Building Solidarity: Global Conference on Home-Based Workers

Group photo of Home-Based Workers at Global Conference 2015
Global Conference on Home-Based Workers, 8-11 February, 2015, New Delhi, India

"A Gentle and Permanent Revolution"

More than 100 home-based workers and supporters from around the globe gathered in New Delhi, India, in February 2015 in a landmark solidarity-building event. Over the two-day conference, organized by HomeNet South (HNSA) Asia and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), home-based worker leaders, researchers and NGO/network representatives from 24 countries shared experiences and mapped out action points to improve their social and economic situations.

Home-Based Workers, Delhi Declaration 2015Over the course of two days, home-based worker groups from different countries and continents discussed issues important to them. Their collaborations culminated in an historic declaration, the Delhi Declaration —the first global declaration of home-based workers— which set out the challenges and demands of home-based workers on issues from wages to better housing and basic services to social protection. The group also unanimously adopted a five-year global Action Plan that sets out local, national and global targets for awareness-raising activities, expanding home-based worker organizations and networks, sharing and learning activities, collaborations and dialogues with key organizations.

“The global declaration is most important. We must use this with home-based workers and governments. This means we will speak with one voice and use it to be visible.” – Home-based worker conference participant

Martha Chen at Global Conference of Home-Based Workers,  Delhi Declaration 2015In her keynote address, Marty Chen, WIEGO's International Coordinator, called on home-based workers to recognize themselves as workers, "Many of you do not think of yourselves as home-based workers, but as bead makers, bag makers or food processors. But the identity is important to be recognized as workers.” Read Marty Chen's full speech.

Home-based workers are among the most invisible and vulnerable of workers in the informal economy. The vast majority is women, who engage in work from weaving carpets to assembling electronics. Home-based workers are either sub-contracted or self-employed and are impacted by a variety of forces, including inflation, recession and government policies and practices that affect their housing security, access to affordable transportation and need for basic services See The Urban Informal Workforce: Home-based Workers.

“In Africa the concept of HBWs is new, and our responsibility is to take forward his new way of looking at women home-based workers.” –Home-based worker conference participant