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The Philippines’ Labour Export Policies – Pros and Cons

November 22, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #122 – The Central Bank of the Philippines announced recently that despite the global economic crisis, remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) would hit $20 billion by the end of 2011. This is seven per cent higher than in 2010 and raised foreign exchange reserves to $76 billion, resulting in a $9 billion surplus in the country’s balance of payments. What lies beneath the surface of such good news? […]

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Foreign Workers and the Wildfires of Democracy in East Asia

October 20, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #111 – As democratic movements spread to the Middle East and North Africa, hopeful observers and nervous authoritarian leaders wondered when they will reach Asia. In fact, they already arrived there in the late 1980s. But another East Asian democratic revolution has been taking place over the past decade, brought about by foreign workers. […]


Indonesian Domestic Workers’ Rights in Malaysia

April 21, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #75 – Malaysia has experienced a shortage of domestic workers since 2009. This is because Indonesia banned its domestic workers from finding employment in Malaysia, in response to reports of abuse. Negotiations on an inter-state Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase labour protection for Indonesian domestic workers have stalled on issues such as minimum wage, days off, and the right of domestic workers to retain their identity documents. The two governments are set to sign the MoU in May 2011, but Malaysia’s recent actions indicate that it may not be entirely committed to the protection of migrant domestic workers. […]

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Diverging Patterns for Incorporating Immigrants in Korea and Japan

February 15, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #56 – In the mid 2000s, Korea and Japan unveiled unprecedented proposals for immigrant incorporation. This included the Basic Act on the Treatment of Foreigners in Korea and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ plan for Multicultural Coexistence Promotion in Local Communities in Japan. These plans acknowledged for the first time the need to manage foreigners settled within each country. But they also represented contrasting frameworks for their incorporation. In Korea, there was centralized rights-based legislation that targeted specific immigrant groups and in Japan, there were decentralized guidelines that prioritized community-based partnerships. […]

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Regulating Pacific Seasonal Labour in Australia

September 7, 2010 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #18 – Developed economies throughout the Asia Pacific region are grappling with how to design immigration policies that balance domestic concerns about labour shortages with respect for human rights and the need to maintain good bilateral relations with sending countries. In 2008, the Australian government piloted a scheme for bringing seasonal workers from four Pacific Island countries (Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tonga, and Vanuatu) to fill the gaps in Australia’s horticultural industry. […]