Today is International #DomesticWorkersDay – reports and demands from migrant domestic workers #IDWD2017

Domestic Worker Day 2017 bannerOn June 16 2011, the ILO adopted Convention 189 on decent work for domestic workers and its accompanying Recommendation 201. By now 24 countries have ratified the convention – 2 up from last year – , and a total of 70 countries have taken measures to adopt or reform law and policy. Still according to the ILO, 60 out of the estimated 67.1 million domestic workers do not enjoy effective social protections. Around 11.5 million are migrants and migrants’ rights organizations are particularly active in advocacy and celebrations on International Domestic Workers Day:

(to be updated – if you issued a statement or the like, please send me a link)

The International Labor Organisation (ILO) points out that Gender-based migration bans and restrictions on Women’s Labour Migration might be put in place on order to address the risk of exploitation and abuse, but can actually increase the risk of exploitation, Especially for Migrant Domestic Workers.

Today, ILO and UN Women have launched a joint study analysing the effects of restrictions on women’s labour migration in the ASEAN region. The study is called 2Protected or put in harm’s way? Bans and restrictions on women’s labour migration in ASEAN countries2 AND focuses on limitations on migration for domestic work from Myanmar to Singapore and Cambodia to Malaysia:

More information here:–en/index.htm


The International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) issued a call today for “All for one, One for all: Dignity and Decent Work for all National, Migrant and Refugee Domestic Workers”.

In its statement it draws links to the situation of refugees and point out that one of the few employment options available to women and girl refugees, is domestic work.

You can find the full statement here:

Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) has released a Statement with four major calls:

  • Reject labels and free domestic workers from derogatory terms
  • Transform our homes to decent workplace for domestic workers
  • Secure their future and well-being through social protection
  • Recognise their agency and their right to organise

You can read the full statement here:

There is a new promising series on Beyond Trafficking and Slavery “Domestic workers speak: a global landscape of voices for labour rights and social recognition”:

Equal times – a “news and opinion website focusing on labour, human rights, culture, development, the environment, politics and the economy from a social justice perspective” has compiled a number of important reports on the abusive environments in the Middle East for migrant domestic workers

from the Philippines

from Kenya

and from Uganda

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)  has compiled an updated Review of Labour Laws for Migrant Domestic Workers in Gulf Cooperation Council Countries

Here are some basic resources – if you are not familiar with the convention, you can find the full text here:—ed_protect/—protrav/—travail/documents/publication/wcms_168266.pdf

and some highlights and explanations here:—ed_protect/—protrav/—travail/documents/publication/wcms_168266.pdf



About Dr. Stefan Rother

Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institute at the University of Freiburg -- Freelance journalist -- You can find my CV at the links below:
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