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conceptual mapping >  economy: production and consumption  > Trafficking in women, forced labour and domestic work in the context of the Middle East and Gulf region

Anti-Slavery International

Trafficking in women, forced labour and domestic work in the context of the Middle East and Gulf region

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> Working paper, Anti-Slavery International 2006, 82 p. (pdf)

Globally, for more than 40 years, female migrants have been almost as numerous as male migrants. In 1960, there were 35 million female migrants and 40 million male migrants. By 2000, although the total number of migrants had more than doubled, the gap between female and male migrants remained about the same with 85 million female migrants and 90 million male migrants. This number covers women who migrate for a variety of reasons and for various purposes, including those who migrate for employment. Female migrant workers often find employment in informal areas of work, which are unprotected by labour legislation such as domestic work, child care, care for the elderly and so on. This report focuses on the situation of female domestic workers, who despite working and generating income, are not considered « real » or « formal » workers. Most often they are referred to as workers in the informal sector.

When looking into the issue of trafficking into domestic work, it is important to understand the push and pull factors in countries of origin, transit and destination. There are numerous individual reasons why people temporarily or permanently move from their home countries. Migration is essentially a way of coping with conflict, unemployment, natural or man made disasters, a mechanism for people to try and improve their social standing, a mechanism for building up social insurance, or a combination of all of these. The Horn of Africa experience illustrates this : people have recently been fleeing their villages in eastern Sudan to escape the outburst of armed conflict. Many have left Ethiopia to escape poverty and unemployment, and to earn enough money to send children to school or to set up a small business. Many others have emigrated from Eritrea to avoid political persecution, compulsory military service, or to earn a viable income to support their families.

document de référence rédigé le : 2006

date of on-line publication : 14 March 2007

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