Journal articles

Koh, C.Y., Goh, C., Wee, K., & Yeoh, B.Y. (2016). Drivers of migration policy reform: The day off policy for migrant domestic workers in Singapore. Global Social Policy, 1-18.

Platt, M., Baey, G., Yeoh, B. S., Khoo, C. Y., & Lam, T. (2016). Debt, precarity and gender: male and female temporary labour migrants in Singapore. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1-18.

Yeoh, B. S., Platt, M., Khoo, C. Y., Lam, T., & Baey, G. (2016). Indonesian domestic workers and the (un) making of transnational livelihoods and provisional futures. Social & Cultural Geography, 1-20.

Platt, M., Yeoh, B. S., Acedera, K. A., Yen, K. C., Baey, G., & Lam, T. (2016). Renegotiating migration experiences: Indonesian domestic workers in Singapore and use of information communication technologies. New Media & Society, 18(10): 2207-2223.

Working Papers

Policy briefs

Check out our partner institutes’ research if you’re interested in regional and international migration issues in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Bangladesh!

Ongoing projects

1. Intrahousehold dynamics: investing in the family’s future: gendered practices of remittance use and the shaping of youth aspirations. 

This project focuses on Ponorogo, East Java as a key sending area of migrant workers, both to other parts of Indonesia, and overseas. The overarching aim of this project is to explore how migration impacts the household dynamics in a community such as Ponorogo which has a high level of outmigration. In particular, this project will explore how migration is changing gender norms and relations within households. This is particularly pertinent given broader trends regarding the feminisation of migration in the Southeast Asian region. Therefore, questions of gender, as well as other forms of social and power relations will be explored in all aspects of the research outlined below. The key areas of focus for research project include (i) remittance earning, sending and use; (ii) migration as allowing long-term investment; and (iii) youth aspirations.

2. The migration industry in Asia: A case study on recruitment and placement agencies for migrant domestic workers in Singapore

This study builds on a previous RPC study done on the costs and benefits of migration amongst Indonesian domestic workers in Singapore, alongside on-going policy reviews on migration and labour recruitment issues concerning the domestic work industry. Specifically, it seeks to analyse the multi-scalar nature of recruitment and placement practices by examining how brokers and intermediaries navigate different interfaces of state (i.e. negotiating regulatory regimes involving complex and stringent processes of immigration and labour recruitment), market (i.e. capitalising on business opportunities with burgeoning demand for paid domestic work), and individual clients (i.e. bridging household needs for social reproductive labour with migrant aspirations amongst rural women) in their day-to-day operations.

 3. The dynamics of policy formulation and implementation: A case-study of Singapore’s mandatory weekly day-off policy for migrant domestic workers

This project focuses on Singapore’s recent mandatory weekly day-off policy for domestic workers as a case-study for understanding the socio-political dynamics of policy-making processes in the industry, as well as ongoing tensions that currently impinge upon its widespread implementation. In significant ways, the implementation of Singapore’s weekly day-off policy represents the culmination of ongoing lobbying efforts by NGO activists and different stakeholders since the early 2000s, alongside international pressure exerted by major organisations, such as the ILO. The general sentiment, especially amongst civil society, has been that the new ruling is “long overdue” (John Gee, quoted in the BBC news, 26 September 2013). The proposed study seeks to cast critical light on Singapore’s mandatory weekly day-off policy to analyse the socio-political trajectories of different campaigning efforts for migrant domestic workers, whilst assessing competing stakeholder interests and current barriers to implementation. The study will provide valuable insight into the dynamics of policy formulation, as well as lessons to draw from for existing advocacy efforts to promote the decent work

If you have any questions, please email us at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s