2022 International Care Conference 

Aging Societies and Care Economy: Gender, Transnational Migration, and Development

2022. 11

In November 2022, The Center for Transnational Migration and Social Inclusion (CTMS) hosted the 2022 International Care Conference | Aging Societies and Care Economy: Gender, Transnational Migration, and Development.

On November 16th and 17th, at Seoul National University’s Gwanak Campus, prominent domestic and foreign experts were invited to exchange various opinions on ways to build a caring society and a sustainable care economy from the perspectives of gender, transnational migration, and development. In particular, the event that took place on the 17th not only welcomed participants on site, but it was also broadcast online through YouTube, securing roughly 150 participants who were able to engage in in-depth discussions and debates both online and offline.

Conference participants shared the status of care in each of their respective countries and dived into national efforts and policies targeted to securing quality care labor. Looking at the care crisis and the reality of migrant care labor around the world across different standpoints, participants questioned which point of view would propel this issue into being fully recognized within policy discussions. They also discussed the desirability to systematize global migrant care labor in order to build a sustainable care society.

During this conference, the topic of Korea’s care crisis and response gathered the most interest from domestic and foreign participants, as the country currently faces a severe ultra-low fertility rate and a rapidly aging demography. In this regard, Hyuna Moon and Jiweon Jun, senior researchers at CTMS, presented the results of their respective research on the perception of care among young Korean generations and the demand for migrant care work from Korean families.

Leading care experts joined this conference including Ito Peng, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at University of Toronto, Marina Durano, Adviser on Care Economy and Partnership Engagement at UNI Global Union, Elizabeth King, Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Emiko Ochiai, Professor of Sociology at Kyoto University and many other care specialists who participated as key speakers, presenters, and discussants to address the challenges of care economy and migrant care work.

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2021 International Conference 

The Care Economy in Korea: Beyond COVID-19 and Towards a Sustainable Caring Society

2021. 06

Organizer | SNUC for Transnational Migration and Social Inclusion, The Population Association of Korea, American University CWE-GAM Project
Date | June 2nd-4th, 2021
Venue | Seoul National University Graduate School of International Studies International Conference Room (※ Simultaneous online video conference)

On June 2nd-4th, the 2021 International Care Policy Conference [“The Care Economy in Korea: Beyond COVID-19 and Towards a Sustainable Caring Society”] was hosted by the Center for Transnational Migration and Social Inclusion (CTMS) of Seoul National University , with the support of Open Society Foundations, Care Work and the Economy from American University and The Population Association of Korea in Seoul, South Korea.

The objectives of the conference were:

– To provide a platform for discussion about the ways in which policies and practices care economy can be created and recognized as a prime component for economic growth.

– To review and learn from innovative and groundbreaking research on care economy to become equipped with this knowledge and generate ideas for the next steps.
The conference brought together over 600 participants from all around the world, representing government agencies, civil society, academia, the private sector, World Bank, UN Women and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The conference served as a platform for sharing experiences of care economy at different levels, from high-level political debates to academia and civil society. Government representatives, members of academia, private corporations and multilateral institutions presented examples of good practice and lessons learned on care economy and economic growth. The main outcome of the conference was a “joint call for action”, which covers the main recommendations emerging from presentations, and discussions.

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2019 International Care Conference – 2

Care Work: The Search for Solidarity and Social Inclusion

2019. 10

On October 29, 2019, the Center for Transnational Migration and Social Inclusion, which was officially launched in August of this year under the Institute of International Affairs at SNU GSIS, hosted an international conference on “Values of Care Work and Social Inclusion.” Five other institutions joined efforts to lend generous support for this event, including Open Society Foundations, the largest private human rights funder in the world committed to building vibrant and inclusive societies.

The conference brought together researchers and representatives from civil society organizations to share knowledge on the present state of care provisioning in South Korea, learn about the respective challenges for paid and unpaid caregivers, and discuss necessary policy changes that are grounded in recognition of the value of care work. Stories from Thailand, Malaysia, and Colombia enriched the discussion and provided better perspectives to reflect on the case of South Korea. The participants affirmed the need for enhanced cooperation between the research community and civil society so that the actual voices of care workers can be better heard in the process of policy-making.

The October 29th conference was held as part of a four-day program comprising of two expert workshops and two conferences, which aimed to examine the subject of care in the context of solidarity and social inclusion.

The Center, under the directorship of Professor Ki-Soo Eun of SNU GSIS, has been conducting research with a broad network of scholars for the Care Work and the Economy Project (American University) to achieve a deeper understanding of the nature of care work through the use of innovative measures and methods, and to contribute to the development of tools for shaping relevant macroeconomic and social policies.

Conference Program
Conference Report

2019 International Care Conference – 1

Empowerment of Care Workers: Issues and Challenges

2019. 02

On February 25, 2019, a new project gathering organizations supporting care workers in South Korea was launched, led by Care Work and the Economy (CWE-GAM) and its partner Seoul National University (SNU). Researchers from academia and government agencies discussed issues and challenges in getting care on the policy agenda, aiming to promote informed policies that enhance the quality of life of both those providing and receiving care.

Care for children, the elderly, and other dependents is vital as it sustains human existence, enhances individual and broader societal well-being, and promotes sustainable development. Despite continuous efforts in providing benefits for individuals, families, and communities, care work is enormously undervalued.

To support such agenda the CWE-GAM, a network of over 35 researchers, is producing new data and empirical evidence to advance knowledge on care work, care arrangements, and policy impacts on growth, distribution, and gender equality in South Korea. The project conducted a nationwide survey on a representative sample of paid care workers (600 respondents) and a household survey of families responsible for caring for children and/or elderly (1,000 respondents), including a 24-hour time use diary and in-depth interviews with caregivers and care recipients (90 respondents).

The meeting commenced a long-term commitment to bring together researchers, the civil society, and policy communities to advance the policy discussion on care in South Korea. Over the next year, the CWE-GAM team led by SNU, will convene several small group workshops around the country and will host two more interactive conferences as well as a high-profile policy dialogue in Seoul in the Spring of 2020.

The aim of the engagement is to:
1. Support the strategic use of our research and build the capacity of groups to use research more effectively;
2. Provide insights into the production of our research outputs and research-based materials; and
3. Share research findings, policy recommendations, and strengthen relationships among groups and between the civil society, research, and policy communities;

The project aims to build connections among and between communities and build up data and research needed by those on the frontlines working to change policy and practice. We hope such actions will lead to more informed policies that better address the needs to those providing and receiving care.

Conference Program