Asylum Seekers in Israel: Challenges to Social Work

Orit Nuttman-Shwartz, Ofer Shinar Levanon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The challenges facing social workers in addressing the migration crisis are myriad and complex. Against this background, the current article presents a case study on the response of Israeli social work to the asylum seekers, which allows us to identify gaps between the social work profession's global agenda and its implementation. The article examines how recent immigration policies have impacted Israeli social workers' responses to these challenges. Following a brief description of Israel's policies for controlling and limiting the entrance of asylum seekers to the country, the article offers insights into social workers' involvement in some of the main social services that aim to assist asylum seekers in Israel. Insights are also offered into the response of Israeli social workers to the community of asylum seekers, which focuses on individual needs and on urgent needs. Several explanations for these emphases was offers, noting that they may reflect a more general gap between repeated statements about the significance of human rights for the social work profession on the one hand and the professional reality on the other. Finally, several strategies for social work in the community of asylum seekers and in society as a whole are recommended.

Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)2283-2298
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Asylum seekers
  • international social work
  • migration crisis
  • social work policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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