ABSTRACT

This chapter focuses on the pre-departure stage of the migration process by examining three dominant issues impacting on the rights of women migrant domestic workers in the Philippines and Sri Lanka and how these result in situations of structural violence. The chapter first explores the inadequacy of training and education provided by the two states through pre-departure and post-arrival orientation seminars, contending that focus on the investment of remittances at the expense of rights-based information renders workers more susceptible to exploitation and abuse. It then examines the impact of restrictions on the migration of women domestic workers, including the country-specific bans as a form of ‘labour diplomacy’ in the Philippines and bans on the migration of women with children under five years of age through the Family Background Report in Sri Lanka. Finally, it analyses both states’ failure to effectively enforce laws to regulate the activities of recruitment agencies, including recruiters charging illegal and excessive placement fees to domestic workers in the Philippines and the practice of unlicensed sub-agents in Sri Lanka.