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Multiculturalism in Asia$
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Will Kymlicka and Baogang He

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199277629

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199277621.001.0001

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Justice for Migrant Workers? The Case of Foreign Domestic Workers in Hong Kong and Singapore 1

Justice for Migrant Workers? The Case of Foreign Domestic Workers in Hong Kong and Singapore 1

Chapter:
(p.196) 9 Justice for Migrant Workers? The Case of Foreign Domestic Workers in Hong Kong and Singapore1
Source:
Multiculturalism in Asia
Author(s):

Daniel A. Bell

Nicola Piper

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199277621.003.0009

The trend in Western liberal democracies is to extend to long-term residents most, if not all, the legal rights of citizens and improving their access to citizenship for immigrants and their descendants. The situation is different in developed East Asian societies, where the most migrant workers work under short-term contracts without the possibility of becoming equal members of the political community. It is argued that the special circumstances in East Asian societies may justify arrangements for differential rights. The practice of hiring foreign domestic workers ‘fits’ better with the Confucian cultural heritage in East Asia; there are cultural particularities underpinning the system in East Asia which may not be shared elsewhere.

Keywords:   Hong Kong, Singapore, foreign domestic workers, migrant workers, minority rights, labour migration, citizens’ rights, Confucian cultural heritage

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