Theses Master's

Global Women, Private Homes: Reframing Rights for Migrant Domestic Workers in the United Kingdom

Cutts, Rose

This paper examines the way in which NGOs in the UK have framed rights for migrant domestic workers. It contends that migrant domestic workers entering the UK on the tied Overseas Domestic Worker’s Visa have been framed as victims of modern slavery and human trafficking by these groups. This paper critically analyses this approach, arguing that this framework has not served to increase rights for domestic workers, but conversely has enabled the State to present these women as victims who must be excluded for their own protection. Furthermore this approach has shifted responsibility away from the State and onto foreign employers, who are presented as importing human rights violations into Britain. This paper therefore argues for the need to reframe rights for migrant domestic workers, and seeks to formulate a new, human rights-based approach. This approach focuses on highlighting the agency of these women, as well as refocusing responsibility back onto the State to protect human rights. A successful employment of this frame would serve to expand migratory opportunities for domestic workers and reduce the precariousness of domestic labour through the extension of employment protections into the private sphere of the home.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Martin, J. Paul
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
December 8, 2016