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Managing labour migration: The case of the Filipino and Indonesian domestic helper market in Hong Kong 41


Domestic worker (or maid): In Hong Kong these are commonly referred to as domestic helpers. Typically work reserved for women, domestic workers perform services dealing with the household. The work carried out is on behalf of the direct employer (the name of the person which appears on the Performa employment contract); the domestic worker is directly under the employer’s authority and their workplace is confined to the private home. (Adapted from Ramirez-Machado)

Cost(s) of migration: Costs may be economic (i.e. fees associated with recruitment, placement, training and travel, etc.), social (i.e. psychological, the impact of migration on families/communities left behind, etc.), and/or violations of human rights (i.e. freedom of movement, freedom to choose employers, free association, protection from bodily harm, etc). For the purposes of this analysis, ‘costs’ will only be considered from the migrant’s perspective.

Early (or premature) termination: Like most low-skilled jobs, FDHs are vulnerable

to early or premature termination. prematurely terminated if she/he is two year contract is completed.

In fired

Hong Kong, (or requested

a to

helper is considered to be be terminated) before their

Framework: a basic conceptual structure used to solve or address complex issues. In the case of labor migration and the international community, frameworks employed tend to be conceptual, legal, and sometimes non-binding.

Migrant for employment (or migrant worker): According to ILO Convention No. 097, the “term migrant for employment means a person who migrates from one country to another with a view to being employed otherwise than on his own account and includes any person regularly admitted as a migrant for employment.”

Migration infrastructure: An institution that facilitates migration and the transfer of migrants’ savings to their home countries. Intuitions can be commercial or public and include bilateral agreements, government agencies that regulate recruitment or provide group insurance, private employment agencies, skills testing or training centers, travel centers, money transfer agencies, etc.

Overcharging: Condition where a foreign domestic helper pays employment agency a placement fee in excess of ten percent of her first month’s salary - as set forth by Hong Kong’s Employment Ordinance.

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