Institute for Labor Studies ILS (ILS) banner logo
Philippine Standard Time


Return and Reintegration are two different concepts that are often taken as one and the same. Return may only refer to the physical return of a migrant to their country of origin while reintegration is a process to which the migrant is reintroduced and reinserted to the community under three (3) identified dimensions: Economic stability, Social Networks and Psycho-social. Return may be for everyone, but reintegration may not be ready for all returnees.

Migration for employment has increasingly become a reality for peoples facing difficulties in finding adequate and promising development opportunities at home. The expansion of the global economy accompanied by policy shifts towards greater deregulation, trade liberalization and privatization has also led to the rise of the role of private employment agencies in enabling an environment for better jobs matching – locally, and between countries of origin and destination. Yet, the relentless growth of private recruitment industry, particularly in relation to overseas employment, has also unleashed a spate of rights abuses and exploitation experienced by migrant workers, mostly women.

International low-skilled labor migrant workers such as construction workers, agricultural workers and domestic helpers are projected to increase over the medium- and long- term in high-income and emerging economies due to demographic changes (e.g., ageing populations) and lack of decent work opportunities in migrant sending countries.

Philippine labor migration has constantly grown for the past 40 years the country. In 2015, 1.8 million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) left the country to work in various destinations all over the world. OFWs, along with other Overseas Filipinos (OFs), sent home a total of US$25.6 billion in cash remittances that year (BSP). If taking into account remittances sent through both formal and non-formal sectors, remittances are estimated to reach US$29.7 billion (WB), which is around 10% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Much of the migration scholarship tends to focus either on the migrant or on the left-behind families. In this dissertation, I seek to explore an understudied aspect of migration- the links between parental migration and the migration aspirations and employment trajectories of left-behind children. The analysis is based on in-depth interviews with Filipino migrant parents in London and their children left behind in the Philippines.