Gender, Migration, & The Work of Care

Project Profiles Research Findings

Theoretical and Empirical Bases for Reconceptualizing Care, Work, and Migration

Theoretical and Empirical Bases for Reconceptualizing Care, Work, and Migration.

Project Lead


  • Hae Yeon Choo

  • Nicola Piper


  • UN Women, United Nation Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)
  • Kookmin University, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
  • Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF)
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Asian Research Center for the Intimate and Public Spheres (ARCIPS)
  • Asia Research Institute – National University of Singapore NUS (ARI)
  • Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Students & Associates

Care is a basic human activity and need, but how societies talk about care shapes how those needs are defined and met. Who is expected or permitted to provide it? How are care and its providers valued?

In this project, we compare and contrast how people and policymakers in North America and the Asia-Pacific are addressing care as a crisis that calls for both policy and personal solutions.

Canada, the US, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore all propose and arrange different solutions to their caregiving shortages. We also examine the politics of care in countries that are sending migrant caregivers: the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

How does the global migration of people performing care work intersect with migration policies, care policies and the different ways that work and employment in care industries is structured? How do policies in wealthier counties that are receiving workers impact the politics of care where workers in poorer countries leave to work abroad?

This team 1) collects and analyzes a wide range of comparative socio-economic, political, and demographic data, including data on formal care available through public and private sectors, and informal caregiving by friends; and 2) compares and evaluates different government policies on care related migrations and what that means for individuals and families. In the case of Asia, we also examine data pertaining to the increasing use of foreign brides as quasi-family caregivers.

Findings are then synthesized to develop a new framework for analyzing and mapping the varied landscapes of care, and how these are shaped by migration and employment programs and policies, as well as by particularities and commonalities of history and discourse.

Refereed publications

Op-Ed articles & Non-refereed Publications

In progress