The Newsletter 50 Spring 2009

Compulsory return: a means of migration control in East Asia

Xiang Biao

Compulsory return is central to most programmes of transnational unskilled labour migration in East Asia. Migrants have to go home not only when their contracts expire, but also whenever they fall ill, become pregnant, or have disputes with employers. Compulsory return places migrants in a perpetually liminal, disposable and transient position, and thus renders the migration fl ows controllable.

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