Semester Offering: InterSem
The course aims to take a gender approach to studying various forms of labor migration in Asia. It will examine how the gender division of labor resulting from migration usually leads to more exploitation and less protection for women migrants by labor and immigration laws. After a survey of migration theories, the course aims to look at structural and social determinants that enables such transnational migration and to take place, the gendered impact of such movements, and the range of measures and legal instruments that exist locally, regionally and internationally that cover, control and protect labor migrants. We will end the course with a session on conducting research on migration.


Students, on completion of this course, are expected to be able to:
  • Explain the different forms of labor migration and their underlying gender determinants
  • Distinguish and compare main theories of migration
  • Identify migration and non-migration policies in the Asian region which enable or constrain migrant flows
  • Formulate a basic research problem in migration research
  • Conduct basic data collection with migrants and institutions




I.          Introduction
1.      Labor Migration in Asia: An overview (including course presentation)
2.      International Labor Migration theories

II.         Labor migration
1.      Gender perspectives on Labor migration
3.      Migrant Rights, Health, and Security
4.      Film (TBA and if time is available)

III.        Field trip (to be announced)
1.      Field trip

IV.       Policies and research on Labor Migration
1.      Legal instruments and labor migration policies
2.      Researching labor migration
3.      Course review


None (one field trip is required)


1.      Feminist Economics, ‘Special Issue: Gender and International Migration’, Feminist Economics, Vol. 18, Issue 2, 2012.
2.      Truong,T.-D., Gasper,D.,  Handmaker, J., Bergh, S.I. (Eds.) Migration, Gender and Social Justice Perspectives on Human Insecurity, Berlin: Springer, 2014.
3.      Piper, Nicola (ed.), New Perspectives on Gender and Migration: Livelihood, Rights and Entitlements, New York: Routledge, 2008.
4.      Castles, S and Miller, M., The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World, 3rd ed., New York, NY: Guilford Press, 2003.
5.      Ananta, A. and Arifin, E. (eds.), International Migration in Southeast Asia, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2004.
6.      Farr, K., Sex Trafficking, New York: Worth Pub, 2005.
7.      Hewison, Kevin and Young, Ken (eds.), Transnational Migration and Work in Asia, London and New York: Routledge, 2006.
8.      Oishi, N., Women in Motion: Globalization, State Policies, and Labor Migration in Asia, Stanford: SUP, 2005.


1.      Graham, David, Nana Poku (eds.), Migration, Globalization and Human Security, London: Routledge, 2000.
2.      IOM, Situation Report on International Migration in East and South-East Asia, Regional Thematic Working Group on International Migration including Human Trafficking, IOM: Bangkok, 2008.
3.      Salazar Parrenas, Rhacel, Servants of Globalization: Women, Migration, and Domestic Work, Stanford: SUP, 2001.
4.      UNFPA, State of world population 2006: A Passage to Hope –Women and International Migration, NY:UNFPA, 2006.
5.      Van Walsum, Sarah, Spijkerboer, Thomas (eds.), Women and Immigration Law, Abingdon, Oxon UK: Routledge-Cavendish, 2007.
6.      Vitit Muntarbhorn, The Mekong Challenge: Employment and Protection of Migrant Workers in Thailand: National Laws/Practices and International Labour Standards, Bangkok: ILO, 2005.


  • Feminist Economics (esp. Vol. 18, Issue 2, 2012)
  • Gender and Development (Routledge/Taylor Francis)
  • Gender, Technology and Development (SAGE)
  • International Migration (Wiley)
  • Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (Routledge/Taylor Francis)
  • Asian and Pacific Migration Journal (SAGE)


24 hours of lecture plus 6 hours lecture-equivalent field trip. Students are expected to spend at least 8 hours of self-study per week, including required readings.


Lectures and instructor supervised discussions. A field-trip to a high migration density population is is also part of the course (the trip last several days). Powerpoint slides will be used. The course will also include a final course review before final exam. Course material is also available on a Moodle course page.


  • one field trip assignment 30% (graded on: critical analysis, coherence, evidence used, references used, writing skills);
  • one short essay 30% (graded on: quality of analysis, coherence, reference and evidence used, writing skills);
  • final exam 40% (entire content -close books).

In the exams, an “A” would be awarded if a student can contextualize the knowledge learned in class by presenting case studies from articles or news, and including required readings in their analysis. A “B” would be awarded if a student shows an overall understanding of all topics, a “C” would be awarded if a student meets below average expectation in terms of analysis, and a “D” would be awarded if a student does not meet basic expectations in analyzing or understanding the issues presented in the course.