South-South Migration for Domestic Work and Poverty
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Migration for domestic work has become the subject of intense debate among international human rights organisations and policy makers concerned with the welfare of workers who are predominantly women from poor and historically disadvantaged communities. This paper is a review of the literature on South?South migration for domestic work, undertaken to assess the evidence base that underpins this debate. It shows that there is little discussion of the reasons for such migration and the impact that it has on households at origin. There is an assumption that domestic workers are driven by poverty into occupations that entrench poverty. The literature is dominated by papers focusing on the shortcomings of legal frameworks for regulating working conditions and recruitment practices, resulting in extremely exploitative conditions of employment. Although a few papers discuss worker agency, these are clearly not influencing policy debates, which continue to treat migrant domestic workers as victims. There is a dearth of research on the impacts of migration on households at origin; a significant gap in the literature given that migration is often a household strategy intended to access more remunerative employment and remit money home.
CitationDeshingkar, P., and Zeitlyn, B. (2015), South-South Migration for Domestic Work and Poverty, Geography Compass, 9:169-179, doi: 10.1111/gec3.12200
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