Archive for January 14th, 2013

14/01/2013

Domestic Workers Join Forces Worldwide

Geneva, by ILO* – Working in private houses as cooks, nannies, cleaners, care workers or just general housekeepers, domestic workers are more isolated than most groups of workers. But from Indonesia to Kenya, Manila to New York City, they are coming together to create their own organizations and, collectively, to demand decent working conditions.

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Photo: ILO

Already twenty-one organizations from across the globe have affiliated to the International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN), and at least another fifty similar organizations will be invited to join and participate when the Network has its formal inaugural conference next October in Uruguay.

“It had always been said that domestic workers were too difficult to organize. They’re proving that this is a myth,” says Claire Hobden of the ILO’s Conditions of Work and Employment branch.

According to a new ILO report, which provides the first detailed research into domestic work worldwide, at least 52 million people are currently working in other people’s houses as domestic workers.

Pay can be very low, employment conditions precarious, and the risk of abuse, including physical and sexual violence, high.

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