The European Care Wall. Understanding Migrant Workers and European Integration from a Gender PerspectiveStockholm, June 2012 Helma Lutz
”Effective and responsible integration ofimmigrants in the labor market and insociety is one of the key factors for successin reaching the Lisbon targets. The genderperspective is to a large extent lacking inintegration policies, which hampers thepossibilities of fully utilize the potential ofimmigrant women in the labor market.”European Commission’s Report on the Equality betweenMen and women. 2005
Overview- Domestic and Care as Work- Types of Migrant Care Work (domestic work, childcare and elderly care)- The European Care-Curtain – a geo- political aspect of the Global Care-Chain- Welfare and Migration Regimes- The ILO convention “Decent Work for Domestic Workers”- Debate
Care as WorkDomestic and Care Activities = Reproduction/Consumption ≠ productive WORKModernity labeled care/domestic work asunproductiveBinary: care/domestic work paidemployment“Adam Smith and Karl Marx shared a contempt formenial servants and despised their toil asparasitical, actually a perversion of labor, asthough nothing were worthy of this name which didnot enrich the world” (Hannah Arendt 1958:86).
Care as Work4 characteristics of current debates:b)Asymmetric evaluation of care and remunerated work isstill valid » domestic/care work is considered unqualifiedwork» low payment;c)Care/Domestic work outsourced to migrant women fromeconomically poorer countries »rise of a global market forlow paid migrant care workers;d)Equal distribution of domestic/care work in the privatehousehold between the genders unsolved;e)Extrication of domestic and care work from the privatesphere as one of most insuperable challenges of 21stcentury.
Specificities of the domestic and care work sectorDistinction from other markets:- Intimate character of the work sphere;- Social construction of d.m. as female gendered area;- Highly emotional relationship between employer and employee;- Highly personalized mutual dependency;- Logic of care work ≠ logic of other employment;- Cannot be reduced to replacement and substitution.
CareParadox:Western & Southern European countries have huge demand for migrant care workers while politically denying and ignoring this deficit.Mismatch of demand and restrictive migration policies resulting in large sector of undeclared work.Consequence: Legal care services and irregular migrant care work exist side by side.
Scale and numbers• Exact data missing; informed guesses: Three mill. migrant women from Central and Eastern Europe work in Southern and Western Europe.• Sector undergoes quick changes within short time periods;• Unwillingness of sending and receiving countries to acknowledge care migration:• In receiving countries: hidden (dirty) secret; in sending countries: female migrants are characterized as ‘temporarily’
Types of Care workDomestic work (live-out) – cleaning, ironing, cooking etc.~ est. 10% - 20% of all households purchase; irregular work-service check systems are existent – low level of take up.Child care - au pairs (live-ins); despite au-pair regulation (contract for one year) many overstays (irregularity);Elderly long term care (live-ins)- 24 hours personal care worker- From self-organized (6-10 weeks) to regularized rotation system;- Majority from Eastern Europe (Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldavia, Bulgaria).
Global Care Chains:“Global Care Chains” by A. Hochschild:Care gain and Care drainThree views on Global Care Chains:Critical feminist positionCelebrating globalization: “win-win” situation of migrants andemployersTraditionalist attitudeThe Care Curtain of EuropeCare chains are embedded in geo-political and historicalformations; they have non-identical outcomes: transnationalcare arrangements are at stake.
state migrant workers in the familyfamily market
DEBATE- Cash for Care: Care receivers = employers (intimate and precarious relationship).- Various European countries: tacit toleration of irregularity (open secret, state semi-compliance with irregularity as a tool for flexibly solving the care deficit).- Various European countries: Two sector model - side by side: expensive regular care services next to (regularized) cheap migrant care worker – Downgrading of social standards and labor rights. Care-drain in sending countries.- Will the ILO convention be implemented in national law? Who are the actors to push this?
A (not so) hidden affair- Non recruitment policy for the low waged domestic work sector;- Exceptions: au pair and care work for the elderly through ZAV;- Since May 2004: migrants from Eastern Europe use “free movement of services” (Guide line 96/71/EC);- Result: a) distinction between legal and illegal employment is blurred; b) non discrimination of employers and non decision (laissez faire) policy.