Home-based work is a vital and growing part of economic modernization, exponentially linked to the globalization of industry and the never-ending search for less costly sources of labor and more efficient means of production. As governments seek to attract industrial development, the availability of low-cost labor and labor stability is a valuable bargaining commodity. Furthermore, the income it produces is not supplementary but rather increasingly vital to families and nations alike. The women who embroider on the island of Madeira, Portugal, the home-based workers assembling electronic devices in Brazil, the Chinese women machine stitching garments at home in major cities in Canada or Australia are all inextricably linked within the worldwide marketplace. This issue of SEEDS focuses on types and locations of home-based work, efforts to improve working conditions of home-based workers, and the growth of international networks to support and regulate home-based work.
Jhabvala, Renana and Jane Tate. 1996. "Out of the shadows: Homebased workers organize for international recognition," SEEDS no. 18. New York: Population Council.