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Tag Archives: Labor rights

Choo, Hae Yeon. “In the Shadow of Working Men: Gendered Labor and Migrant Rights in South Korea.” Qualitative Sociology, July 16, 2016, 1–21. doi:10.1007/s11133-016-9332-9.
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Abstract
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Based on ethnographic research in South Korea, this article investigates the gendered production of migrant rights under the global regime of temporary migration by examining two groups of Filipina women: factory workers and hostesses at American military camptown clubs. Emphasizing gendered labor processes and symbolic politics, this article offers an analytical framework to interrogate the mechanisms through which a discrepancy of rights is generated at the intersection of workplace organization and civil society mobilization. I identify two distinct labor regimes for migrant women that were shaped in the shadow of working men. Migrant women in the factories labored in the company of working men on the shop floor, which enabled them to form a co-ethnic migrant community and utilize the male-centered bonding between workers and employers. In contrast, migrant hostesses were isolated and experienced gendered stigma under the paternalistic rule of employers. Divergent forms of civil society mobilization in South Korea sustained these regimes: Migrant factory workers received recognition as workers without attention to gender-specific concerns while hostesses were construed as women victims in need of protection. Thus, Filipina factory workers were able to exercise greater labor rights by sharing the dignity of workers as a basis for their rights claims from which hostesses were excluded.

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Can there be such a thing as feminist pornography? Many still say no. Echoing decades of anti-pornography feminist literature, Gail Dines told the Daily Beast in 2012 that “anyone willing to feed off women’s bodies and use them as raw materials to make a profit has no right to call themselves feminists.” But many feminists, including those who make porn, disagree. Despite decades of efforts to suppress it, porn is reaching larger audiences than ever. Making porn more politically progressive for those who consume it and making sets safer for performers are critical issues for feminist intervention—and feminist pornographers have chosen to take on both.

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Several studies have cited economic hardships or poverty as the main reason for women’s entry into sex work in India. While this may be true, it is still a vague reason. For better understanding and to develop meaningful intervention, we need to dig deeper and find more specific reasons for women’s entry into sex work. In addition, while most studies conducted among sex workers in India rely on survey-based approaches to explore women’s reasons for entry into sex work, there have been no studies to date which have used cultural biography to examine how sex work becomes a livelihood option for women in Indian society. Based on the analysis of the 46 short-life portraits and three life-history interviews collected from ‘flying’ or mobile female sex workers over a period of 7 months (December 2009–July 2010) in Kolkata, India, this paper examines the socio-cultural and economic factors that influence women’s decisions to enter into sex work. This study found that women choose sex work vis-à-vis other employment opportunities because it provides them with more freedom and autonomy over their bodies, higher earnings, flexible hours of work, and much flexibility to manage their dual responsibilities of a nurturer and provider. Because of this complex structure of causation, HIV prevention programs must address the larger issues of workplace sexual harassment, minimum living wage and child day care policy to disincentivize women’s entry into the sex industry.

Büschi, Eva, ‘Sex Work and Violence: Focusing on Managers in the Indoor Sex Industry’, Sexualities, 17 (2014), 724–41 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1363460714531271&gt;

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Sex work is defined from a liberal-feminist view as the negotiating and provision of sexual services by adults in return for payment. In Switzerland, sex work is basically legal and tolerated. The present study does not problematize the nature of sex work. It is considered here as a form of gainful employment rather than deviant behaviour, sexual risk behaviour or violence per se. In a qualitative study using problem focused guided interviews, 13 managers of brothels and contact bars in a Swiss city were questioned about their organizing of work, about working conditions, violence and its prevention. The content analysis of the data (Mayring, 2007) generated a manager typology (based on Kelle and Kluge, 1999). The results project four manager types: (I) collegial all-rounders who run small establishments; (II) co-operative managers of medium-size commercial premises; (III) authoritarian managers of medium-size and large brothels or contact bars and (IV) self-sacrificing managers of medium-size brothels. In respect to violence, these four types are characterized by association with differential degrees of potential risk for sex workers. While types I and IV can be classified as more risky in relation to violence and safety due to their specific characteristics, types II and III are clearly less dangerous for the sex workers. All the managers have introduced protective measures to prevent violence, yet they do not have a specific (explicitly formulated) strategy. In conclusion, the study shows that structural basic conditions and specific organizational working conditions impact on the risk of violence.

This report highlights 42 innovative examples from 28 countries and regions in which the workplace and/or workforce was used as an entry point to reach sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender populations, people who inject drugs, migrant workers, truckers, ship and dockworkers and the prisons populations with HIV services. Country case studies are presented from Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Southern Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe (Africa); Canada, Guyana and USA the Americas); United Arab Emirates (Arab States); Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam (Asia and the Pacific); and Albania, Austria, the European Union, Scotland and the United Kingdom (Europe and Central Asia.

Full report available here. 

Bravo, Karen E., Free Labor! A Labor Liberalization Solution to Modern Trafficking in Humans (August 13, 2008). Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1224422

Abstract:
According to varied sources, 27 million people worldwide are enslaved and 4 million individuals are trafficked annually across international borders, including 17,500 people into the United States. The trade in human beings has significant ramifications for international human rights, international criminal law, and the global economy. Despite the expenditure of a great deal of intellectual, economic, psychological, and other resources to prevent and punish the traffic in human beings, the trade appears to grow annually in scope. Read More

Mohammad Ismail Bhuiyan (2013): Reasonable Wages for Workers to Eliminate Unrest in Bangladesh’s Ready-made Garments (RMG) Sector, in: The Bangladesh Development Research Working Paper Series (BDRWPS) 13.

Abstract
This paper summarizes the main causes of unrest in Bangladesh’s ready-made garments (RMG) sector and how they can be resolved. It provides some background on the degree of unrest in Bangladesh’s RMG sector, focusing on six major unrests during December 2010 and June 2012 and provides some information on conflict resolution processes. The paper is based on interviews with RMG workers, management, and factory owners. It shows that low and discriminating wages are the main underlying factor of unrest in the RMG. Hence, wages should be given top most priority to evade unrest in the RMG factories, followed by the implementation of labor rights.