Toward a Cross-Cultural Training Model for Migrants Entering Oppressive Work Environments

  •  Howard Lorne Martyn    


This paper examines Indonesian migrant domestic workers’ contentment with their sojourn in Hong Kong and factors that inhibit contentment. These factors largely consist of inadequate pre-departure training in Indonesia or training that emphasizes subservience rather than assertiveness, as well as oppressive work environments, underpayment and employer behavior designed to psychologically or physically demean migrants in Hong Kong. The paper proposes a training model with module content based on needs identified during interviews with migrants. Training modules may be presented in Indonesia or Hong Kong by NGO groups and should be process driven and experiential with an emphasis on assertiveness aimed at migrant perspective transformation. Although designed with the Indonesia-Hong Kong situation in mind, this model along with the accompanying modules may be adapted for a variety of situations where migrant workers find themselves in oppressive work environments.

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