eyes of children.
(photo credit: )
Thousands of children of foreign workers will be eligible for social welfare services following a decision made Tuesday by the Knesset Committee on Foreign Workers, chaired by MK Ran Cohen (Meretz).
"The State of Israel should take responsibility for the existence and future of every child living within in it," Cohen told the committee. "Every child has a right to be raised like a human being regardless of from where he or she originates."
Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, director of the National Council for the Child, which initiated the move, told the committee, "If the children are already living here then they must be taken care of and their needs must be met like any other child."
A spokesman for the Ministry of Welfare and Social Services said the kind of treatments that would be on offer to children of foreign workers would include placing children at risk in a safe house and psychological treatment.
The ministry's legal adviser Batya Artman said at the meeting that the government needed to establish a more concrete policy and designate specific budgets to take care of this population.
Until now very few children of foreign workers received treatment from the Welfare and Social Services Ministry. Many migrants, especially if they were living in the country illegally, were afraid to turn to social services for fear that their details would be passed on to the Interior Ministry or immigration police and they would be deported.
At the committee meeting, Cohen also called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to hold a special hearing on the welfare and treatment of refugees from Sudan who have recently begun filtering into the country via Egypt. He said that Israel had a responsibility to care for them, too.