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Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 297–312 | Cite as

Vulnerability, Rights, and Social Deprivation in Temporary Labour Migration

  • Christine StraehleEmail author
Article

Abstract

Much of the debate around temporary foreign worker programs in recent years has focused on full or partial access to rights, and, in particular, on the extent to which liberal democratic states may be justified in restricting rights of membership to those who come and work on their territory. Many accounts of the situation of temporary foreign workers assume that a full set of rights will remedy moral inequities that they suffer in their new homes. I aim to show two things: first, and based on experiences reported by former Live-in-Caregivers in Canada who now have access to the full set of citizenship rights, and German citizens who are descendants of Kurdish guestworkers in Germany, I have proposed that even after gaining citizenship, many of them experience social stigma and a sense of exclusion. Second, I have argued that this neglects a basic need that individuals have, which is to have access to relational resources within society in order to be protected against social deprivation. This need is seemingly immune to be effectively protected through the known catalogue of social, civic and political rights. Instead, I argue that social deprivation needs to be analyzed through the lens of institutional vulnerability to yield an analysis of the moral obligations of liberal democratic states.

Keywords

Vulnerability Temporary labour migration Social needs Relational resources 

Notes

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for PhilosophyUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Graduate School of Public and International AffairsUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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