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Report on the IDWF at the IUF 27th Congress, Geneva, Switzerland, 24 August -1 September 2017

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by IDWFED published Sep 01, 2017 12:00 AM
Under article 13 of the IUF, IDWF is a special group of IUF. Hence IDWF was invited to participate in the congress and was represented by the president Myrtle Witbooi, General Secretary Elizabeth Tang, Executive Committee member, Shirley Pryce and Regional Coordinators, Karin Pape and Vicky Kanyoka.

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By Vicky Kanyoka & Elizabeth Tang

Introduction

IUF had its 27th Congress this year from 29th August to 1st September 2017 in Geneva-Switzerland with the theme:  WE ARE IUF: Organizing together, Fighting together and winning together.

Under article 13 of the IUF, IDWF is a special group of IUF. Hence IDWF was invited to participate in the congress and was represented by the president Myrtle Witbooi, General Secretary Elizabeth Tang,  Executive Committee member, Shirley Pryce and Regional Coordinators, Karin Pape and Vicky Kanyoka.

Myrtle Witbooi was invited to give a special address under the agenda item on “Organizing and Fighting for Well-paid Jobs with Dignity, Rights and Stability”. She informed the congress about IDWF which  “is the Federation led by women only”.  She talked about the  road map on how the organization campaigned for the ILO C 189, challenges faced and called upon the conference to support IDWF in protecting domestic workers.  

She spoke on the contribution of domestic work by reminding the delegates that  “you are in the conference here in Geneva because there is a domestic worker in your home who is taking care of the family”.  Witbooi finished her address by giving special thanks to Ron Oswald and Barbro Budin for their strong support to the IDWF and presented a plaque to Barbro on behalf of the IDWF.

Others attending the Congress spoke on the resolutions concerning domestic workers such as Shirley Pryce, calling for support on the Resolution No. 7:  Equal rights for Domestic workers through combating racism and Xenophobia and  Mary Dzinyemba from Malawi – CIAWU on Resolution No. 12:  Defending and organizing migrant workers.

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Resolution on Supporting Equal Rights for Domestic Workers through Combating Racism and Xenophobia

By the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF)

Reaffirms the commitment  at the IUF 26th Congress with the adoption of the Resolution on Decent Work and Dignity for Domestic Workers;

Welcomes that since the adoption of the ILO Convention 189 in 2011, 23 countries have ratified it  and over 50 countries have enacted legal reform to enable domestic workers to have rights;

Notes that majorities of domestic workers still lack basic human and workers rights protection such as minimum wage, weekly rest, maternity leave and others owing to the fact that many domestic workers are from marginalized communities – migrants, refugees & ethnic minorities who suffer multi layers of discrimination and violence at work;

Further notes that the number of migrant domestic workers has been increasing rapidly in the past decade as a result of  increased demand for domestic and elderly care, however they are more exposed  to vulnerabilities and violations of human and labour rights, due to disadvantages that stem from their migration status, and absence of protection and assistance mechanisms in both destination and source  countries;

Appreciates the growth of the International Domestic Workers Federation, the  IDWF, a Special Group of the IUF, includes  62 affiliates in 50 countries, representing over half a million domestic workers, local and migrants;
Resolves to continue supporting  the organizing and campaigning activities of the IDWF whenever possible;

Calls on affiliates

•    To support domestic workers to organize and build strong trade union organizations.

•    To do all they can within their own country/region to ensure that their Government ratify and implement ILO Convention 189 so that the rights, dignity and respect of domestic workers can be full realized.

•    To raise awareness about the rights of domestic workers, especially migrant domestic workers and  launch campaign against discrimination of migrant workers and combat racism and xenophobia.


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