Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of women migrant workers in the ASEAN region: a systematic narrative review and synthesis

Freeman, Tim ORCID logoORCID:, Miles, Lilian ORCID logoORCID:, Mat-Yasin, Suziana, Ying, Kelvin and Lai, Wan-Teng (2021) Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of women migrant workers in the ASEAN region: a systematic narrative review and synthesis. In: 19th ILERA World Congress: Making and Breaking Boundaries in Work and Employment Relations, 22-24 Jun 2021, Lund, Sweden [Online]. . [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is central to achievement of UN sustainable development goals (SDGs). Women’s migration has wide-reaching implications for their SRH, increasing vulnerabilities and risky behaviours with potential negative implications for both migrants’ fitness to work and host countries’ public health systems. Given the scale of migration within the ASEAN region, we synthesise the literature and identify priorities for future research.

Systematic narrative review and synthesis of empirical research. Following application of inclusion criteria, a systematic search of databases (Medline-PubMed, EBSCO host, BioMed Central, CINAHL, Psych INFO, Web of Science and Scopus) using keywords to identify relevant literature published between 2010 and 2020 identified 42 papers for review.

Empirical studies focus primarily on HIV/AIDs, unwanted pregnancies, contraception and abortion, rendering other SRH needs under-explored. Access to SRH information, contraceptives and culturally sensitive SRH interventions each promote health-seeking behaviours. Barriers include vulnerabilities informed by personal and socio-economic characteristics; unfamiliar surroundings; limitations of local health care systems and lack of regulatory / employer support; and adverse institutional / social /cultural norms. Successful interventions require integration of migrants into host communities; cultural responsiveness; state responsibility; use of familiar technologies to facilitate access; and sensitivity to workplace characteristics. Significant methodological weaknesses in evaluations of SRH service interventions to date severely hampers the development and dissemination of robust, evidence-informed SRH services for these women.

While much is known of the nature of the services required to safeguard the SRH of women migrant workers, we outline the limitations of the current evidence base and indicate research priorities to address the limitations of this inchoate field.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords (uncontrolled): sexual and reproductive health, women’s health, migration, women migrant workers, health interventions, health protection, ASEAN
Research Areas: A. > Business School
Item ID: 33368
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Tim Freeman
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2021 15:21
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 17:50

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