Fellows in the Field 2018 - 2019

Sanjeev Dasgupta

Summary

Sanjeev is spending his fellowship year in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is partnering with the Issara Institute, an organization dedicated to stopping human trafficking and forced labor.

Thailand is one of the primary destination countries for migrants in the region, particularly migrants from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. For decades, migration between the countries was unregulated which meant that the vast majority of migrants from these three countries made it to Thailand through irregular channels, lacked any kind of proper documentation, and were exposed to widespread exploitation. In the past fifteen years, the Thai government has tried to crack down on irregular migration by creating channels for legal migration. However, the channels are slow and restrictive. The majority of the migrants in Thailand have continued to use irregular channels.

Sanjeev hopes to conduct a research project that explores migrant worker’s perceptions of the changing work documentation requirements for securing legal status in Thailand.

Sanjeev Dasgupta with colleagues from Yangon, Myanmar

Michaela Stith

Summary

Michaela is spending her fellowship in Tromso, Norway, where she will partner with the Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat of the Arctic Council. The Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat is an organization that works to facilitate the participation of indigenous people organizations in the work of the Arctic Council.

There are six Arctic indigenous organizations representing about 500,000 Indigenous peoples currently hold Permanent Participant status on the Arctic Council. This means that the organizations sit next to the eight member states to ensure that their views are being represented and respected when decisions are made.

Michaela hopes to conduct a project to raise awareness about the contributions of Indigenous groups to policies in the Arctic.

Michaela Stith (second row, sixth from the left) at an indigenous cultural festival in Norway

Andrew Tan-Delli Cicchi

Summary

Andrew is spending his fellowship year in Hong Kong, where his is partnering with the Fair Employment Agency. The Fair Employment Agency is a non-profit employment agency that aims to improve industry standards for hiring migrant domestic workers.

In Hong Kong, employment agencies will make money by placing domestic helpers with employers. They charge fees to both the domestic helper and employer. Domestic helpers will go into debt to pay these fees, and often those placements don’t work out. This means the domestic helper must go into debt again to find a new job. The Fair Employment Agency offers a better way of hiring domestic helpers. They do not charge agency fees to the domestic worker and only place workers that would be a good fit for their family.

Andrew hopes to conduct a research project that looks into the motivations that drive the domestic helper industry in Hong Kong.

Andrew Tan-Delli Cicchi with members of the Fair Employment Agency

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