The Equality Challenge
Edited by Sonia Morano-Foadi and Micaela Malena
Chapter 9: Care, labour and migration policies in Germany: implications for the rights of migrant domestic and care workers
Over the last few years, migrant domestic and care workers have become the hidden mainstay of European welfare systems. Despite their relevance for maintaining social reproduction, their situation and their rights have been rarely addressed by EU policy and most of the national states. Rather, it is the Southern European countries who have included domestic and care work in their immigration regulations in the form of regularisation schemes and immigration quotas. In these countries, labour markets for domestic and care work are larger than in Northern and Western European countries. Germany is a country with a large domestic and care work labour market segment. In this country, despite some institutional offers for the care of children and the elderly, policies related to care provision bear a familialist character, continuing to allocate the main responsibility for the maintenance of care to families. Recent comparative analysis has highlighted the relevance of the intersection of welfare, care and migration regimes in accounting for the emergence of the demand for the care labour of migrant women and in shaping their living and working conditions.
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