Brokerage in Migrant Domestic Work in Ghana: Complex Social Relations and Mixed Outcomes
Teye, Joseph Kofi
MetadataShow full item record
Rural–urban migration from the poorer regions of Ghana to the south is an important part of the livelihood portfolio of poor families. In the urban areas of the south, domestic work – which is typically low-paid and insecure – is an important avenue of employment for women and girls from such backgrounds. Within this social space, recruitment brokers play a central role and are often portrayed in the migration literature as unscrupulous exploiters of domestic workers for their own profit and gain. Drawing on conceptualisations of migrant agency within the brokerage relationship, this paper challenges portrayals of brokerage purely as a ‘migration business’ and takes an approach that shows how migrants use brokers to further their own agendas. The paper employs in-depth interviews conducted in Accra in 2015 with female migrant domestic workers, employers, brokers, relevant government ministries and unionised labour units, to provide insights into the social relations that underpin the recruitment process in Ghana and how aspiring migrants and brokers build trust to lay the foundations for complex and risky journeys.
Rights holderUniversity of Sussex
- Working Papers