State Policy and Care Migration in Selected Countries in Asia

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 09:15
Location: Hörsaal BIG 1 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Shirley SUN, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Care migration has become an important feature of care provision in Asia, and it is related to inequality in different forms.  This paper suggests that while migrant care workers help address the issue of “reproductive labor” in selected Asian countries (South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Vietnam), the degree of openness of the (foreign) domestic worker policies is less a function of demographic crisis (i.e. below replacement fertility and potential population decline), but more a function of whether the state supports local women’s economic “productive labor” via its policies.  Instead of treating women’s paid labor force participation as a given (which is often the case in the demand-driven framework), we suggest that states adopt migrant care worker policies to actively shape local women’s labor force participation.  The state may encourage local women to participate in paid employment as a deep commitment to gender equality and/or driven out of the necessity of economic development.  This study lends support to the importance of investigating supply-driven framework of care.