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26 Nov 2023

Moses Michael-Piri, AA (Turkey)

Malawi government criticised for secret labour export deal with Israel

"Malawi slammed for exporting workers to Israel amid Gaza conflict", Nov 26 2023

Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera has come under fire for keeping secret his government’s decision to send about 221 young people to work on farms in Israel.

The airlifting of the young people by an Israeli Airbus A321-251 plane overnight Saturday has since angered many Malawians. The move follows a $60 million aid package from Israel to Malawi two weeks ago.


.... Gift Trapence, the chairman of Human Rights Defenders Coalition, a civil rights group, questioned the secrecy surrounding the labor export deal with Israel.


Opposition leader in Malawi parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa, who first raised the issue in parliament on Thursday, told Anadolu via telephone that the government opted to keep the issue secret because it knows this is an “evil transaction.”

“[The] government has gone into such an agreement with Israeli companies when it is fully aware that there is war. No sane parent can send his or her child to work in a country that is at war,” Nankhumwa said.

The Israeli Agriculture Ministry is on record as having said that between 30,000 and 40,000 workers have left the country’s farms, half of whom are Palestinians who were barred from entering Israel from the occupied West Bank since the Oct. 7 attacks.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government is looking to recruit some 5,000 workers from other countries, including Malawi.