Understanding Recruitment Agencies in Migrant Domestic Work in Ghana: Exploiters or Facilitators?
Teye, Jopseph Kofi
MetadataShow full item record
Rural-urban migration from the poorer regions of Northern Ghana to the south is an important part of the livelihood portfolios of poor women and girls in the country. In the last few decades domestic work has emerged as one of the most important avenues of employment for migrant women and girls, who move in search of decent jobs to support their families. In urban Ghana, irrespective of their poverty status, many households employ domestic workers under a wide range of terms and conditions. Despite their importance, recruitment agencies or brokers are often portrayed in a negative light, as unscrupulous exploiters of domestic workers for profit and gain. Migrants using the services of recruitment agents and intermediaries are framed as passive and having no agency in setting their own migration agendas. Therefore, much of the limited literature on the industry, is presented within the context of smuggling and trafficking of persons, thus focusing on the ‘illegitimate’ end of the migration industry. However, recruitment agencies and brokers play a range of multiple and often contradictory roles in facilitating and mediating migration for domestic work. Brokers are an important part of migrants’ strategies to access labour markets in destinations that are well beyond their normal cultural and social spheres of interaction. There is a need for a more nuanced understanding of the mediating role of brokers and intermediaries as they traverse the multi-layered space in the recruitment process.
Rights holderUniversity of Sussex
Migrating out of Poverty
- Policy Briefs