Decent Work for Domestic Workers: International Labour Conference, June 2010

 The historic first discussion on Decent Work for Domestic Workers was on the agenda of the 99th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC), held in Geneva in June 2010. A second discussion will be held in June 2011, where it is anticipated that an ILO Convention supplemented by a Recommendation will be adopted.

9 June, 2010: ILO Sets Standards For Domestic Workers' Rights

By Varghese Theckanath, Geneva
The International Labour Conference of the ILO has overridden opposition from Bangladesh, India, Arab countries and employers to adopt a convention on the rights of domestic workers around the world. Read ILO Sets Standards for Domestic Workers’ Rights.

Domestic Workers Organizing at ILO 2010

The International Domestic Workers’ Network (IDWN) was represented at the 2010 Conference by members of its Steering Committee and other domestic workers, who were either in official country trade union delegations or participated under the auspices of the IUF. In addition, there were a range of allies, some under the auspices of WIEGO, who were there to provide technical support to the IDWN delegation. Karin Pape, the Interim International Coordinator of the IDWN and WIEGO’s Regional Advisor for Europe, coordinated the work of the delegation, together with Barbro Budin, the Gender and Equality officer at the IUF and a new member of the WIEGO Board.

During the conference, the domestic worker delegates met with Juan Somavia, Director General of the ILO. Read a summary account of this meeting.

Read the Committee on Domestic Workers Draft Report, issued June 14, 2010 on the ILO website.

Domestic workers have always insisted they want to speak for themselves, and these conferences offer a great opportunity for them to make their voices heard loud and clear. To assist this process, the IDWN has been collecting the concerns and demands of domestic workers and has prepared a Platform of Demands from domestic workers worldwide. And to help domestic workers argue their case, WIEGO produced a fact sheet, Domestic Workers in Latin America: A Statistical Profile.

Relevant ILO Report

  • International Labour Organization. 2010. Decent Work for Domestic Workers. Report IV, International Labour Conference, 99th Session, ILO, Geneva, Switzerland. Download Report.

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