“Yes, We Did It!” How the World’s Domestic Workers Won Their International Rights and Recognition

On June 16, 2011, the world’s domestic workers and their supporters achieved a major step forward in extending worker and human rights. On that day, representatives of governments, employers and trade unions, meeting at the annual International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland, voted for a new Convention to protect the world’s domestic workers.

There is no doubt that achieving C189 was a major and historic step forward. So how was this achieved? Where did the seeds come from? Who planted and tended them? Who played a part, and what roles did they each play? What lessons can be learnt for others who wish to promote a global society based on equality, justice, respect and rights – for all? This is what we look at in this booklet. In particular, we focus on and celebrate the role of domestic workers themselves and that of their organizations as the fundamental players in making their own history.

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