Labor Regimes of Indenture: A Global Overview of Migrant Domestic Work
Across the globe, migrant domestic workers are unfree workers whose legal residency is contingent on their continued employment as a live-in worker with a designated sponsor. This talk examines the politics of their indenture, situated within an overview of the incor- poration of migrant domestic workers as indentured workers in key host countries in the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The talk illuminates the cultural logic that undergirds indenture as well as the conditions of domestic work in the ‘worst destination’ of the United Arab Emirates, where absconding is illegal and quitting one’s job requires a sponsor’s permission. Parrenas focuses on the ‘indentured mobility’ of domestic workers, as they face both severe constraints and opportunities for negotiation.