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Expanding Social Security to Migrant Domestic Workers

Expanding Social Security to Migrant Domestic Workers

by IDWFED published Apr 07, 2016 12:00 AM
Contributors: ILO
Global Action Programme on Migrant Domestic Workers - Research series in support of June 2016 project report release. Based on a report elaborated by Olena Vazhynska.

Resource Type

Research reports, working paper



Globally the domestic work sector employs millions of people and is characterized by increasing demandin the labour market and rapid growth in terms ofnumber of people employed. According to ILO estimates, there were 67 million domestic workers in
2013 and 11.5 million of these were international migrants.

Nonetheless, a large number of migrants among domestic workers (DWs) are often excluded from the scope of coverage of social security systems, which makes them a particularly vulnerable group. Under these circumstances, extending social protection to migrant domestic workers (MDWs) goes beyond contributing to economic and social welfare; it is an indispensable component for strategies aiming at gender equality, poverty reduction and combating social exclusion.

The social protection effort has gained sufficient momentum to significantly impact inclusive development and poverty reduction. Today the right to social security is recognized as a human right in many international instruments with global development strategies shifting from a “growth first” to a “people first” approach.

Building on the progress achieved under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the new 2030 Agenda proposes to implement appropriate national protection systems for all, including social protection floors, endorsed by the United Nations and the G20. Whereas domestic work has been one of the areas of concern under the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Decent Work Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) specifically recognize the importance of social protection policies that cover women, migrants and those in precarious employment; in short, migrant domestic workers.


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