Who cares?

Examining the invisibility of migrant women in care and domestic work in Australia.

This project will examine the roles of female migrant labour in care and domestic work sectors and the intersection of this work with Australian labour law. In many industrialised countries and emerging economies, care and domestic work have been outsourced to female migrant labour due to the weakening of welfare states. Australia had long been an exception in the global trend, however, some evidence suggests that similar outsourcing began to grow in recent years. 

This project will (1) analyse the factors behind this shift, (2) evaluate the roles and situations of immigrant/refugee women and international students who work in these sectors as “invisible workforce,” (3) assess the adequacy of labour law in relation to this work, and (4) explore the potential policy measures and programs for the rights protection and empowerment of migrant women workers in these sectors.


Nana Oishi [Asia Institute]

Anna Chapman [Melbourne Law School]

Mayuko Itoh [Asia Institute]

Melba Marginson [Victorian Immigrant & Refugee Women's Coalition]

Ana Galvez [Australia for UNHCR]