8 March 2010: Let’s celebrate International Women’s Day by supporting domestic workers
The agenda of the next International Labour Conference will include setting labour standards to achieve decent work for domestic workers.
Domestic work occupies millions of women around the world, and demand for it is rising. Care work at home is also vital for the global economy: the massive incorporation of women into the labour force, ageing societies, the intensification of work and the frequent lack or inadequacy of policy measures to reconcile family life with work all underpin this trend. Domestic workers make up a large portion of the workforce, especially in developing countries, and their number is increasing even in the industrialized world.
However, this work is frequently undervalued and poorly regulated, and many domestic workers remain overworked, underpaid and unprotected. In addition, in many countries, domestic work is performed largely by children.
Improving the conditions of domestic workers has been an ILO concern since 1948. The Decent Work Agenda provides a promising avenue for achieving visibility and respect for domestic workers. Setting standards on decent work for domestic workers will take the ILO beyond the identification of non-compliance and towards specific guidance on regulating effectively a category of workers that is singularly in need of support.
On 8 March 2010, a meeting on domestic workers’ rights, entitled
“I diritti nel lavoro domestico:
dalle realtà locali alla dimensione internazionale"
will take place at the ITC-ILO, in collaboration with the Province of Turin and its councillor responsible for equal opportunities. Participants will discuss the importance of the proposed ILO Convention on domestic work and support its adoption for workers in Italy.