June Bulletin: Join us for our forum on inter-generational poverty and migration

Publications, events, and news from June about low-waged labour migration in Asia. Like what you read? Subscribe here.

Photo credit: Adam Cohn

Join us for a forum on inter-generational perspectives on poverty and health meanings for domestic workers.

Migrant worker parents hope that their migration will provide their children the means to gain access to higher education—and a pathway to the good life. But as these children grow up, some leave school earlier than their migrant parents had initially hoped, and many more eventually migrate overseas for work too. How do we make sense of this situation?

Drawing on two mixed-methods datasets in Singapore and Indonesia, this presentation examines the education/employment situation in Indonesia, the dynamics of remittance usage, emotional labour, and the perspectives of left-behind children and young people.

Khoo Choon Yen will be presenting this paper at an upcoming Transient Workers Count Too Research Forum, on 13 July 2017, Thursday, 7:30 pm, at Singapore Management University’s School of Social Sciences and Economics, Seminar Room 2.2.

The second presentation that evening will be by Prof Mohan Dutta and Ms. Satveer Kaur (CARE), who take on a culture-centered approach to investigate health meanings among foreign domestic workers in Singapore.

Global Forum on Migration and Development + The People’s Global Action on Migration, Development and Human Rights 2017.

Research and Communications Officer Kellynn Wee speaks at the Women’s Caucus at the PGA. Photo credit: Stefan Rother

We were at the GFMD and the PGA in Berlin this year to participate in and learn from civil society conversations on migration and development. Based on our research findings, we talked about how legal migration for Indonesian domestic workers to Singapore can be so onerous and expensive that they prefer irregular routes instead; how labour recruitment systems vary for men and women and how an understanding of both must factor into recruitment fee reform; and how banks are emerging as new players in domestic workers’ loans, credits, and debts.

We wrote two articles, too, on why global civil society should care about academia; and reflections from GFMD 2016.

Check out our Storify for a round-up of our tweets throughout the conferences, or visit the hashtags #MigrantRightsBerlin, #GFMD_CSD and #GFMD10.

The news, condensed

A Myanmar domestic worker leaps to her death from a Singapore condominium. Viral videos of her final moments and fall circulate online. She is to be cremated.

An Indonesian domestic worker in Singapore is arrested on suspicion of murdering her elderly employers. A debate on whether domestic workers in Singapore should obtain consent before going abroad is ongoing.

An extensive new report highlights systemic gaps in Singapore’s Labour Court system.

There has been a drop in construction worksite deaths. Bangladeshi men pay big bucks to work in Singapore. The tech push in the construction sector continues.

Muslim construction workers, including Mohammed Mukul Hossine, celebrate Hari Raya away from home. They struggle to fast while coping with the physical demands of their work.

Japan stirs as a new country of destination for Indonesian care workers. Indonesia draws up new plans for improving the treatment of migrant caregivers in Taiwan, including a continued push for live-out work. Indonesia also has no plans to lift the Middle East “maid ban”, maintaining its stance on wanting to send only skilled workers abroad. Myanmar lifts its ban on women working as domestic workers abroad, seeking to regularise the status of women already working overseas.

ASEAN’s principle of non-binding declarations causes a regional agreement on migrant workers to stall.

The “Qatar crisis” has yet unknown effects on the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers in the country. Filipino workers in the Middle East face vulnerabilities.

New laws on occupancy may mean a bed crunch for foreign workers in Singapore. A bazaar operator is fined for hiring foreign workers without valid work passes after a series of high-profile ‘raids’ on migrant workers.

A new report lists the world’s most expensive cities for foreign workers: Angola, Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, and South Korea.

Look out for “The Maid’s Room“, a book by newcomer Fiona Mitchell, and “Henrico’s Farm“, by acclaimed Filipino director Lav Diaz, both focusing on domestic workers.

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