Séminaires et manifestations scientifiques | Conférences chercheurs invités

 

Professeur invité - Professor André Laliberté (Université d’Ottawa)

janvier-février 2019

André Laliberté, Professor in Political Studies and co-director of the Research Chair in Taiwan Studies, University of Ottawa

Répondre aux abus contre les aides à domicile philippines et indonésiennes à Taiwan, Hong Kong, et Shanghai : une comparaison multi-scalaire

My presentation will propose a comparative survey of responses from governments and private actors to abuse against migrant caregivers in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Most of the migrant workers who are employed in the wealthy and ageing societies of Taiwan and Hong Kong in the sector of elder care are coming from Indonesia and the Philippines, the two largest developing countries in Southeast Asia, and the impact of the remittance they send back home to their families fuel the economies of their homeland. Altogether the two receiving societies of East Asia and the sending countries of Southeast Asia, constitute a migration labor corridor labor for a largely feminine underclass of largely indentured labor. Although Shanghai stood until recently stood at the periphery of this corridor because of the large reserve army of migrant workers from the countryside, it is now converging towards Taiwan and Hong Kong as its middle class is opening the door to international migration. Therefore, the pull factor of migration from Southeast Asia is likely to remain strong for the time being, while the regime of international labor rights struggles to keep up with these issues. The three receiving societies examined here have similar demographic and socio-economic characteristics, including the national origins of the migrant workers. I seek to interrogate to what extent levels of governments and political regimes matter to mitigate the risks faced by these vulnerable workers. The authorities of the receiving countries examined in this paper represent three different levels of governments: national in the case of Taiwan, semi-autonomous in the case of Hong Kong, and subsidiary in the case of Shanghai. These three locations also represent three different forms of political system: liberal democratic in Taiwan, consultative authoritarian in Shanghai, and a hybrid between the two systems in Hong Kong. My presentation, based on fieldwork in these three locations over the last four years, considers the different actors within these societies who help in promoting/guaranteeing and/or respecting the rights of migrant caregivers, along with the pressure from the sending countries’ governments. I conclude that the response of the receiving societies is constrained in no small part by their degree of sovereignty, virtual for Taiwan, limited for Hong Kong, and inexistent for Shanghai, a factor that matters more than the nature of the political regime. This research is part of a broader project that outlines the cultural context and path dependency of previous political struggles that have shaped the legal framework protecting migrant caregivers against abuse. The goal of the project is to generate a knowledge that can be mobilized to better overcome the obstacles standing in the way of achieving recognition and protection of their rights.

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