I have a strong personal and professional commitment to working out a fairer deal for migrant workers in the Asia-Pacific region. My goal is to understand, rectify and mitigate the technical and political obstacles that migrant workers who have taken up low paid employment across international borders face.
My interest in migration systems and the impact they have on the labour migration experience was kindled in 2007 when volunteering for a Hong Kong non-government organization whose biggest client group was Indonesian domestic workers. These migrants faced problems with employers, recruitment agencies, financiers and government departments, including their own consulate. This experience became the basis for my Honours thesis on public-private partnerships between the Indonesian consulate and local recruitment agencies for which I was awarded a University Medal. The resulting publication can be found here.
I became fascinated with the impact that Indonesia’s labour export programme had on citizens after they crossed international borders. I became motivated to research and write a PhD thesis on the role played by Indonesian government officials in the design and implementation of the programme. The thesis can be found here. You can read the book here. After submitting, I returned to Hong Kong to manage service provision to migrant workers through paralegal, shelter and education projects at the Christian Action – Domestic Helpers and Migrant Workers Programme. Since then I have worked on research projects for the International Organization for Migration about Indonesia’s criminal justice response to human trafficking. I currently research and teach at Bina Nusantara University’s Department of International Relations.