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"Pursuit of the Red Passport: Perceptions of Global Citizenship Among Low-paid Global Workers"

Whitney Haynes

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Education, 12 (1), 2017

The movement of people around the world for the sole purpose of their labour has existed for hundreds of years and is at the root of a growing capitalist regime. Today, millions of people, particularly from low-income countries, are forced to move without their families across borders to high-income countries in order to send home remittances to help their families survive. The control of their global movement is based on a system of borders and visa regulations, where their passports, determined by their citizenship, offer very limited global mobility. This article explores the current context of low-paid labour migration in relation to global citizenship and global mobility rights. Workers interviewed in Canada, parts of Europe and Asia (n=24) describe their quests for the freedom of global mobility and navigating citizenship systems in order to obtain a strong passport/citizenship, also known as the “red passport.” The fight for the red passport and the right to global mobility is linked to their understandings of true global citizenship.

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