“Domestic Slavery” versus “Workers Rights”: Political Mobilizations of Migrant Domestic Workers in the European Union (Working Paper #116)

Helen Schwenken, University of Kassel

Abstract: In all countries of the European Union domestic work performed by migrant women, often in an irregular legal status, is increasing. Many workers face poor living and exploitative working conditions. Over the last decades, migrant domestic workers and advocacy organizations have developed multi-level strategies to improve those living and working conditions. In the contribution different and sometimes contradicting strategies of how a European network of migrant domestic workers and other actors mobilize will be identified and analyzed. It will be argued that the resonance the network achieved in the European Union was ambivalent and encompassed unintended consequences: On the one hand it allowed structural access to EU policy makers but on the other hand it narrowed down the political opportunities due to a fusion of migration policies and security policies.

Working Paper #116»