Race, Gender and Surveillance of Migrant Domestic Workers in Asia

Johnson, Mark; Lee, Maggy and McCahill, Mike. 2018. Race, Gender and Surveillance of Migrant Domestic Workers in Asia. In: Mary Bosworth; Alpa Palmer and Yolanda Vasquez, eds. Race, Criminal Justice and Migration Control: Enforcing the Boundaries of Belonging. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 13-28. ISBN 9780198814887 [Book Section]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

This chapter provides a transnational analysis of the ways in which migrant workers are placed at the sharp end of migration control based on gendered and racialized notions of domestic labour. Migrant women from the Philippines to Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia are routinely subjected to an extensive and diffuse process of surveillance and social sorting beyond the geographic border and criminal justice system. In their country of origin, women’s mobilities are conditioned by their willingness to produce a documented identity as good women and disciplined workers. In their countries of destination, they are subjected to a range of state and non-state monitoring processes that seek to racially assign and keep different sorts of migrant women in their place as foreign residents and disposable workers. Ultimately, differential inclusion remains underpinned by a criminal justice system that can bear down heavily on migrants through the threat of criminalization, detention, and deportation.

Item Type:

Book Section


Domestic labour, gender, Hong Kong, irregular migrants, migrant workers, migration control, racialization, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, surveillance

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



18 January 2018Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

23 Jan 2018 13:44

Last Modified:

23 Jan 2018 13:45



Edit Record Edit Record (login required)