‘Merchants’ of migrant domestic labour: Recruitment agencies and neoliberal migration governance in Southeast Asia
A Lunch Lecture by Liberty Chee, a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and a visiting researcher at IIAS.
This lecture will take place in the IIAS Conference Room from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm (not online).
We will serve lunch to registered attendees. Please register by 19 February to reserve a seat and lunch.
Everyone is welcome!
In broader Asia’s temporary migration regimes, domestic workers require the services offered by recruiters in their own country and employment or placement agents in the destination country. This “dyad” is the main architecture for this type of worker mobility in major migration corridors within and across regions in Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and in new “exporting countries” in Africa.
This lecture examines the business of moving this valuable category of workers across borders. The demand for such workers in Southeast Asia means that of the nearly 5 million domestic workers in the region, 25% are international migrants. Private recruitment agencies play a crucial role in facilitating the sourcing, training and management of these temporary migrants between sending countries and labour markets elsewhere. This market-driven migration model often externalizes risk to workers, while guaranteeing a steady labour supply to destination countries and capital inflows to sending countries in the form of remittances.
Liberty Chee is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Her research examines domestic work from the interdisciplinary lenses of migration studies, feminist political economy and international relations theory. She completed her PhD at the National University of Singapore, and has held postdoctoral fellowships at the Asia Research Institute and the University of Amsterdam. Her current project examines knowledge production about domestic work in the context of the International Labour Organization. At the IIAS, Liberty is completing her book manuscript with the same title as the lecture.
Please register using the web form on this page by 5 February to reserve a seat and lunch.