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Cultural Exchange or Cheap Housekeeper? Findings of a National Survey of Au Pairs in Australia (2018)

Cultural Exchange or Cheap Housekeeper? Findings of a National Survey of Au Pairs in Australia (2018)

This report presents the first comprehensive study of living and working conditions of au pairs in Australia. It draws on responses from 1,479 au pairs across 34 nationalities to an online survey in 2017. The study seeks to provide an evidence base to indicate the contours and variety of au pair experiences across this country. The concept of au pairing has arisen informally in Australia as a version of a European tradition where young women spent a year-long cultural exchange with a host family in a different European country, learning a foreign language and earning ‘pocket money’ while undertaking light childcare duties. It seems likely that the use of au pairs by Australian families has increased in recent years. Media reports have revealed both the growing dependence of families on au pairs as a source of flexible and affordable childcare, and the risk of au pairs’ exposure to exploitative working conditions. However, there is no official au pair program, dedicated visa, or even any official guidelines for families or au pairs, and so we lack even an agreed definition about what an au pair is. The cornerstone of au pairing, in popular culture around the world, and as it is promoted by Australian au pair agencies which facilitate placements, is that it is a ‘cultural exchange’ where au pairs are hosted as part of a family. Accordingly, Australian agencies, industry associations and matching websites carefully distinguish au pairs from live-in nannies or housekeepers in ongoing employment. They often use the term ‘pocket money’ or ‘stipend’ to describe their pay and most stipulate that au pairs undertake mainly childcare-focused tasks, including cooking for, cleaning up after and driving children, rather than regular domestic work for the whole household. However, the distinction between cultural exchange and work (if it was ever observed in practice) appears to be breaking down. Courts in Ireland and New Zealand have ruled that au pairing constitutes employment. In Australia, select agencies have explicitly pegged au pairs’ remuneration to legal minimum wage rates in Australia. Critically, because au pairing is an informal arrangement, very little is known about the day-to-day experiences of au pairs in this country, or how prevalent this practice is. One government agency adopted an estimate of 10,000 au pairs in Australia in 2013. Despite press interest in the apparent upsurge of au pairs in this country, almost no empirical research has investigated the living and working conditions of au pairs in Australia, how they arrange their placement or which visas they hold during their stay. Still less is known about how experiences vary between different cohorts, such as nationality groups, host families’ locations, and au pairs who use agencies to arrange their placements as compared with other means. This study begins to fill these gaps. It reveals participants’ demographic profile (including nationality and visa used while au pairing in Australia), the characteristics of their first au pair placement (including tasks they performed in the home, rates of pay and hours), problems they encountered in Australia and how they sought assistance to resolve these, and their motivations for au pairing, benefits gained and overall appraisal of their experience, including whether they considered the experience to be closer to a cultural exchange or to work. The survey was conducted online between November 2016 and April 2017, in four languages in addition to English. The survey was anonymous and open to any individual who had been an au pair in Australia.

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INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

International migration is an essential element of economic integration. Yet, the intraregional movement of people and labor in Asia and the Pacific has stagnated in recent years even as the flow of goods, services, and investment have steadily risen. This paper examines key factors driving the movement of people from and within the region using bilateral international migrant stock data. Our analysis shows that commonly known determinants such as income differences; population size; and political, geographical, and cultural proximities between the migrant source and destination countries are associated with greater movement, along with the growing share of older population in destination economies and the similarities in the level of educational attainment. The paper also finds that crossborder migration is affected, in varied directions, by the degree of economic integration between the source and destination economies, especially through bilateral trade and value chain links. The offshoring of production—and hence jobs and other economic opportunities—to migrant source countries suppresses outmigration, but the expected rise in the source country income will eventually promote migration by relaxing financial constraints.

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Implementation of recommendations from the 3rd to 10th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour (AFML)

Implementation of recommendations from the 3rd to 10th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour (AFML)

The AFML is an open platform for the review, discussion, and exchange of ideas and best practices among governments, workers’, and employers’ organizations, and civil society actors on key issues facing migrant workers in ASEAN. Participants of the AFML develop recommendations to advance the implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. This document is the fourth in a series of background papers, biennially prepared by the ILO TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme, that track the progress of ASEAN stakeholders in implementing recommendations adopted at previous AFMLs. This paper was presented at the 11th AFML held from 29 - 30 October 2018 in Singapore. The first, second, and third background papers were presented respectively at the 5th, 7th, and 9th AFMLs.

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Digitalization to promote decent work for migrant workers in ASEAN

Digitalization to promote decent work for migrant workers in ASEAN

Technology presents a great opportunity to make labour migration safer, more efficient, and more transparent. But, digitalization- as any tool- also involves risks, challenges, and unequal distribution of technological gains. For it to promote decent work and better conditions for women and men migrant workers, it needs to be designed, implemented, and used properly. Digitalization and how it can promote decent work for migrant workers in ASEAN was the selected theme for the 11th AFML, which took place on 29 – 30 October 2018 in Singapore. This background paper was prepared to inform the discussions and reviews the current opportunities and possible challenges to be addressed for digital technology to promote decent work for all.

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Human rights of migrants: good practices and initiatives on gender-responsive migration legislation and policies

Human rights of migrants: good practices and initiatives on gender-responsive migration legislation and policies

The present report, which outlines the main activities undertaken by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants since his most recent report to the General Assembly (A/73/178/Rev.1), contains a study on good practices of gender-responsive migration legislation and policies. The study compiles information on existing migration legislation and policies at the national level. Based on submissions of States, civil society, national human rights institutions and other stakeholders and their analysis, the report identifies good practices, discusses challenges and provides recommendations to States on how to enhance gender responsiveness in their governance on migration.

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Labour Mobility in Pacific Island Countries

Labour Mobility in Pacific Island Countries

At the ILO’s High Level Tripartite Forum on Climate Change and Decent Work in the Pacific Islands Countries in PNG on 24-26 July 2019, the current state, challenges and future strategies for Labour Mobility in the Pacific will be discussed. This Working Paper will serve as a starting point for discussion at the Forum on labour mobility.

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Fair recruitment country brief: Sri Lanka

Fair recruitment country brief: Sri Lanka

This brief provides an overview of fair recruitment challenges and opportunities, and priorities for action for the REFRAME project in Sri Lanka

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Skills shortages and labour migration in the field of information and communication technology in India, Indonesia and Thailand

Skills shortages and labour migration in the field of information and communication technology in India, Indonesia and Thailand

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a key economic sector and generator of jobs and may be considered the backbone of the digital economy across all sectors. In many countries, the global ICT sector is facing a shortage of skilled ICT workers. A lack of skilled labour will constrain future growth and job creation in the sector, but with the right policies in place, the digital economy could make a significant contribution to advancing decent work and inclusive economic growth at the global, regional and national levels. This report is the first outcome of the ILO development cooperation project entitled “The Future of Work in Information and Communication Technology”. The global research project focuses on anticipated needs for skilled workers and strategies for addressing labour shortages, including the scaling up of investments in ICT education and training, and more efficient management of ICT specialist migration flows. This report helps us gain a more comprehensive understanding of the most critical aspects of the future of work in ICT by assessing how technological changes, employment, skills development and migration in India, Indonesia and Thailand may be interrelated.

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General principles and operational guidelines for fair recruitment and definition of recruitment fees and related costs

General principles and operational guidelines for fair recruitment and definition of recruitment fees and related costs

This document brings together the ILO general principles and operational guidelines for fair recruitment (“principles and guidelines”) and the definition of recruitment fees and related costs. The principles and guidelines aim to inform the current and future work of the ILO and of other organizations, national legislatures, and the social partners on promoting and ensuring fair recruitment. The principles and guidelines were developed by a Tripartite Meeting of Experts, held in September 2016. The definition of recruitment fees and related costs recognizes the principle that workers shall not be charged directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, any fees or related costs for their recruitment. This comprehensive definition is guided by international labour standards and should be read together with the principles and guidelines. The definition was adopted by a Tripartite Meeting of Experts, held in Geneva in November 2018. Together this guidance forms a comprehensive approach to realizing fair recruitment through development, implementation and enforcement of laws and policies aiming to regulate the recruitment industry and protect workers’ rights. This guidance is developed within the framework of the Fair Recruitment Initiative, which aims to help prevent human trafficking, protect the rights of workers (including migrant workers) from abusive and fraudulent practices during the recruitment and placement process, reduce the cost of labour migration and enhance development gains.

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Towards an effective and integrated labour market information system for Bangladesh

Towards an effective and integrated labour market information system for Bangladesh

The report presents an analysis of global migration trends with the prospects of Bangladeshi migrant workers in the evolving foreign labour markets while recognizing major challenges for their effective and beneficial participation in them. In addition to that, the publication proposes a comprehensive framework for an integrated and appropriate LMIS for Bangladesh outlining a possible implementation strategy. The research is timely as Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) aims to further develop the LMIS web-portal as a platform to bring labour market information from diverse sources and the study will further strengthen the LMIS. The study proposes an operational modality and an implementation strategy for a possible Integrated Labour Market Information System (ILMIS) in Bangladesh. ILMIS will integrate the overseas labour market within the traditional LMIS capturing the emerging trends in the domestic labour market to illustrate the significance of overseas employment for Bangladesh.

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Pathways for empowering employment: Diversity and challenges for women migrant workers of Bangladesh

Pathways for empowering employment: Diversity and challenges for women migrant workers of Bangladesh

The study focuses on short term overseas employment of semi-skilled and low-skilled workers because most Bangladeshi female workers fall under this category. It covers only regular migration because there is insufficient data available on irregular, undocumented migration.

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Predeparture training module of employment opportunities in Hongkong

Predeparture training module of employment opportunities in Hongkong

This module has been developed jointly by UN Women Bangladesh and International Labour Organization (ILO), with financial support from the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC). The main objective of the module is to train the migrant workers through the Technical Training Centres (TTCs) running under the Bureau of Manpower and Employment Training (BMET). To support the Government in delivering an effective pre-departure training program for the women domestic service workers, UN Women Bangladesh took the initiative in the formulation of this training module. It has been signed keeping in the migration cycle: the basic information and guidance on migration, the pre-departure preparedness, occupation-related (women domestic service workers) and country-specific (Hong Kong) instructions and guidelines on rights and life skills. The technical issues related to domestic services were not considered in this module, as this module is relevant only for trainees who have already received the relevant technical and language training on Hong Kong. Integrating this module into the pre-departure training, will make it an effective tool to capture and sustain this new labour market for the women migrant workers from Bangladesh.

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Predeparture training module of employment opportunities in Japan: as the destination country; and caregiving and beautician: as the selected occupation

Predeparture training module of employment opportunities in Japan: as the destination country; and caregiving and beautician: as the selected occupation

This module has been developed jointly by UN Women Bangladesh and International Labour Organization (ILO), with financial support from the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC). The main objective of the module is to train the migrant workers through the Technical Training Centres (TTCs) running under the Bureau of Manpower and Employment Training (BMET). To support the Government in delivering an effective pre-departure training program for the women migrating as Care-givers, UN Women Bangladesh took the initiative in the formulation of this training module. It has been signed keeping in the migration cycle: the basic information and guidance on migration, the pre-departure preparedness, occupation-related (Care-giver) and country-specific (Japan) instructions and guidelines on rights and life skills. The technical issues related to care-giver occupation were not considered in this module, as this module is relevant only for trainees who have already received the relevant technical and language training on Japan. Integrating this module into the pre-departure training, will make it an effective tool to capture and sustain this new labour market for the women migrant workers from Bangladesh.

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The mapping and scoping of services for the Migrant workers of Bangladesh at various stages of labour migration cycle

The mapping and scoping of services for the Migrant workers of Bangladesh at various stages of labour migration cycle

The gaps and challenges in services offered to migrants at various migration stages at home and abroad to scope out how these can be better delivered to accrue sustained benefit from migration. Labour migration has emerged as an important source of foreign currency in Bangladesh and the Government of Bangladesh has taken several policy initiatives in mainstreaming migration as well as catering services according to the needs of the migrant workers in the country. Nonetheless, there is still a knowledge gap on the types of services available to the migrants during the entire process of migration cycle namely pre-departure, post-arrival and return. The ILO and IOM with the support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) commenced a study on "Mapping and scoping of services for the migrant workers of Bangladesh at various stages of labour migration cycle”. The aim of the study was to assist the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment (MoEWOE), Wage Earners’ Welfare Board (WEWB) and relevant stakeholders to address the gap and identify scopes for further improvement in availing services to migrants from a gender-sensitive approach. The study highlights the major trends in labour migration, the institutional structure that governs labour migration from Bangladesh, identifies key service providers, gaps and challenges along with key recommendations.

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A framework of services for reintegration and remigration of International labour migrants from Bangladesh

A framework of services for reintegration and remigration of International labour migrants from Bangladesh

Welfare Board (WEWB) in particular to develop a framework of services for the returnee migrants. The framework addresses the psychosocial, economic and social needs of returnee migrant workers in a more comprehensive manner and also focuses on the possibility of remigration from Bangladesh. The framework of services is designed for the stakeholders/service providers who could cater to the needs of the returnee migrants in a more comprehensive and efficient way. This paper presents a framework of services for the reintegration and remigration of international labour migrants from Bangladesh.1 It is the product of an evidence-based research titled “The Mapping and Scoping of Services for the Migrant Workers of Bangladesh at Various Stages of Labour Migration Cycle”. Findings from the study suggests that the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment (MoEWOE) should assume the role of lead ministry for implementing the returnee services framework. WEWB, which operates under MoEWOE, has statutory responsibility for promoting the welfare of migrant workers, including returnees. WEWB works closely with the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), the lead migration governance agency under MoEWOE, in delivering a wide range of welfare services to Bangladeshi migrant workers. Such services should focus on individual assistance, community-based support and structural interventions. A wide variety of government and private sector entities and CSOs, in collaboration with bilateral and multilateral development partners and intergovernmental institutions, should be involved in implementing the proposed returnee services framework.

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Conceptual software architecture and design of Labour Market Information System (LMIS) and Migrant Workers' Management Information Systems (MWIMS)

Conceptual software architecture and design of Labour Market Information System (LMIS) and Migrant Workers' Management Information Systems (MWIMS)

Regular, generally accurate and real time information analysis; Integrated data from multiple sources to support robust tracking processes and analyses; Returning workforce and enforce naturalization processes at home; Medium and longer term opportunities and invest in training to develop a supply for those upcoming demands. As Bangladesh is fast developing into a middle income country, the contribution of overseas employment and remittances to the country’s economy has gained prominence in its overall strategy, especially through the development of a more pro-active and migrant worker-oriented approach to management. This has led to changes in the overall legislative and policy framework, and a gradual recognition of the need to develop improved information systems for management, including concrete measures for social protection, for complaints investigation and redress, and for investment in building the skills and qualifications of workers to improve the quality of their overseas employment. In order to move into full implementation of the Overseas Employment and Migrants’ Act 2013 and the Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Policy 2016 as part of ongoing improvements in labour migration, it has now become pertinent to develop the institutional capacity of the government to collect, manage, and monitor migration and labour market information. As such, through the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) funded “Application of Migration Policy for Decent Work of Migrant Workers” project, the International Labour Organization in close collaboration with the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), has developed a set of four reports on the Integrated Migrant Workers Information System and the Labour Market Information System in Bangladesh. This particular report Conceptual software architecture and design recommendations for an integrated Migrant Workers Information System and Labour Market Information System in Bangladesh proposes design recommendations for an integrated database information system on migrant workers’ information (MWMIS) and a labour market information system (LMIS), identifying sources of data and software requirements.

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Needs and Gaps assessment of Labour Market Information System (LMIS) and Migrant Workers' Management Information Systems (MWIMS)

Needs and Gaps assessment of Labour Market Information System (LMIS) and Migrant Workers' Management Information Systems (MWIMS)

The data that are available, their strengths and limitations, as well as what data are regarded as important, but are not available. An analysis of the data gaps to gain a better understanding of the relevance and impact of any of the data gaps identified and to support discussions within and across agencies, organizations, and communities on how to bridge data gaps and sustain data assets.

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Compatibility of Data Integration of of Labour Market Information System (LMIS) and Migrant Workers' Management Information Systems (MWIMS)

Compatibility of Data Integration of of Labour Market Information System (LMIS) and Migrant Workers' Management Information Systems (MWIMS)

Bangladesh against similar database systems in other countries, and also with other Bangladeshi database systems for other sectors, like the internal labour market. Based on the findings and analyses, the project will propose design recommendations for an integrated database information system on migrant workers’ information (MWMIS) and a labour market information system (LMIS), identifying sources of data and software requirements.

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Building Partnerships for Effectively Managing Labor Migration: Lessons from Asian Countries

Building Partnerships for Effectively Managing Labor Migration: Lessons from Asian Countries

This book analyzes labor migration trends and policies in Asia and emphasizes the importance of partnerships to promote effective labor migration management. This report analyzes labor migration trends in Asia and emphasizes the importance of partnerships to promote effective labor migration management. It addresses temporary migrant worker programs, focusing on the Republic of Korea’s Employment Permit System and Malaysia’s Electrical and Electronics industry. It also highlights the key role multilateral and bilateral agreements play in protecting migrant workers’ social security entitlements. Key issues covered are how these partnerships can provide safe, orderly, and fair labor migration, and, hence, a fair environment in Asia’s labor market. The four chapters capture the ideas, insights, and discussions from the Eighth Roundtable on Labor Migration in Asia - Building Partnerships for Effectively Managing Labor Migration: Lessons from Asian Countries for the UN Global Compact on Migration, hosted by Human Resource Development Korea in Incheon, Republic of Korea, in January 2018. The event, co-organized by the Asian Development Bank Institute, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the International Labour Organization, brought together regional experts and policy makers. Two statistical annexes offer detailed coverage of intra-Asia migration flows, as well as cross-regional migration flows.

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