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by IDWFED published Oct 14, 2014 04:45 PM
Domestic Workers Sow a New Global Movement

Domestic Workers Sow a New Global Movement

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 17, 2015 04:07 PM

Despite stretching into every region of the world, domestic work has historically been excluded from conventional labor laws, regardedly merely as “women’s work". A breakthrough came in 2011 with the passage of the groundbreaking Convention 189 on domestic workers' rights by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN special agency for labor rights. The convention lays out principles for fair treatment at work, including the right to a fair labor contract and a safe work environment, freedom from exploitation and coercion, and legal recourse against abusive employers.

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Hong Kong: Gender equality comes at the expense of foreign domestic workers

Hong Kong: Gender equality comes at the expense of foreign domestic workers

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 20, 2015 01:35 PM

The truth is that the earnings equality between Hong Kong's men and women has been achieved almost entirely at the expense of these helpers. Hong Kong, as a society, still undervalues "women's work".

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Colombia: The first Afro-descendant domestic workers Union

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 24, 2015 06:13 PM

When Maria Roa arrived in Medellin 10 years ago, her primary focus was to provide a better life for her three children. She took a job as a domestic worker, as many Afro-Colombian women do, but quickly realized the position was underpaid and overworked. Despite the nature of this physically and emotionally challenging work, domestic workers like Maria have been successful in their organizing efforts to form a new union, the Union of Domestic Service Workers (UTRASD), to combat workplace discrimination, improve benefits and establish job security.

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Philippines: DOLE Kalinga to hold consultation on Kasambahay Act

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 20, 2015 01:36 PM

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Kalinga will conduct a public consultation on the implementing rules and regulation (IRR) of the Kasambahay Act, a new law benefiting household workers, on April 15 here.

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India: Domestic workers seek ESI and maternity benefits

India: Domestic workers seek ESI and maternity benefits

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 20, 2015 01:48 PM

Members of the A.P. State Domestic Workers Union urged the government to extend Employees State Insurance (ESI) and maternity benefits for domestic helps in the State. Thousands of domestic workers attended the meeting organised by the union, in connection with National Domestic Workers’ Day, at Tummalapalli Kalakshetram, in the city on Saturday, April 6.

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United Kingdom: Migrant domestic workers exploited

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 20, 2015 01:41 PM

Migrant domestic workers have been the most vulnerable lot in the world, no matter whether the job destination is a developed or a developing country. Half of the migrant domestic workers in the United Kingdom have suffered from exploitation, a report said.

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USA: Time for Domestic Workers to Enjoy Equal Rights and Recognition

USA: Time for Domestic Workers to Enjoy Equal Rights and Recognition

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 24, 2015 05:51 PM

Domestic workers help sustain the rest of the American workforce; in the words of activists, their work makes all other work possible. But many live on less than minimum wage without overtime pay, sometimes working for 20 hours straight with little more than a floor mat to sleep on. In order to protect those who care for our rapidly aging population, activists are calling for the federal government to enact legislation to end the inhumane treatment that's breaking down the domestic workforce every day.

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India: The earning years of childhood

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 20, 2015 01:52 PM

Fifty bonded child labourers rescued from Gunny bag factories. Two minor domestic workers saved, but in bad shape. When such news headlines hog the media spotlight, there is a slight stir in the collective conscience of the people. But in Bangalore, like many other cities, we have all seen them serving us, be it in a hotel, a garage or a construction site.

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Bangladesh: Migration of female domestic workers

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 24, 2015 06:03 PM

Bangladeshi workers, employed abroad, are the largest foreign exchange earners, in net terms, for the country. They deserve full appreciation. But media reports have recently exposed the kind of horrifying sexual abuses that the country's expatriate women workforce sometimes suffers. The country certainly needs foreign exchange but the ignominy that women workers are subjected to, tarnishes its image.

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USA: Labour Leader Ai-jen Poo: We Are All Domestic Workers Now

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 24, 2015 05:58 PM

The Nation sat down with Ai-jen Poo, a founder of New York’s Domestic Workers United, who now directs the National Domestic Workers Alliance. We discussed some disappointments dealt by Democratic politicians, the challenges of sustaining non-union labor groups and how to confront the coming care crisis. What follows is a condensed and edited version of our conversation.

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Peru: Domestic workers demanded the ratification of C189

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 24, 2015 08:51 PM

On April 3, domestic workers organizations: SINTRAHOL, SINTRAHOGARP and IPROFOTH mobilized outside the Congress, asking the President of the Republic to ratify C189.

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Barbados: Equal rights a must

Barbados: Equal rights a must

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 24, 2015 08:44 PM

With several countries enacting legislation to ensure that domestic workers are given equal rights to other workers, Barbados must not be left behind. It is imperative that the ministry charged with seeing that the United Nations Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers and the requisite legislation that will protect this segment of the our society, moves with greater alacrity to ensure that such rights come to fruition.

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Brazil: A new constitutional amendment takes effect on April 2

Brazil: A new constitutional amendment takes effect on April 2

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 24, 2015 09:17 PM

On April 2, a new constitutional amendment takes effect in Brazil. The amendment was adopted unanimously in late March, and ensures that Brazil’s 6.5 million domestic workers are entitled to overtime pay, a maximum 8-hour workday, and a 44-hour work week. Domestic Workers’ employers will also be required to pay into a fund to be made available upon compulsory redundancy, death or other contingency.

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Brazil: Formalisation of Domestic Work has a Positive Impact on the Economy and Poverty Reduction

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 24, 2015 09:11 PM

Entitled Impact of Welfare Changes in the Brazilian Market Home Services, the study anticipates this very debate and in so doing seeks to evaluate the direct effects of formalization of domestic work as well as the impacts triggered elsewhere in the economy. The research stimulates results from the consumption of households that rely on domestic work: an increase of approximately R 19 billion (USD 9.5 billion) in 2011 prices in the Brazilian GDP. Moreover, the generation of approximately 630,000 indirect jobs may be attributed to the increased income of domestic workers, mainly in the production of household appliances and related to health services.

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India: Domestic workers in struggle for equality

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 24, 2015 09:02 PM

Domestic workers in India often work long hours for several employers, but they are not recognised under the country's labour laws. They are not usually entitled to paid holidays, pensions and other perks that workers might normally expect.

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Ethiopia: Researchers highlight ordeals of child domestic workers

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 24, 2015 09:25 PM

The International Labor Organization estimates show that around 215 million children below the age of 18 are subjected to different kinds of labor. Many of the these children are involved in child domestic service. While the majority of these child and domestic workers are found in urban areas, they mostly originate from rural areas. Researchers say that most these adolescent workers are female and poorly or not educated at all. "We need to think of regulation of how much is acceptable at what age, what should be forbidden. And this is not only in Ethiopia but in many other African countries," said Alula Pankhurst, Director of Young Lives.

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Brazil: Domestic struggle to ratify ILO Convention 189 (Portuguese only)

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 24, 2015 09:22 PM

In an interview with Viva Maria program, the president of the National Federation of Domestic Workers, Creuza Maria Oliveira, talks about the convention of the International Labour Organization (ILO), not yet approved, to ensure rights already included in the PEC of Home.

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USA: Promoting Labour Rights for Women Domestic Workers

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 28, 2015 04:49 PM

This year during Women’s History Month, the United States is highlighting its continuing efforts to press for gender equality and to advance the status of women and girls. As Secretary Kerry affirmed in his editorial on March 8, the contributions of women are essential for widely-shared prosperity, sustainable development, and durable peace.

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Brazil: Domestic workers to get equal rights

Brazil: Domestic workers to get equal rights

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 28, 2015 04:55 PM

The Brazilian Senate has brought in a new law giving domestic servants the same rights as other workers for the first time. An estimated 7m house maids and cooks – nearly all of them women – will be entitled to overtime after working for a maximum of eight hours a day and 44 hours a week, among other rights. The constitutional amendment is set to be enacted next week.

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Bangladesh: 797 incidents of inhuman torture on domestic workers took place in the last 10 years

Bangladesh: 797 incidents of inhuman torture on domestic workers took place in the last 10 years

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 28, 2015 05:01 PM

Quoting published newspaper reports, Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) said 797 incidents of inhuman torture on domestic workers took place in the last 10 years. Of them, 398 died of torture, 299 were wounded and 100 others faced other forms of torture. Most of those who work as domestic workers at residential places are adolescent girls and boys. It is tough to determine their actual number because of lack of registration. Most of the workers are girl children. The torture on the domestic workers is rising day by day and its mode is also changing, said Domestic Workers Rights Network (DWRN).

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Argentina: Passes domestic workers law, adding protections after long fight

Argentina: Passes domestic workers law, adding protections after long fight

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 28, 2015 05:27 PM

On Mar 13, legislators passed the law that required the employers of domestic workers to register them with the country's social security system. As a result, the workers will become eligible for benefits such as retirement, paid sick leave.

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Europe: EC urges Member States to implement ILO domestic workers convention

Europe: EC urges Member States to implement ILO domestic workers convention

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 28, 2015 05:22 PM

The European Commission has presented a proposal for a Council Decision authorising Member States to ratify the International Labour Organisation 2011 Convention concerning decent work for domestic workers (Convention No. 189). Countries ratifying the ILO Convention agree to ensure fair and decent conditions for domestic workers by protecting their fundamental labour related rights, preventing abuse and violence and establishing safeguards for young domestic workers, the EC press service announced.

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Lebanon: Joint Campaign to end abuse of domestic workers

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 28, 2015 05:16 PM

More than 200,000 migrant domestic workers (MDWs) in Lebanon face potential exploitative and abusive working and living conditions. The sponsorship (kafala) system makes the worker dependent upon her employer for her legal status. Under this system, domestic workers are tied to one employer. For instance, MDWs cannot easily quit their job even if they face abuse or have not been paid for months at a time. The sponsorship system encourages employers to lock the worker in the house, withhold her passport, and violate other basic human rights.

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India: Domestic work as a "rapid feminization"

India: Domestic work as a "rapid feminization"

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 28, 2015 05:34 PM

Over the last decade, India has seen extraordinary growth in the number of its domestic workers. In 2009-2010, the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) estimates the total number of domestic workers at 2.52 million, up from 1.62 million in 1999-2000. Of this, nearly two-thirds reside in urban India, and nearly 57% are women. As in other countries, domestic work as a means of employment in India has undergone what economists refer to as a “rapid feminization,” where almost 75% of the increase in domestic workers over the last 10 years is accounted for by women.

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Argentina: New act puts domestic workers' rights on the same level

Argentina: New act puts domestic workers' rights on the same level

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 28, 2015 05:50 PM

Argentina adopted a new domestic workers law on March 16. Among its provisions, the law establishes maximum working hours of 8 hours/day or 48 hours/week; overtime pay; a weekly rest break of at least 35 hours; a minimum of 14 annual vacation days; sick leave; and maternity leave. The law sets a minimum age of 16 for domestic work, limits the working hours of those between ages 16 and 18 to 36 hours a week, and prohibits domestic workers below the age of 18 from living in their employer’s home.

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Saudi Arabia: Free Legal Aid to Migrant Workers

by IDWFED — last modified Oct 06, 2015 04:42 PM

Mr. Abdulrahman Allahim, lawyer partner of Migrant Forum Asia (MFA) has open an exclusive section in his office offering free legal aid to migrant workers who have problems with their employment.

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Jamaica: Domestic workers now have their own union - Jamaica Household Workers Association

Jamaica: Domestic workers now have their own union - Jamaica Household Workers Association

by IDWFED — last modified Sep 28, 2015 06:06 PM

Approximately 58,000 domestic workers across Jamaica now have a union to represent them, after the launch of the Jamaica Household Workers Union on Mar 15. The union aims to protect the rights of, and provide skills training for domestic workers.

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Jamaica: IDWN Leaders Interviewed at CVM TV

by IDWFED — last modified Oct 06, 2015 04:47 PM

IDWN Leaders interviewed at CVM TV in Jamaica on March 14. Myrtle Witbooi, Shirley Pryce and Ida Blanc explained how domestic workers are organizing themselves in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and worldwide and told that governments must ratify C189, pass legislations and educate employers to protect domestic workers.

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Mozambique: A Site of Struggle - Organised Labour and Domestic Worker Organising

Mozambique: A Site of Struggle - Organised Labour and Domestic Worker Organising

by IDWFED — last modified Oct 06, 2015 05:55 PM

This article explores why domestic work developed into a strategic growth area for organised labour in Mozambique, arguing that ultimately, unions are themselves sites of struggle between competing interests and visions, capable of shifting direction, strategies and tactics.

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Global: Domestic Workers Mobilized on the International Women's Day

Global: Domestic Workers Mobilized on the International Women's Day

by IDWFED — last modified Dec 24, 2015 02:49 PM

Domestic Workers Mobilized on the International Women's Day!

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