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Care Migrations: Lenses on Domestic Labor

Jennifer Fish | Nepal


Domestic workers care for households, children, and elders throughout the global economy.  Their labor is vital to the survival of families worldwide, yet they are among the most undervalued, exploited, and marginalized working populations.  Unlike any other profession, domestic workers exist in isolation, outside of the realms of social, economic, and legal protections.  Their labor cushions the growing gulfs between state support for child care and aging populations, as women migrants pay for these substantive care deficits across the globe.  The International Labour Organization estimates that over 100 million workers survive through the care economy, over 90 percent of whom are women and migrants. This collection travels into the daily lives of domestic workers to disrupt the isolation of this distinct form of household labor. Through a series of portraits, it captures women workers in Nepal and India--two countries that rely on domestic labor as a central economic commodity. These images are intended to support the recent international human rights movement to assure labor protections for this most often forgotten, highly feminized labor  institution. 

Jennifer N. Fish is a global sociologist and professor who has worked with migrant laborers for the past 25 years. Her activist scholarship takes form through visual ethnographic documentation of human rights stories worldwide. 



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