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Merchants of Labour

Edited by Christiane Kuptsch

Many migrants seek overseas employment with the help of agents or intermediaries. These “merchants of labor” include relatives who finance a migrant’s trip, provide housing, and arrange for a job abroad; public employment services; and private recruitment agencies. They also include an underworld of smugglers and traffickers. The agents who recruit and deploy migrant workers are at the heart of the evolving migration infrastructure, i.e., the network of business and personal ties that is creating a global labor market. This book highlights best practices in the activities and regulation of these merchants of labor, as well as innovative strategies to protect migrant workers. It covers a broad range of national and regional experiences and puts merchants of labor in the wider context of changing employment relationships in globalizing labor markets. This book is an important contribution to understanding a major mechanism facilitating the growth of the migrant labor force.

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