On equal terms? An evaluation of the aupair Norwegian Scheme.

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Today the official report from FAFO came out regarding the aupair system in Norway. Fafo according to their homepage is an independent and multidisciplinary research foundation focusing on social welfare and trade policy, labor and living conditions, public health, migration and integration, and transnational security and development issues. Fafo works within both a domestic Norwegian and larger international context.

This is the description from FaFo’s homepage  On-equal-terms

This report is the outcome of an evaluation of the Norwegian au pair scheme. The main objectives of the evaluation have been to uncover whether (or not) the scheme is practised according to its original intentions, and whether the changes introduced to the scheme in 2007 have generated the desired effects. The basic aim of the evaluation has thus been to give a comprehensive assessment of the au pair scheme, and furthermore to see whether additional changes are needed other than those already put in place in 2007. The report describes the strategies and motivations of au pairs and host families, and discusses how contact is established between them.

There has been a considerable increase in the number of au pairs in Norway, from 691 in 2000 to 2860 in 2008, with Filipinos representing the largest group. The majority of au pairs are female, and only a small proportion of applicants are men, making au pairing a form of female-dominated employment involving what has traditionally been the responsibility of women within the household, namely housework and care work.

 The report examines the increase in numbers and the fact that third country nationals today dominate the scheme. It also debates whether au pairs and host families see au pair placement as a cultural exchange scheme in accordance with the original intentions, or as a form of employment. In addition, the report offers a brief description of the conditions for au pair placement in the UK, Denmark and Poland as a comparison to the situation in Norway. In light of these various issues, the evaluation offers policy recommendations for improvements and changes to the structural framework of au pair placement.

You can download the full report as a pdf file by clicking this link that will lead you to site.

The launching of this report  was attended by State Secretary Libe Rieber-Mohn, the State Secreatary of integration, immigration, and diversity matters. One of Fafo’s recommendation is that the Norwegian government/embassy has to work on establishing a bi-lateral agreement with the Philippines. According to the State Secretary Lieber -Mohn that they are already in dialog with the Philippine goverment  and  will continue this autumn, she said, and if there is no agreement reached, Norway will most likely follow the Wien convention and respect Filipino law regarding au pairs. (source: http://www.lofot-tidende.no/innenriks/article4529719.ece)

So I hope the Philippine goverment will look on this matter now that the Norwegian goverment will sit down and willing to establish a bi-lateral agreement regarding the aupair system. For your information the Philippines doesn’t allow it’s citizens to go out and work as an aupair. Check the realted posts on this site  regarding the ban, The research of aupair program by Genevieve Arroyo Part 1 & Part 2 andd Not is all fair for Au pairs by Filomenits Hoegsholm

This is relevant for the Filipinos  because according to the 2008 statistics there are 2,090 filipinaaupairs out of 2,860 that is 73.08 % of the total aupairs in Norway. Filipinos in the past years flocks to Norway after their term as aupair  in Denmark and Holland. Others came direct from the Philippines amidst the ban by paying  a large sum of money to corrupt officials at the airport and agencies. 

Overview-of-auapirs-in-Norway

As there is a continous demand for househelp more and more families are misusing the aupair system because it much more cheaper than hiring a professional help. Although the pocket money is higher than in the Philippines they should  still follow the European standard. So much was changed when they started the aupair system it is not a cultural exchange anymore but it mean work to the aupair and cheap labor to the host families. So is au pair still on equal terms?

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