Domestic Workers and C 189: Making It Real!

The “Domestic Workers and Convention 189: Making It Real!” workshop took place in June 2018 in Nairobi. Hosted by the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotel, Education Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA), IDWF affiliate in Kenya, alongside WIEGO and the IDWF, the event was attended by representatives of 21 countries.

Domestic workers meeting - Nairobi

Workshop Objectives

The workshop sought to build capacity within domestic worker organizations in Africa, where there is an urgent need for capacity-building around the ILO Convention for Decent Work for Domestic Workers (C189). Its aims were:

  • Increase our capacity to know and understand ILO standards on domestic work (Convention 189 and Recommendation 201)
  • Make the link between domestic workers’ grounded reality and the international standards
  • Identify gaps in the national laws when compared with the provisions of C189
  • Develop strategies that can help in the struggle for recognition and rights for domestic workers
  • Organize so that domestic workers can strengthen their ability to make the key provisions of C189 a reality
  • Familiarize domestic workers with a draft Toolkit and provide feedback to WIEGO from this pilot process
  • Strengthen our domestic workers organizations and build solidarity across the Africa region and internationally.

Launching a Legal Toolkit for Domestic Workers

domestic workers workshop - Nairobi

A highlight of the event was piloting and testing a Domestic Workers Legal Toolkit that WIEGO and IDWF developed. Based on research and best practices, the toolkit can equip domestic workers and their organizations as they struggle for ratification and implementation of C189. It includes the following tools:

  1. A summary of C189 and accompanying Recommendation 201 for Organizers
  2. A pamphlet of practical issues that C189 addresses
  3. A checklist of issues 
  4. A model employment contract, timesheet and pays slip for domestic workers
  5. Posters for awareness-raising


Informal Economy Theme
Occupational group