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Title: Economic Globalisation and the 'New' Labour Migration in Southeast Asia
Contributor(s): Kaur, Amarjit (author)
Publication Date: 2004
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Abstract: The cross-border movement of people, associated with the increased integration of economies and ongoing changes in the international division of labour, forms an essential component of the globalisation process. A sharp increase in labour mobility has coincided with official recruitment agencies and private entrepreneurs providing all sorts of services to migrant workers in exchange for fees. Yet while trade and financial flows are welcomed by nations, labour flows raise concerns about possible influxes of both documented and illegal migrants, the potential erosion of national sovereignty; and, since 11 September 2001, fears of terrorism. This has resulted in more stringent immigration policies and border controls by the state. Migration has thus become a major domestic and international political issue, particularly for developed countries. Moreover, the issue continues to be debated mainly in the context of developed countries. Nevertheless, international migration (in response to global economic forces) within developing regions, such as Southeast Asia, is also an important phenomenon, and worthy of attention on its own. This chapter examines the changing labour demand patterns and labour supply in the context of increasing economic integration in the Southeast Asian region. It focuses on the economic disparities and structural interdependencies between source and destination countries; and the employment of unskilled contract workers, especially in Malaysia and Singapore. The chapter also makes the point that the institutionalisation of the migration process, particularly for unskilled labour, serves to create both a black market in migration and conditions conducive to human trafficking and exploitation.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Economic Globalisation: Social Conflicts, Labour and Environmental Issues, p. 244-266
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Place of Publication: Cheltenham, UK
ISBN: 184376315X
Field of Research (FOR): 149999 Economics not elsewhere classified
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