Care-intermediaries: brokers and agencies as key players in the transnational recruitment of caregivers


The transnational migrations of workers in the field of home-based care (for elders, children or disabled people) are strongly influenced by the action of several players. Among them, it is important to focus the attention on various forms of demand-offer intermediaries which intervene in the recruitment process by establishing the connection between individual workers and the households they are going to work in. It is a realm made of very different subjects, from illegal brokers and private agencies, to state-sponsored recruitment programs. The scope and the identity of these actors varies a lot from country to country, especially when looking at the position they have vis à-vis national policies on migration, welfare and care provision: from cases in which states are repressing intermediaries, to instances in which they are actually favored by governments’ decisions. It is also important to consider their role and their functioning, when looking at the levels of rights of care workers and the chances for improving them. In fact, these intermediaries are frequently called into question by workers’ organizations.
In this presentation, we elaborate on these cross-country differences on the basis of the results from the research project “DomEQUAL: A Global Approach to Paid Domestic Workers and Social Inequalities”, with a focus on selected Southern-Asian countries, namely Taiwan, Philippines and India.