ILO gives domestic workers international recognition and protection

ILO event supporting domestic workers in India

ILO event supporting domestic workers in India

A set of international standards aimed at improving the working conditions of tens of millions of domestic workers worldwide has been adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO). 

The Convention on Domestic Workers states that domestic workers should benefit from the right to regular working hours, maternity leave, unemployment insurance and representation by trade unions.

The ILO estimates that there are nearly 100 million domestic workers worldwide, majority of whom are women and girls.

ILO Director General Juan Somavia said the adoption of the convention was a historic moment for domestic workers who will no longer be considered second-class workers.

"Today we have taken a significant step by overwhelming majority towards making domestic work descent work. Making what is too often invisible work visible. Domestic workers are workers. They are neither servants nor members of the family. This might sound obvious but it is not and being a worker means having rights, a voice and access to a descent life and many domestic workers today are close to being forced labourers than workers." 

Duration 36″

ILO delegates who include governments, employers and trade unions adopted the Convention by a vote of 396 in favour, 16 against and 63 abstentions.

The new Convention will come into force after two ILO member countries have ratified it.

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