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Managing labour migration: The case of the Filipino and Indonesian domestic helper market in Hong Kong 73

arrangements. Moreover, it is against identification documents regardless of their

international law to status in the country.



Challenges to measuring contract violations include accounting for contracts that have been forged or switched without the migrant workers’ knowledge. The ILO could group survey participants in such a situation into another category for further analysis such as measuring the frequency of trafficking or unauthorized employment agreements. Another challenge in future studies is measuring violations to verbal agreements. For example, while migrant workers in Hong Kong must sign a standard employment contract prior to working, the migrant worker could verbally agree to accept a lower wage from their employer once in Hong Kong.

Dependent variable: Satisfaction of Services To analyze data on migrant workers’ satisfaction of government services received, the

ILO should first collect data to government services provided

create benchmarks for by the sending and

migrant workers’ expectations





of of

hypothetical situations, or workers from the countries

vignettes, should in question. The

be posed vignettes

to random samples of migrant should focus on different forms

of contract violations and possible government participants should rank their satisfaction of the

responses to the violations. Then hypothetical result on a scale, i.e. 1

the for

very satisfied to 5 for very created for the expectation

dissatisfied. Using the of various government

aggregate services.

data, benchmarks can be In turn, the benchmarks

can be compared to survey and interview data of personal experiences with government agencies.






Control variables The ILO should use household surveys that collect data on the migrant workers’ age, language(s) spoken, highest level of education, and experience working abroad (number of years and countries worked in). Being older, having more experience abroad and completion of more education can impact a migrant worker’s ability to avoid frequent contract violation, whereas others may be more vulnerable. In addition, the ILO should collect data on the migrant workers’ level of income prior to the overseas contract. This data would serve as a proxy for the migrant workers’ need for a job—the greater the need for stable income, the more vulnerable the migrant is to contract violations.

Cultural factors and social networks are additional variables that should be considered in future studies on the efficacy of migration infrastructures. During interviews, the Muslim faith and a disposition to accept incidents as just part of ones’ luck was a recurring theme among Indonesian FDHs. As such, Indonesian migrants were more likely to accept deviations from the standard employment contracts. In contrast, a long history of organizing and mobilizations surfaced in the interviews as hypotheses for why Filipino FDHs had lower frequencies of contract violations. Both populations of migrants displayed an ability to organize unions, create support groups, and partner

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