International Catholic Center of Geneva
Discriminatory and restrictive policies are one of the big challenges that domestic workers face as try to assert our rightful place in the society. On top of the abuses and exploitation that they often experience, their basic labour rights are not recognized and they are frequently not treated like all other workers.
Migrant domestic workers are not allowed to unionize and exercise their right for freedom of association; they do not enjoy rest days and wage discrimination due to nationality is widely exercised. In most countries in Asia, Filipinos are the highest paid domestic workers.
Because domestic workers are not treated equal, people look down on them and regard domestic workers as low class workers. This poses a serious challenge to our advocacy as we are not seen as credible and respected individuals.
In certain countries, domestic workers are often considered as citizen of second class. With the absence of the regulation to protect their work, cases of abuses of the domestic workers happen regularly, especially among women migrant domestic workers. Different human rights and workersâ€™ rights have been working very hard at the national and international level to demand the recognition of the rights of domestic workers.
Two important steps have taken place in 2010 in regard to the protection of the rights of domestic workers. For the first time, the International Labour Organization put the subject of the Decent Work for Domestic Workers in the agenda for the 99th Session of the International Labour Conference in June 2010. The representative of governments, employers and workers discussed the ILO Draft Convention on the Decent Work for Domestic Workers accompanied by a Recommendation. The second momentum was the adoption of the General Comment No. 1 on Domestic Workers by the United Nations Committee on Migrant Workers.
In June 2011, the International Labor Conference is expected to adopt the Convention with a Recommendation. Domestic workers groups, migrant workers groups, human rights groups, trade unions have been working together for the campaign for adoption of this Convention.
In this advocacy line, International Catholic Center of Geneva works together with Catholic Inspired NGOS and other non-faith based NGOs in organizing Conference and Consultation with the view to Strengthen the Capacity of and the Social Protection for the Domestic Workers.
Interpretation from and to English, French and Spanish.