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The Hidden Lives of Migrant Workers

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February 7, 2017 | 12:00 PM EST
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Au pair Lucila Espinosa Milay checks her receipt as she walks through a row of money transfer businesses after wiring part of her paycheck to siblings back in the Philippines, at Central Station in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 21, 2016. Milay pays the school fees for several of her eight siblings back home, sending money every 15 days. Remittances are a huge economic driver in the Philippines. Image by Allison Shelley. Philippines, 2016.
English

On paper, the au pair program is a cultural exchange program. But for many people, the motivations...

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Au pairs walk back to the train after shopping at Loppemarked, a weekend flea market in Gentofte, a wealthy suburb of Copenhagen. The women buy second-hand clothing and gifts to send to their families back home, a common practice of overseas Filipino workers. Image by Allison Shelley. Denmark, 2016.
Au pairs walk back to the train after shopping at Loppemarked, a weekend flea market in Gentofte, a wealthy suburb of Copenhagen. The women buy second-hand clothing and gifts to send to their families back home, a common practice of overseas Filipino workers. Image by Allison Shelley. Denmark, 2016.

Join Pulitzer Center journalist grantees Ana Santos and Allison Shelley and Senior Editor Tom Hundley at Northwestern University in Qatar on Tuesday, February 7, 2017, for a closer look at the lives of migrant workers in Denmark. Their discussion, titled "The Hidden Lives of Migrant Workers," is part of a multi-day visit to NUQ as part of the university's Campus Consortium partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

Santos and Shelley examine the au pair exchange program between the Philippines and Denmark, the top destination country for Filipino au pairs followed by Norway, as part of their Pulitzer Center-supported project Denmark's Au Pair Program: Cultural Exchange or Cheap Domestic Labor? . In their presentation, they will share how in this exchange program, the au pairs seek better lives in a foreign territory, not the cultural experience commonly associated with working in this profession.

Both Shelley and Santos have received support from the Pulitzer Center for multiple reporting projects.

Shelley is a photographer and multimedia journalist based in Washington, D.C. A former staff photographer for The Washington Times and previously director of photography for Education Week newspaper, much of her current work has focused on identity and belonging during crisis.

Santos is a journalist based in the Philippines. As the 2014 Persephone Miel fellow, she wrote about the hundreds of thousands of Filipino women who leave their children behind to work abroad as nannies and domestic workers. A motherless generation continues to grow as more and more women join the migrant work force.

In addition to their February 7 presentation, Santos, Shelley and Hundley will connect with students and faculty during classroom and other sessions during their multi-day visit.

The Hidden Lives of Migrant Workers
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
12:00PM-1:30PM
Northwestern University in Qatar
Room NU-Q 1-300
Education City
Doha, Qatar

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