Livelihoods in Motion of Informal Workers: A Case Study of Live-Out Housekeepers in Bangkok

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kittipon Phummisuttikul
Peamsook Sanit


Transportation planning research frequently disregards the specific needs of informal domestic workers. This study narrows its focus to live-out housekeepers in the urban landscape of Bangkok, delving into their livelihood, work characteristics, and socioeconomic status. This study collected data from 61 respondents through surveys and in-depth interviews and then analyzed it using various methods.

Live-out Housekeepers in this study exhibit high mobility, adaptability, and uncertainty. To cope with these challenges, they often rely on mixed transportation options to minimize costs and ensure convenience during their work-related travels. The research findings emphasize the fluid nature of housekeepers' work locations, often shifting between diverse neighborhoods and employment sites.

Based on the insights gained from the study, it is highly recommended that policies be implemented to promote the rights and well-being of housekeepers in two critical areas. Firstly, it is suggested that proper relaxation spaces be created during work, with adequate welfare and pension benefits provided through social insurance. Secondly, urban strategies should prioritize providing affordable housing options closer to their workplaces. This approach will reduce travel costs and time spent commuting, allowing housekeepers more time for rest and recreation, which, in turn, will enhance their overall quality of life. Additionally, promoting non-motorized transportation for work is highly recommended due to its cost-saving benefits and environmental advantages. These policy measures aim to provide support and improve the quality of life for housekeepers in urban areas, recognizing their unique needs and contributions to the workforce.

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