“I feel deeply humbled and honoured for the dozens of nominations made by domestic workers’ unions from 5 out of the 7 regions in IDWF. I feel committed to co-lead this powerful movement with integrity, love and respect along with domestic workers’ leaders until we materialize their vision of justice and dignity for every domestic worker in every corner of this world. I am aware that I am walking into the path of brave and visionary souls who, almost 100 years ago, opened up this beautiful struggle for us to continue with their vision. Amandla! | ¡Si Se puede! | Su Su Su! »Adriana Paz Ramírez
Adriana Paz has been the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) regional coordinator for Latin America since 2017, where she has been able to implement her experience as a field organizer, educator, facilitator, campaigner, fundraiser, and advisor. Adriana’s high-level advocacy support to IDWF’s affiliates with national governments in 15 countries has been essential during negotiations to implement ILO Convention 189, in labour reforms and the creation of new national legislation for domestic workers. In her role, Adriana has been able to raise funds to support 25 domestic workers’ unions in 15 countries with a proven record in building solidarity and a network of national and regional strategic alliances (with feminist NGOs, academics, national trade unions, ILO, UN Women, WIEGO, CEPAL and philanthropic organizations) while strengthening IDWF affiliates’ organizational capacities and membership. Working in collaboration with allies and partners, Adriana successfully raised funds to implement LUNA (Leadership, Unity, reNewal, Amplification), a multi-year project to build, renew and amplify domestic workers’ leadership through a life-changing transformative program with a movement building perspective. Under Adriana’s leadership and project activities, the region has grown to represent 37,000 additional domestic workers, 3,000 new leaders, and 80 graduates in 2019 and 2023. Today, ninety per cent of the new leaders occupy positions in the executive committees of their organizations, national trade unions, and regional domestic workers confederations such as the CONLACTRAHO (Latin America and Caribbean Confederation of Domestic Workers).
In addition, LUNA graduates are occupying key ministerial positions in progressive national governments, such as Chile and Brazil. Most of LUNA’s leaders have gained a seat in inter-ministerial social dialogue spaces through their unions. These domestic workers are actively negotiating and co-designing national agendas for effective implementation of Convention 189 decent work agenda and national care systems.
In 2018-19, Adriana led research initiatives on gender-based violence (GBV) and preparations towards the ILO negotiations that led to Convention 190. The regional study “GBV in the Domestic Work Sector in Latin America: Experiences, Voices, Actions and Recommendations from Domestic Workers Unions” served as an important resource and reference material during the ILC negotiations.
Also in 2019, Adriana led and prepared the first domestic workers’ human rights audience at the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) to present the case of domestic workers’ discrimination and exclusions. Six countries from each Latin American sub-region presented compelling cases of human and labour rights violations, thus raising awareness and recognition.
In 2020, Adriana led the production of innovative movement-based tools and knowledge. She worked and co-produced research studies and surveys on the impact of the pandemic on domestic workers, “Strong and United Facing Up to the Pandemic”. This study collects results of a regional survey and accounts for the domestic workers’ union’s resilience and strategic action. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the study provides relevant information on membership growth and historic legal victories.
In 2022, Adriana led a research study on “Imagining Social Security for Domestic Workers” in Latin America. In collaboration with the ILO, this study resulted in the development of the first Occupational Health and Safety Guide for Domestic Workers and Employers. The guide was co-developed with the support of 32 domestic workers who participated in virtual sessions to share views and comments during the pandemic. In 2023, Adriana produced a novel digital toolkit to implement Convention 189 and support unions’ actions in Latin America. The toolkit provides a map on the condition of implementation in the region, legal analysis, comparison among sub-regions and strategies for unions to tackle the challenges of making decent work and C189 a reality for domestic workers.
Adriana brings strong leadership, team building, fundraising and management skills to foster synergies among affiliates, regions and allies. Her experience, intercultural communications and academic background give Adriana a unique awareness and vision to navigate differences while building solidarity among culturally diverse teams, regions, and affiliates’ priorities and needs. Her background as a migrant justice organizer activist and a unionist for over 20 years has honed her strategies and methodologies in building and strengthening international movements. Adriana holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of British Columbia, Canada and has over two decades of experience in resource mobilisation and organisational development.
Adriana brings a unique gender, decolonial and intersectional feminist analysis to her research and engagement with domestic workers’ organisations and key partners in the labour movement. As a labour rights organiser and popular education facilitator, she employs participatory and emancipatory research methodologies to understand policy and rights from the base. As a member of IDWF’s Coordination’s team, she provides operational and strategic planning support to the IDWF in general, and more specifically to domestic workers’ organisations.
In sum, building domestic worker power on the ground and deepening relationships of mutual trust and support among leaders have shaped Adriana’s skills and transformed Latin America’s domestic workers’ movement. As a result, IDWF’s presence has been strengthened in the region and with allies in the labour and feminist movements, including philanthropic organisations and regional and international agencies such as ILO, the UN, IAHRC, UNECLAC, to name a few.
Prior to joining the IDWF, Adriana was the senior organizer for the Workers’ Action Centre in Toronto, Canada working with migrant communities and low-wage workers across sectors from the Caribbean, Latin American, Asia and Africa. She also worked as a gender, equity, and women’s empowerment officer at the Solidarity Center in Mexico, organizing maquila workers at the Mexico-US border. She was also the manager of the International Development certificate program for the University of British Columbia, Canada and co-founder of Justicia for Migrant Workers in British Columbia, a national and immigration rights of migrant farm workers.
In 2021 Adriana won the prestige Open Society Foundation fellowship award to look at how the domestic workers’ movement won major policy reforms using grassroots organizing and how the strengths of the movement can be leveraged to tackle the challenges of policy enforcement and implementation of international conventions. Her expertise of over 20 years and her joy is to support movement building and grassroots power by translating workers’ frustrations, needs, ideas and wishes into actions, tools and strategies to support and strengthen their vision and political action. The domestic workers’ global movement is Adriana’s political family.