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Rhacel Parreñas: “Women’s Migration as Indentured Mobility: How Gendered Protectionist Laws Leave Filipina Hostesses Dependent on Migrant Brokers and Susceptible to Forced Sexual Labor”
January 27, 2011 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm | Stevenson Fireside Lounge
Parreñas’ talk describes the migration process of Filipina hostesses to Japan. She explains why they are dependent on middleman brokers and how this dependency leaves them susceptible to forced sexual labor. While acknowledging the indenture and vulnerability of Filipina hostesses to abusive labor conditions, she questions universal claims of their human trafficking that has been made by the U.S. Department of State and show how the solutions advocated by the United States to their supposed trafficking actually aggravate their susceptibility to forced sexual labor. As an alternative to the idea of “human trafficking,” Parreñas introduces the concept of indentured mobility.” This concept provides a middle ground between ‘human trafficking’ and ‘independent labor migration.’ This new perspective calls for a different solution to indenture and forced labor from the universal solution of “rescue, rehabilitation, and reintegration” that has been posed by the United States.
Rhacel Salazar Parreñas is Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern California. She writes on women’s issues in migration and economic globalization. Her latest book, The Force of Domesticity: Filipina Migrants and Globalization (NYU Press, 2008), examines the constitution of gender in economic globalization. Currently on sabbatical as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, she is writing a book on the labor and migration of Filipina hostesses in Tokyo.