Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

David Goldfischer, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jack Donnelly

Third Advisor

Micheline Ishay

Fourth Advisor

Claude d'Estree


Human rights, Migration, Philippines, Temporary contract migration, United Arab Emirates


Temporary contract migrants as a class fall between systems of responsibility: home country, host country, and international community. The systems are separately inadequate and basically uncoordinated, leaving migrants in a precarious situation. The situation of temporary contract migrants is even more precarious as they cross international borders without a path to citizenship or full enfranchisement in the political, economic, and social life of the host country. Where citizenship and residence/employment are divided between multiple countries, the corresponding human rights obligations are similarly divided. This division results in migrant rights falling between different state-based systems of responsibility. Human rights can be divided between those that are inherent in citizenship (citizenship obligation) which are the responsibility of the sending state, those that are inherent in the physical body (presence obligation) which are the responsibility of the receiving state, and those that fall between systems of responsibility (involvement obligation) which require sending and receiving countries to act cooperatively. These categories provide clear guidance in sorting out responsibilities for the rights of temporary contract migrants and direct us towards possible avenues for reform. Once adopted, this framework can help guide bilateral or regional agreements on a case-by-case basis. Although the principles underlying split responsibility are universal, the required elements of cooperation are likely to vary between different contexts. This dissertation draws on analyses and interviews conducted with Filipino temporary contract migrants in the United Arab Emirates in order to substantiate the argument, illustrating strategies that migrants as agents utilize to improve their conditions, the tradeoffs that they have made in order to secure their livelihood in a global job market, and the impact that current policy frameworks have on their lived experience.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Regina A. Nockerts

File size

412 p.

File format





International relations, Middle Eastern studies, Labor relations