Higher Wages Vs. Social and Legal Insecurity: Migrant Domestic Workers in Russia and Kazakhstan
- 110 Downloads
This paper addresses the under-researched issue of migrant domestic work in post-Soviet space. There is an emerging trend of increase in the female share of migrants coming to Russia and Kazakhstan from Central Asia republics. The growing demand for domestic work could be an explanation of the feminization of migration in the region. Using the data of the research project conducted in 2013 in Russia and Kazakhstan, this paper investigates conditions of employment of female migrants in the domestic sector. We find that domestic sector work in the post-Soviet space is rather prestigious and well-paid, while at the same time, highly informal relationships and employment arrangements in this sector seem to satisfy both employers and workers. These findings highlight regional peculiarities of migrant domestic sector work and are important to better understand the feminization of migration within post-Soviet space.
KeywordsFemale migrants Domestic workers Russia Kazakhstan Post-Soviet countries
This article is an output of a research project implemented as part of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE).
- Akhmetova, A. (2012). Obzor pravovogo polozhenia domashnikh rabotnikov v Respublike Kazakhstan [overview of the legal status of domestic Workers in the Republic of Kazakhstan]. Astana: UN Women.Google Scholar
- Anderson, B. (2000). Doing the dirty work? The global politics of domestic labour. London and New York: Zed Books.Google Scholar
- Avril C (2006) The work of homecare for the elderly: stress and savoir-faire [Le travail des aides à domicile pour personnes âgées: Contraintes et savoir-faire] (French). Mouvement Social, (216): 87–99+170–171.
- Brednikova, O., & Tkach, O. (2010). Dom dlya nomady [home for a knomad]. Laboratorium: Russian Review of Social Research, 3, 72–95.Google Scholar
- Buchanan J (2009) Undefended - Russia's migrant workers. https://www.opendemocracy.net/article/email/russia-s-undefended-migrant-workers
- Buckley, M (2018). The politics of unfree labour in Russia: Human Trafficking and Labour Migration. Cambridge University Press. 2018.Google Scholar
- Burnham, L., & Theodore, N. (2012). Foreword by B. Ehrenreich. Home economics. In The invisible and unregulated world of domestic work. New York: National Domestic Workers Alliance.Google Scholar
- Chang, G. (2000). Disposable domestics: immigrant women workers in the global economy. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.Google Scholar
- Farvaque N (2013) Developing personal and household services in the EU: a focus on housework activities. Report for the DG Employment, Social Affairs and Social Inclusion. file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/ORSEU-Overview-of-Personal-and-Household-Services_EN.pdf (accessed 10 March 2016).Google Scholar
- Fedyuk O and Kindler M (2016) Migration of Ukrainians to the European Union: background and key issues. Chapter in: Ukrainian Migration to the European Union. Lessons from Migration Studies. IMISCOE Research Series. DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-41776-9.
- Florinskaya, Y. F. (2010). Hiring migrants during the crisis (based sociological surveys and focus groups). Studies on Russian Economic Development, 21(6), 679–684. https://doi.org/10.1134/S1075700710060110.
- Gabriel, C., & Macdonald, L. (2014) ‘Domestic transnationalism’: legal advocacy for Mexican migrant workers’ rights in Canada. Citizenship Studies, 18(3–4), 243–258. https://doi.org/10.1080/13621025.2014.905264
- Gregson, N., & Lowe, M. (1994). Servicing the middle classes: class, gender and waged domestic labour in contemporary Britain. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Hanson, S., & Pratt, G. (1991). Job search and the occupational segregation of women. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 81(2), 229–253. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8306.1991.tb01688.x.Google Scholar
- Hochschild AR (2012) The managed heart: commercialization of human feeling. University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Hondagneu-Sotelo, P. (1994). Regulating the unregulated? Domestic workers’ social networks. Social Problems, 41, 50–64.Google Scholar
- Hondagneu-Sotelo, P. (2001). Doméstica: Immigrant workers cleaning and caring in the shadows of affluence. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Hoсhschild, A. (1979). Emotion work, feeling rules, and social structure. American Journal of Sociology, 85(3), 551–575.Google Scholar
- Human Rights Watch (2006) Swept under the rug: abuses against domestic workers around the world. New York: Human Rights Watch. https://www.hrw.org/reports/2006/wrd0706/wrd0706webwcover.pdf (accessed 20 February 2016).
- Human Rights Watch (2010) Slow reform: protection of migrant domestic workers in Asia and the Middle East. New York: Human Rights Watch. https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/wrd0410webwcover.pdf (accessed 20 February 2016).
- International Labour Office. (2013). Polozheniye domashnikh rabotnikov v mire: global’naya I regional’naya statistika i stepen’ pravovoy zaschity [domestic workers across the world: Global and regional statistics and the extent of legal protection]. Geneva: International Labour Office http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/%2D%2D-ed_protect/%2D%2D-protrav/%2D%2D-travail/documents/publication/wcms_228679.pdf.
- International Labour Organization. (2009). Operational indicators of trafficking in human beings. In Results from a Delphi survey implemented by the ILO and the European Commission. Geneva: International Labour Organization https://ec.europa.eu/anti-trafficking/sites/antitrafficking/files/ilo_eu_brochure_operational_indicators_en_1.pdf.Google Scholar
- International Labour Organization. (2011). Konventsia o dostoynom trude domashnikh rabotnikov [convention concerning decent work for domestic workers]. Geneva: International Labour Organization http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/%2D%2D-ed_norm/%2D%2D-normes/documents/normativeinstrument/wcms_c189_ru.htm.
- International Labour Organization (2013) Domestic workers across the world: global and regional statistics and the extent of legal protection. Geneva: International Labour Organization. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/%2D%2D-dgreports/%2D%2D-dcomm/%2D%2D-publ/documents/publication/wcms_173363.pdf (accessed 10 March 2016).
- Lutz H (2008) Migration and domestic work: a European Perspective on a global theme. (ed.), Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing.Google Scholar
- Marchetti S and Venturini, A (2013) Mothers and grandmothers on the move: labour mobility and the household strategies of Moldovan and Ukrainian women in Italy International Migration, forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2394283
- Parreñas, R. S. (2001). Mothering from a distance: emotions, gender, and intergenerational relations in Filipino transnational families. Feminist Studies, 27(2), 361–390.Google Scholar
- Passel, J. S., & Cohn, D. V. (2009). A portrait of unauthorized immigrants in the United States. Washington: The Pew Hispanic Center http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download;jsessionid=3C60904D4D24A14565E2FB322BDE60DF?doi=10.1.1.183.488&rep=rep1&type=pdf.Google Scholar
- Pfau-Effinger, B. (1998). Gender cultures and the gender arrangement—a theoretical framework for cross-National Gender Research. Innovation, 11(2), 147–166.Google Scholar
- Pfau-Effinger, B. (2000). Opyt cross-natsional’nogo analiza gendernogo uklada [cross-National Analysis of gender regime]. Sociological Studies, 11, 24–35.Google Scholar
- Reeves M (2011) “Nelegaly”: Work and shelter in migrant Moscow. April 26, 2011. https://www.opendemocracy.net/print/59163
- Rocheva, A., & Varshaver, E. (2017) Gender dimension of migration from Central Asia to the Russian Federation. Asia-Pacific population journal / United Nations, 32(2), 87–136Google Scholar
- Rostgaard, T., Chiatti, C., & Lamura, G. (2011). Tensions related to care migration: the south-north divide of long-term care. In B. Pfau-Effinger & T. Rostgaard (Eds.), Care between work and welfare in European societies (pp. 129–154). Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Savoskul, M. (2013). Sidelki iz provintsii v bol’shom gorode. [care-givers coming from province into a city]. Monitoring obschestennogo mneniya, 7(13), 127–135.Google Scholar
- Schenk C (2018) Why control immigration? Strategic uses of migration management in Russia. University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
- Tkach O (2009) Uborschitsa ili pomoschnitsa? Varatsii gendernogo kontrakta v usloviyakh kommertsializatsii byta. Noviy byt v sovremennoy Rossii: genderniye issledovaniya povsednevnosti. [A cleaning lady or an assistant? Variations of gender contract in the framework of commercialization of housekeeping. New modes of housekeeping in modern Russia: gender studies of everyday life.] Zdravomyslova E, Rotkirkh A and Temkina A (eds). St. Petersburg: European University Press: 137–188.Google Scholar
- Tkach O (2011) Professionlizatsia domashney uborki: ocherchivaya frontiry. Antropologia professiy ili postoronnim vkhod razreshen. [Professionalisation of to enter.] Edited by Romanov P., Yarskaya-Smirnova E. Moscow: OOO Variant: 305–333.Google Scholar
- Tkach, O., & Hrženjak, M. (2016). Paid domestic work in postsocialist contexts: regional traits of a global phenomenon: an introduction. Laboratorium: Russian Review of Social Research, 8(3), 4–14.Google Scholar
- Tolstokorova, A. (2013). Transnatsional’naya i gendernaya paradigm v izuchenii mezhdunarodnoy mobilnosti: Na primere Ukrainy. [transnational and gender paradigms in studying international mobility: The case of the Ukraine.]. Sociologicheskoye obozreniye, 2(2), 98–121.Google Scholar
- Tyuryukanova, E. (2005). Genderniye aspekty trudovoy migratsii iz stran SNG v Rossiyu [Gender aspects of labour migration from the CIS countries into Russia]. Diasporas, 1, 48–64.Google Scholar
- Varshavskaya E (2014) Trud domashnikh rabotnikov v Rossii i za rubezhom: masshtaby I osobennosti [Domestic Workers in Russia and Abroad: Proliferation and Peculiarities]. Modern Society and Labour: Collection of Articles. Edited by Karapetyan R.V. St. Petersburg: Publishing Center of the Faculty of Economics, St. Petersburg State University: 170–179.Google Scholar
- Weicht, B. (2010). Embodying the ideal carer: the Austrian discourse on migrant carers. International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, 5(2), 17–52. http://www.ep.liu.se/ej/ijal/2010/v5/i2/a02/ijal10v5i2a02.pdf. https://doi.org/10.3384/ijal.1652-8670.105217.
- Female migrants from the CIS countries in Russia (2011) [Zhenschini-migrati iz stran SNG v Rossii]. In E. V. Tyuryukanova (Ed.), Moscow: MAKS Press.Google Scholar