ILO Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers Adopted!

Domestic Workers Organizing at ILO 2011

History was made June 16, 2011 when governments, employers and workers from around the world adopted the Convention and accompanying Recommendation on Decent Work for Domestic Workers at the 100th International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

This victory is a leap forward for an estimated 50–100 million people worldwide who work in the homes of their employers. The Convention recognizes the “significant contribution of domestic workers to the global economy” and says this work is “undervalued and invisible, and is mainly carried out by women and girls, many of whom are migrants or members of disadvantaged communities.”

Support at the ILC was overwhelming, with more than 83 per cent of votes cast in favour of adoption.

The achievement was the result of a coordinated effort, led by the International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN), founded in 2008, as well as regional and national networks of domestic workers’ unions and associations from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, North America and Europe.

WIEGO is proud to have played a role in the formation of the IDWN and in its campaign for this Convention. A collaborative partnership between WIEGO and the International Union of Food and Allied Workers (IUF)—the first formal collaboration between a global union federation and an NGO—established the IDWN Project.

The campaign for domestic workers’ rights will continue. This Convention places a duty on governments to ensure domestic workers enjoy fundamental rights and effective protection against all forms of abuse, harassment and violence. Domestic workers will continue their organizing efforts at the national level to advocate for ratification of the Convention and its implementation in the laws of each country.  

Annual Events

Events take placearound the world every year to celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of C189 on 16 June, now called World Day of Domestic Workers Rights. The latest news is available at the International Domestic Workers' Federation website.

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