This is a guide to all things at the intersection of Migrant Workers, Singapore and social change. Feel free to edit if you’d like to improve it!


See Migrant Workers Articles and Migrant Workers Events.

Key People

Names are provided alphabetically, with links provided to LinkedIn accounts where available, else Facebook. Expertise in this area is based on past or current experience, and if there is a link to Singapore in some way.

Bridget Tan-Lew, Goh Wei-Leong, Imran Andrew Price, Irma L Cosico, Jeremy Khoo, John Gee, Jolovan Wham, Kandhavel Periyasamy, Melissa Kwee, Noorashikin Abdul Rahman, Patrick Neo, Peter Hsu, Saleemah Ismail, Sarah Mavrinac, Sha Najak, Shaun Teo, Shirley Soh, Sinapan Samydorai, Stephanie Chok, Tang Shin Yong, Thio Shen Yi, Uonos Mohamed, Vadivu Govind, Veronica Gamez, Vincent Law, Vincent Wijeysingha

International Conventions & Networks

International conventions and recommendations that aim to govern the treatment of migrant workers include International Labour Organization Convention 143 (1975) and International Labour Organization Migrant Worker Recommendations 151.

The UN body International Labour Organisation maintains the International Labour Standards site. The UN Convention on the Protection of Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families is of most relevance.

Migrant Forum in Asia is a regional network of non-government organizations (NGOs), associations and trade unions of migrant workers, and individual advocates in Asia who are committed to protect and promote the rights and welfare of migrant workers. St. Francis Workers' Center, TWC2 and Home are members.

International Organization for Migration works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.

National Level

The Migrant Workers Centre is a non-profit organization whose mission is to champion fair employment practices and the well being of migrant workers in Singapore. It is a bi-partite initiative of the National Trade Union Congress and the Singapore National Employers' Federation.

The Foreign Manpower Management Division in the Ministry of Manpower was established last August to focus on three areas: protecting the safety of foreign workers, upkeeping professionalism among employment agencies, and beefing up enforcement such as conducting spot checks on employers.

Association of Employment Agencies of Singapore is the association which links together most employment agencies in Singapore, and is the body that accreditates foreign domestic workers. Reports of agency malpractices may be made here.

Singapore Contractors Association Limited represents employees in the building, construction and timber industries.

Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees Union ensures that the needs of her members on industrial, contractual and technical matters are well looked after; promoting and encouraging uniformity in the custom and practice of the construction industry; improving the standards of the industry and enhancing the status of her members; promoting the development of the industry; and participating in social and community services and projects.

The Social Integration Programme will equip migrant workers in Singapore to have a deeper understanding of Singapore and the various local cultures, traditions, social behaviours and their way of life. Hence, a spirit of understanding is fostered among the migrant workers and the locals. The programme will also facilitate quick assimilation to the local culture thus promoting bonds of friendship, good fellowship and mutual understanding.

SG Networks

Solidaritas Migran Scalabrini is an independent non-religious affiliated grassroot organization comprising members who are or were women migrant domestic workers. SMS has been set up in response to the abuses faced by many women migrant workers compelled by poverty to work overseas for their families. Registered separately in the Philippines and in Indonesia, and has 600 members working in Singapore.

Singapore Working Group on Migrant Workers comprises of a few key member organisations, TWC2, HOME, S'pore Working Group for ASEAN (SWGA).

General Assistance Groups

Humanitarian Organization for Migrant Economics (HOME) is a NGO that looks into the welfare and status of migrant workers. Through its programs and services, it believes in building a 'culture of welcome' for all migrants in Singapore. It provides shelter, helpdesk, helpline, skills training, research, education and legal services.

Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ACMI), under the Catholic Church, comprises local and foreign volunteers who journey with migrants from the time they arrive in Singapore. On-going services include helpline, skills training, soup kitchen, counselling, formation, legal assistance, casework, public education, and social and cultural activities.

Healthserve serves the interests of migrants, poor and disadvantaged groups in local community, regardless of ethnicity, gender, language and religion. Services they provide include medical clinic, thrift shop, service learning, travel immunization and counseling via telephone and face to face (including pre and post test HIV counseling).

Self-Help Groups

Dibashram is a space dedicated for the migrant workers of Singapore. Located on the upper floor of a conserved shophouse in the middle of Little India, the colourful Tamil and Bengali quarter of Singapore, Dibashram aims to run a range of free programmes for and involving the migrant worker.

Indonesian Family Network is a support group comprising Indonesian domestic workers and professional workers.

Filipino Overseas Workers in Singapore provides skills training programme at Bayanihan Centre.

Friends of Thai Workers provides courses in English, Mandarin, cultural orientation programme.

Holy Family Filipino Community provides home visitation, song and dance activities for the aged, Bible studies on 4th Sunday of the month.

Food Groups

Cuff Road Project provides free meals for hundreds of incomeless migrant workers every day at a restaurant in Little India. Run by TWC2 and ONE Singapore.

The Soup Kitchen Project (Singapore) is a Community Kitchen at Food #03 which serves food to migrant workers.

St. Anthony's Church provides free meals for migrant workers at Blue Star dormitory.

Health Groups

Karunya Community Clinic is a a HealthServe partner clinic.

HealthServe Community Clinic provides health services to the fringe communities in Geylang

Singapore Medical Clinic waives treatment fees for needy foreign workers.

SunLove Abode Mobile Clinic


Mini Environment Services (MES Group) runs the following dormitories for migrant workers: Blue Star Dormitory, Kaki Bukit Hostel, Penjuru Dormitory 1, Penjuru Dormitory 2, Murai One, Murai Two

Other dorms include: Avery Lodge (Lim Chu Kang Road), Ama Keng Hostel (Kim Chuan Drive), SGF Dormitory (Soon Lee Road), Soon Lee Lodge, Five Star Dorm

Other dormitory builders include: EM Services, Aik Chuan Construction

Employment Groups

Good Company manages the entire recruitment and integration process including holistic pre-departure orientation and integration support for Work Permit holders and their employers.

Anisya’s goal is to create an open employment marketplace for domestic workers and employers and we do this through an online employment platform and by providing employment services. Anisya aims to address the information access issue through an online employment platform where domestic workers and employers can connect, get to know one another and pursue employment opportunities. Anisya is a strong supporter of HOME and our registered business address is co-located with HOME’s Lucky Plaza office.

Help-Agency provides consulting services to Western expatriates regarding the management of their domestic helper.

Financial Services Groups

aidha delivers financial and entrepreneurship education to women migrant workers, primarily domestic helpers, who look to expand their economic opportunities and build brighter futures for themselves and their families.

DBS MoneySend is a collaboration between UNIFEM Singapore, DBS and MasterCard to offer an online remittance service that lets migrant workers in Singapore transfer funds anytime, anywhere via the Internet. DBS will donate a portion of the remittance fees to UNIFEM Singapore to support its programmes.

Training Groups

ASKI Global Ltd offers customized training programs on entrepreneurship and financial literacy to harness the potentials of the migrant worker communities in Singapore as well as for them to be economically and socially developed.

FILODEP (Filipino Ongoing Development Programme) provides courses for domestic helpers in baking, cooking, culture and heritage studies, dancing, drama, dress-making, facial and body massage therapy, guitar, hairstyling, handcraft, singing, spiritual classes, taekwando.

Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Skills Training (FAST) provides courses for domestic helpers in baby care, basic healthy culinary courses, computer, cooking, elderly care, music.

Bayanihan Centre promotes skills upgrading among Filipino workers and enhance socio-cultural ties between Filipinos and Singaporeans. It provides the classrooms, facilities and supports for volunteers and community groups to conduct numerous short term courses.

Go Forth provides courses in basic computer and programming, fundamentals of hursing aide, giving first aid, care for infants and young children, care for elderly, home management/nutrition, English proficiency.

The Hua Mei Training Centre (Tsao Foundation) provides training for the care of old persons and invalids.

CyberHOME. In 2006, HOME was given a grant by Microsoft`s Unlimited Potential Program as part of Microsoft`s effort to combat human trafficking in the region. The grant was used to set up two centres to provide basic IT education for migrant workers. Internet application, MS Word, Excel, and Powerpoint form the basis of the curriculum. A cyber cafe has also been set up at HOME’s Katong Centre to provide internet services for migrant workers at affordable rates.

LifeHOME. In 2008, HOME was given a grant by Western Union to set up an English Language and Caregiver’s training facility for migrant workers. The English language program was developed by language specialists and was launched officially in February 2008.

Church of the Holy Family Skills Training Centre

Novena Filipino Community Skills Development Program

Research & Advocacy Groups

Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) is a society concerned with the welfare of foreign migrant workers. They conduct research, undertake public education projects, and runs a helpline which offers advice and practical help.

Day Off campaign is a public education campaign organised by Unifem Singapore, TWC2 and Home aimed at encouraging employers in Singapore to voluntarily give their domestic worker a day off.

The Help Anna campaign was launched by UNIFEM Singapore on the November 2006, as part of the broader initiative to Say No to Violence Against Women. Just by visiting Anna, you can help support the cause of ending violence against women.

Migrant Workers Singapore is an archive of stories related to migrant workers in Singapore.

Religious Groups

Novena Filipino Migrants
Indonesian Catholic Community


Foo Chow Methodist Church

Foreign Friends Ministry, an outreach of Pasir Panjang Christ Church provides Basic and Intermediate English Classes and health-screening / medical clinic at a designated workers' center.

Mujahahidah Learning Centre has an extensive list of courses conducted by and for Indonesian domestic workers.
Darussalam Mosque
Sultan Mosque
Wak Tanjong Mosque
Muslim Converts' Association (Darul Arqam) runs monthly support groups for Indonesian and Filipino Muslim women.

Recreation & Arts Groups

Migrant Voices is a registered community-based arts society that conducts art activities with and for the migrant community in Singapore, especially the migrant workers from lower income groups. See also Inside Out photography project. Inside Out II: Photos by migrant workers, by Objectifs.

Scal Recreation Centre has a football field, multi-purpose halls, amphitheatre, beer garden, classrooms, supermarket, food court, clinic, post office, remittance services.

SOIL: Joint production between Dramabox and Migrant Voices.

Migration Film Festival: Filmfest on issues faced by migrant workers during their overseas employment stints.

Blinded, Binded & Trapped in Love: Play about the choices that migrant workers are forced to make in an unfamiliar land.

Dibashram is a space dedicated for the migrant worker of Singapore. Located on the upper floor of a conserved shophouse in the middle of Little India, the colourful Tamil and Bengali quarter of Singapore, Dibashram aims to run a range of free programmes for and involving the migrant worker.

Media Initiatives

Bangla Kantha is a Bengali newspaper that sometimes reports on migrant worker issues.

Migrant Workers Singapore is an archive of stories related to migrant workers in Singapore.

Maid in Singapore is a blog by a 29 year old Filipina domestic worker in Singapore, and is her attempt to describe life here as a foreign worker from her point of view.

Maid By Me is a project to collect pictures, stories, memories and anecdotes about maids in Singapore. Maids have had an indelible impact n Singapore society since their introduction here in 1978, and this project aims to carve a space in our social memory for them.

Made by Migrants is a collaborative project undertaken by a group of interns from BBH Singapore. The project aims to look past the skin-deep perceptions of migrant workers by revealing their motivations, stories and dreams.

Unsung – The Invisible Workforce Behind This City, an eight-minute documentary uploaded by a team of SMU undergraduates in March 2012, has had nearly 50,000 views online so far.

Beyond the Border, Behind the Men is a project that celebrates the, otherwise anonymous and invisible, Bangladeshi migrant workers in our midst.

Migrant Worker Research

Migrant Workers in the Singapore Workforce: Managing Flows and Challenges (TWC2)
Maid to Order: Ending Abuses Against Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore (Juman Rights Watch)
Migration Issues in the Asia Pacific: Issues Paper from Singapore (Asia Pacific Migration Research Network)
Bangladeshi Workers in Singapore: A Sociological Study of Temporary Labor Migration (International Studies Association)
Chinese foreign workers in Singapore's construction industry
Safety among foreign workers and impact on emergency medicine services in Singapore (Alexandra Hospital)
The Limits of Transnational Activism: Organizing for Migrant Worker Rights in Malaysia and Singapore (Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies)
Bangladeshi Migrant Workers in Singapore: The View from Inside
Justice Delayed, Justice Denied: The experiences of migrant workers in Singapore (HOME & TWC2)
The Path to Remittance: Tales of Pains and Gains of Overseas Filipino Workers is a collection of true stories collected by domestic worker, Papias Banados.
The Long Road Home: Journeys of Indonesian Migrant Workers by former Singaporean journalist, Sim Chi Yin, is a coffee table-format volume of photographs tracking the path of Indonesian domestic workers.

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