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72 Emilyzen Ignacio and esenia Mejia

Local press: Research can be conducted by looking into the local press of each country and counting the number of stories about state policies affecting migrant workers. When comparing countries, the same time period should be used for each country. The assumption behind the variable is that the more press releases or news stories in a country, the more attentive the state is to migration issues, translating into higher migration infrastructure. For instance, the POEA posts press releases on the Internet every time it changes its administrative policies and it is considered a high migration infrastructure state. However, this variable is limited in that freedom of press varies

across countries.

A country with an equivalent

mistakenly less press.

classified as a state with lower migration Furthermore, counting the number of

amount of legislation could be infrastructure by virtue of having press stories without taking into

account their


or negative


the impact

of the states’

connotations may inhibit migration infrastructure.



Legal cases for migrants: Future research could look at the number of legal cases in each country involving migrant workers. For example, to measure whether Hong Kong is a receiving state with high migration infrastructure, the ILO could look at the number of labor department cases in a certain time period. This variable, however, would have an identification problem. The number of legal cases involving migrant workers could be a sign that the government is more attentive to migrant welfare, or an indication that the government is not doing enough to protect migrant workers.

Dependent variable: Contract violations Using a household survey for migrant workers and reviewing copies of the participants’ contracts, the ILO can collect data on the frequency of contract violations. Administrative data can be used to confirm contract violations, but a household survey is ideal for gathering panel data (i.e. the same set of migrants with none, one or multiple contract violations over the same time period). With panel data, statistical methods can be used to control for variables that may affect contract violations, other than migration infrastructure. Secondly, using a household survey would avoid the selectivity bias that may occur if only administrative data from the sending or receiving country are used to measure contract violations. Not all migrant workers with contract violations will seek help from their country consulates or the labor and immigration department of the host country. To make the data comparable across various countries, the frequency of contract violations should be converted into indicator ratios such as contract violations / 1000 migrants / year.

There are two types of contract violations the ILO should measure. The first are economic violations, where employers violate terms in their contract such as wages, rest days, sick days and annual leave. The second type of contract violation are human rights violations that may be explicitly stated in the contract or implied by virtue of the receiving country signing various international conventions on the rights of migrants. For instance, the Hong Kong standard employment contract includes stipulations on appropriate private accommodations for the foreign domestic helper as well as food

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