The Globalisation of Domestic Service – An Historical Perspective
Paid domestic work in European Union (EU) member states is mainly performed as undeclared employment in the informal economy. A high proportion of domestic workers comprise female migrant workers who very often lack proper residence status and suffer discrimination or exploitation due to legal exclusion. This chapter focuses on the issue of the illegal entry and stays of migrant domestic workers and discusses its social and political implications within the European context. It begins with a brief description of illegal immigration in EU member states, and follows this with an exploration of the European Union's policy on illegal immigration and undeclared work. The chapter suggests an outline for a more harmonized approach for coping with illegal migration that takes into account human right concerns. It argues that better co-ordination of restrictive and reductive policy instruments would increase the propensity for a more successful immigration policy that serves both national security interests and human rights concerns.