – $10,000

Physicians for Human Rights

PHR runs a daily medical clinic in Yafo for refugees, people seeking asylum and migrant workers who lack legal status and don’t have access to any medical insurance.

Between this clinic and their weekly mobile clinic in the West Bank, more than 16,000 people are given medical treatment and referrals they couldn’t otherwise receive.


  • 2020 – $35,000
  • 2019 – $25,000
  • 2018 – $25,000

Kav La’oved

Another detrimental government policy facing people seeking asylum is the requirement to forego a large portion of their wage which is to be reclaimed only when they leave the country. While in Israel this policy entrenches their poverty and also creates issues when they try to access the funds as they depart the country.

We funded a four-month increase in staff hours to support those who assist people seeking asylum trying to access their confiscated funds, representing them outside banks and the tax authority, as well as outreach to community members to better understand their rights.


  • 2018 – $10,000