chapter  13
16 Pages

The Globalization of Paid Care Labour Migration: Dynamics, Impacts and Policy Issues


The last decade has seen a rise in scholarly and policy interest in the globalization of paid care work.1 Much of this interest has been directed towards the sources, dynamics and impacts of cross-border migration of female labour for the purposes of providing social and health care services abroad. Emphasized are the connections between increased demand for overseasborn and -trained care workers in richer countries and the depletion of care labour in poorer countries, together with the necessity of understanding these processes as a form of systematic resource extraction (Yeates 2009a). Amongst the most signifi cant analytical perspectives to have emerged in this context is the global care chain (GCC) concept (ibid. 2009a). Examining the globalization of paid care work from a GCC perspective, this chapter highlights geographically extensive, interlocking networks of production, exchange and consumption of care services, together with the distribution of benefi ts, risks and costs across these global care labour networks. Rather than focusing on one geographical chain, the discussion in this chapter draws on several examples of GCCs across “developed” and “developing” countries in order to elucidate diverse social, labour and development issues arising from paid care labour migration. It is outside the scope of the chapter to comprehensively review the experiences of diverse migrant care workers. Accordingly, the discussion focuses on nurses. Nurses are in many ways an archetypal and feminized group of migrant care workers and amply reveal the signifi cance of socio-political and -institutional environments shaping the fl ows, directions and determinants of paid care worker mobility, the quality of the social and labour rights they (and their families) enjoy, and the developmental consequences and prospects for source countries.