Modern slavery among migrant domestic workers is a major global issue. Millions of women, often mothers with young children, feel compelled to work abroad, spending many of their productive years away from their families and communities. Over 40 percent of the world’s estimated 52 million domestic workers are in the Asia-Pacific region, and 80 percent are women. Indonesia and the Philippines are the main sending countries of migrant domestic workers, with domestic workers making up 60–80 percent of the migrant work force.
To understand the experience of migrant domestic workers and identify options to protect and promote their interests, we conducted large-sample, structured surveys with prospective, current and returned migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore. We interviewed 4,189 women and supplemented structured surveys with qualitative questions and focus group discussions.
The research for the study and publication of this report has been made possible thanks to the support of the Macquarie Group Foundation.