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Global Production, Migration and Social Welfare

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  1. Global Production, Migration and Social Welfare 33rd Global Conference of ICSW Tours, France, June 30th to July 4th 2008The dynamics of social welfare in globalization: Lessons from the past, challenges for today and tomorrowSymposium 5: Work and employment in a global world Christiane KuptschInternational Migration ProgrammeILO

  2. Introduction – migration, some basic facts: • Numbers and issues around numbers • Global migration patterns • Production, the global division of labour, welfare provision and migration • Global production networks • Global labour migration chains • Globalization, mobility and the illegal employment of foreign workers • The protection of migrant workers

  3. Numbers on migration • In 2005: 191 million migrants, corresponds to 3% of world population • If the world’s migrants were gathered in one “nation”, the ranking according to population size would be: China, India, US, Indonesia, Brazil, Migrant Nation, Russia, Pakistan • 60% in what the UN defines as  ”more developed”  regions (most of the migrants in Europe: 64 mio.; Asia: 53 mio.; North America: 45 mio.) • The number of migrants is rising faster than the global population • The share of migrants in more developed countries has risen • The growth in the number of migrants in many industrial countries has slowed

  4. Issues • Fastest growth in migrant labour flows today at both ends of the skills spectrum (professionals vs. domestic helpers) • No unambiguous prescriptions for the optimal level of migration because, unlike in trade theory, no conceptual basis for open migration systems • Inertia is the number one migration control. In addition, governments have significant capacity to regulate who enters their country and remains and there is perception: People wait for the “migration transition” that turns countries from emigration to immigration areas

  5. Global migration patterns • North America: classical immigration countries • Western Europe: reluctant immigration countries shaped by colonial flows and guest worker migration • Asia: latecomers to labour migration with strong links to the Middle East and high share of female migration • Africa: seasonal labour migration across borders and sharp conflicts between natives and migrants; large scale refugee movements • Latin America and Caribbean: largely emigration countries with “emigration culture” in some Caribbean nations • Oceania: classical immigration countries Australia and New Zealand, plus Pacific Islands with unique economic and environmental issues

  6. Production and the global division of labour • Global production networks (GPNs): the practice of sourcing or obtaining components in several countries, assembling the final good in one country, and distributing it in that country and abroad. • Not clear how GPNs affect migration flows • Multinational firms move highly skilled managers and specialists across national borders between subsidiaries: restrictions on such intra-company transfers are generally diminishing. • Low-skilled workers are usually not at the centre of GPNs, they are not direct employees of multinationals. The multinational firm typically has contractors in each country or area in which it operates.

  7. Welfare implications of GPNs and other structural changes • Contractors require a pool of workers without better job options. Result of GPNs in low-skilled work can be increased job instability. • Especially in certain industries new forms of production have increased the demand for extremely flexible workers. Example: global food production with ‘just in time’ outputs (Barrientos, 2008). • Role of recruitment agents / ‘labour contractors’ increases in supplying this type of labour, drawing on both migrant and local workers. • The more ‘efficient’ use of labour keeps down labour costs, and removes many of the obligations of employment from the producer themselves.

  8. Global labour migration chains Besides global production networks, global labour migration chains are also emerging to move service providers over borders. • Health care: • Connell and Stilwell (2006): migration of skilled health workers is largely demand-led. • Demand: essentially from the Gulf States, Europe and North America but broad structure becomes more complex and patterns of migration evolve. Japan: new recipient nation; China and Central and Eastern European countries: new sources. • Interlocking chains of recruitment and supply; something of a hierarchy in global migration.

  9. Global labour migration chains (cont.) • Childcare, elder care, domestic help • “Global care chains”: when women with children in low-income countries leave their children with a husband or relatives to provide child or elder care in industrial countries, or employ a domestic helper themselves – often another internal or international migrant. • ‘Pull for care’ and ’push to care (Misra, Woodring and Merz, 2006). • ‘Pull for care’ in Western welfare states: roll back of the State in the provision of care; development of low-wage private sector services; cutback in workers protections. Social reproduction is ensured by relying on female migrants. • Countries with less developed social benefit systems tend to have higher employment of immigrant domestic workers (e.g. Parreñas, 2001 and Milkman et al. 1998).

  10. Global labour migration chains (cont.) • Childcare, elder care, domestic help • ‘Push to care’ in developing countries: structural adjustment policies; impoverishment; more and more women seek new income generating strategies, including migration as carers and domestic helpers, both internal and internationally. • Buoyant global trade in domestic care services. Some transnational routes for domestic workers: from Albania and Bulgaria to Greece; the Dominican Republic, Peru and Morocco to Spain; Sri Lanka to Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Canada; and Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean to the US. Well over 600’000 Filipinas were estimated to serve in foreign households in 2001, deployed in places such as Hong Kong and Singapore, Italy and Spain and the Middle East (Yeates, 2005). • According to some analysts: importance of non-labour market factors as drivers for this type of internationalization; maintenance of lifestyle and social status (Parreñas, 2001, cited in Yeates, 2006).

  11. Globalization, mobility and the illegal employment of foreign workers • Market for illegal labour as precondition for illegal employment of foreign workers (Hjarno, 2003). Emergence of a hidden or informal economy: complex process of labour market hierachisation, often explained by the bypassing of regulations in order to respond to competition (see Tapinos, 2000). • In times of globalization, competition increases. Mobility is valued highly. Jordan and Düvell (2002): in new paradigms on the economics of collective goods, mobility becomes the key to allocations which are based on the active choices of the population and no longer represent the outcomes of government decisions. • Mobility-based systems also create the niches for irregular migration. Partly as a result of new social relations in rich countries (e.g. demand for domestic help in two-earner households); partly because of unintended consequences of government schemes to enhance flexibility (e.g. benefits systems and training schemes). Irregular migrants, more mobile than indigenous workers, move in to take advantage of these opportunities.

  12. Globalization, mobility and the illegal employment of foreign workers • Migration: a claim to be included in systems of distributive justice (Bommes, 1999). True for internal as well as international migration. Difficult choices for receiving country governments because welfare states distribute benefits to members and cannot easily deal with a sudden upsurge of new members: therefore certain incentives not to turn irregular migrants into regular ones, to minimize “membership claims”. • Differentiated conception of citizenship could help. Often citizenship rights are conflated with nation states: not helpful when a balance has to be struck between principles derived from market economics and those derived from welfare economics (allocation according to differences or equality as the driving force?). • Engelen (2003) sees six layers of citizenship rights; recalls that rights can be allocated according to different rules and criteria and be financed from different sources (re. social security).

  13. Globalization, mobility and the illegal employment of foreign workers • If “membership” is conceived in a differentiated way, states need not be afraid to accord membership rights of a certain type: do everything to effectively ensure the employment rights of irregular migrants. • Helpful if governments bore in mind that the international legal standards to protect migrant workers call for equal treatment with nationals. No implication that governments have to grant to migrant workers and their families any rights that they cannot provide to their “own” / existing population. • Migrants should not become “second class members” of society but no one expects them to enjoy more and better rights than nationals. Occasionally, there seem to be misunderstandings at this level.

  14. Protection of migrant workers ILO: • Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 97) • Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975 (no. 143) UN: • International Convention on the Protection of Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (adopted in 1990, in force since 2003) • Other instruments • ILO Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration; Rights-based approach to migration management