Ludovica Banfi

Migration Policies, Domestic Work and Filipino Migrants: A Comparison between Canada and Italy

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This paper compares the migratory paths and economic integration of Filipino female domestic workers in Italy and in Canada. In both countries Filipino women are strongly represented in the domestic and care sector, and they usually work as live-ins. Canada has a highly regulated program for the temporary recruitment of live-in domestic workers. In Italy the lack of active recruitment policies and the constant demand of service workers have led many women to migrate with an irregular status. Relying on life history data collected in in-depth interviews conducted in both countries, the text explores the migratory projects, the role of ethnic networks and other institutions in the process of economic integration. The results indicate that a regulated programme, such as the Canadian one, paradoxically leaves migrant workers in a position of vulnerability towards employment agencies and employers; on the other hand, in Italy migrants are often irregular and thus more subject to exploitation. But ethnic networks seem able to provide strong support and partly protect new migrants' working conditions.

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