Who cares?

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

While Australia had long been perceived as an exception in the global outsourcing of care/domestic work to migrant labour, a growing number of young migrant women are now providing childcare and domestic services for Australian families as au pairs. Their ambiguous legal status, the rhetoric of being ‘part of the family’ and the lack of institutional assistance place them in vulnerable conditions.

This research argues for the need of protecting these young migrant women by entitling them to basic labour rights as well as offering them institutional support and assistance from the governments and civil society organisations in Australia as well as their countries of origin.


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]



Nana Oishi & Aya Ono (2019) North-North migration of care workers: “Disposable” au pairs in AustraliaJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies