Sri Lankan Female Domestic Workers in the Middle East: Does Recruitment through an Agent Minimize Vulnerability?

Females heading to the Middle East as domestic workers are an important component of labour migrants from Sri Lanka. Female domestic workers are highly vulnerable to adverse working or living conditions in destination countries. As such, the vulnerability of female domestic workers at destination is an important concern of Sri Lanka. This study attempts to discern if there is a nexus between vulnerability of female domestic workers at destination and the recruitment channel. The analysis uses secondary data and adopts a discrete choice methodology, with a qualitative component to validate findings. This paper makes an important contribution to the literature on vulnerability of female domestic workers by performing an empirical analysis to test the correlation between female domestic workers’ vulnerability at destination and the recruitment channel. The study finds inconclusive evidence on the effect of recruitment channel on the vulnerability of female domestic workers at destination, with specific effects based on the definition of vulnerability adopted. The findings may be sensitive to the limitations of the underlying dataset.

Research team

Bilesha Weeraratne
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Funding

Think Tank Initiative, IDRC

Published Year

2014