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Circular migration and home care? The case of Romanian and Ukrainian home care workers in Northern Italy

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Home care and migration come full circle

Research on circular migration in the home-care sector in Italy is revealing the resulting conditions for workers, care recipients and family members.

Climate Change and Environment

Circularity as a means to effectively and efficiently manage labour migration within the EU and beyond is questionable. Therefore the mechanisms of circular migration employment and its effects on societal issues, namely ageing and immigration are areas worth exploring. In light of this, the EU-funded project CIRCLE CARE focused on Eastern European circular migrants in the elderly care sector. More specifically, the research centred on Polish, Ukrainian and Georgian care workers for the elderly within the Italian province of Reggio Emilia. Objectives of the project included the impact circularity has on the relationship between migrant care workers and their Italian employers. This involved looking at how rotation of workers impacted factors such as labour conditions, organisation of tasks, quality of service etc. The research aimed to shed light on the interconnectedness of public service interventions and the welfare market itself through the circulation of migrants. Additionally, what conditions foster circulation in the most efficient manner, featuring the function of the migrant community was examined. Seventy-nine in-depth interviews were conducted in the field work over two phases spanning 2012 – 2013. Included in this were 33 interviews with Italian employers, 37 Eastern European care workers as well as 9 key informants. The results are of prime importance to scholars and publishing houses for future grants, workshops and publications. The topic of circular care has drawn the interest of the European Science Foundation who has funded an Exploratory Workshop on that. The result is cooperation and networking with local administration and social services. A Facebook page, Le Girandole is available for social participation.


Circular migration, home-care sector, Italian employers, Eastern European care workers

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