Domestic workers and social protection in Kathmandu, Nepal

This fact sheet provides results from a survey completed in Kathmandu in 2019 with 70 domestic workers. Follow-up interviews were held with domestic worker leaders as the COVID-19 pandemic

  • The unexpected lockdowns that started in March 2020 left domestic workers unable to collect their salaries.
  • The government distributed food rations and provided subsidies on basic utilities, but no compensation for lost income.
  • Without proof of citizenship/ voting card, or an employer recommendation, domestic workers struggled to access food rations provided by municipalities.
  • Food packages were insufficient and only lasted 15-20 days.
  • Domestic worker unions, HUN and GEFONT, undertook relief work.

Policy context

In Nepal, the right to work and social security is a constitutional right. Domestic workers are included in the Labour Act (2017), they remain unprotected by the provisions of the Social Security Act (2017) due to lack of implementation.

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