Migration infrastructure, moral economy, and intergenerational injustice in mother-and-child migration from the Philippines to Japan

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Abstract

In this paper, I discuss how a legal amendment in Japan’s Nationality law, in force since 2009 and celebrated as a victory for children’s rights, soon opened new opportunities for labour brokers to send Japanese-Filipino offspring and their Filipina mothers to work in Japanese care-giving facilities and in factories. While the processes of recruitment, selection, training and placement resemble those commonly followed by commercial migrant brokers in the Philippines, Japanese descendants and their Filipina parent travel to Japan on family-related visas enabling their brokers to skirt some of the regulations set by the Philippine state. The recent cross-border mobility of Japanese-Filipinos and their mothers to Japan shows that migration infrastructure is a patchwork stitched from regulatory loopholes and opportunities, commercial responses, humanitarian counter-dynamics, and individual plans and desires. I address how migration infrastructure is interrelated with the perpetuation of socio-economic inequality and the moral economy of migration, as (would-be) migrants’ limited recourse to legal instruments and cross-border mobility creates a dependence on intermediaries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-723
JournalMobilities
Volume16
Issue number5
Early online date13 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2021

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