The Israeli government has allocated $4.25 million for new daycare facilities in South Tel Aviv following the tragic deaths of two babies in a single week in overcrowded nurseries designated for the children of Eritrean and Sudanese refugees. Both dead children, one boy and one girl, were four months old. Three other refugee children died in similar conditions last month and there have been 14 additional child deaths in the past few years.
NIF grantees, including Hotline for Refugees and Migrant Workers and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), have been warning for years that the situation in these “baby warehouses” is inhumane and unacceptable, and that it is a stain on Israeli society that children must suffer such neglect and dangerous conditions.
ACRI’s Rotem Ilan said, “Israel has signed the International Covenant on the Rights of Children and has a legal and moral duty to take care of children living in Israel regardless of the identity of their parents. The situation is getting worse and how many more babies must die before the government acts to end this lack of supervision and enforcement of standards in daycare centers.”
There are roughly 3,000 young children of asylum seekers and economic immigrants in Tel Aviv spending most of their days in nursery care.