Paraguay: Rights to social protection - Domestic workers are no exception

6 May, 2014 | ILO | ILO

Librada Maciel has been working for 20 years as a domestic worker in the region of Itapúa, a rural area in Southern Paraguay. Like most domestic workers in Paraguay, Librada Maciel worked between 12 and 14 hours a day, without being covered by any kind of social protection.

A law passed in 1967 made it compulsory for all domestic workers in Asunción, the capital of the country, to register with social security. It was even extended to the whole country in 2009 but it was rarely applied.

Social security for domestic workers in Paraguay is in practice a health insurance that includes maternal protection, and also provides health insurance to dependents such as children, spouse, and parents. Until now, domestic workers were not entitled to retirement protection like other workers, even though in theory it is possible for them to register as self-employed.

A new law which is currently being discussed should make it possible for them to acquire pension rights in line with the ILO’s Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189). Paraguay was the fourth country in South America to ratify the Convention in May 2013. The ILO Convention is considered as a major step forward in improving working and living conditions for domestic workers around the globe.

However, the reality is that so far just over 10 per cent of domestic workers are registered with the Instituto de Previsión Social (IPS), the government agency in charge of social security.

Saudi Arabia sets up grievance panels for domestic workers

5 May, 2014 | Saudi Gazette | Saudi Gazette

The Ministry of Labor has set up grievance committees where domestic workers can file their complaints.

Grievances and complaints can be submitted to the committees in various regions of the Kingdom through a form which can be obtained through the ministry’s Domestic Labor Program website

India & Saudi work on modalities for hiring domestic workers

1 May, 2014 | The Siasat Daily | The Siasat Daily

India and Saudi Arabia will discuss a legal framework for over 5,00,000 Indian domestic workers in the gulf kingdom to solve any disputes between them and their employers.

The officials will discuss the framework that regulates contractual relations between employers and domestic workers, ensures authenticity and implementation of the employment contract, promises action against recruitment agencies violating laws and seeks to establish a mechanism to provide round-the-clock assistance to domestic workers.

Mayday for domestic Workers: Why the demand for domestic workers' rights must be heard

29 April, 2014 | Sofia Sprechman | CARE International

More than half of all work carried out by the world's population is domestic care work. So this International Workers Day on 1 May, maybe it's a good time to ask: why do domestic workers have so few rights? And why is no one speaking up about it?

Worldwide petition collects 103,000 signatures to end Hong Kong domestic worker abuse

28 April, 2014 | Phila Siu | SCMP

Human rights groups have collected 103,307 signatures from more than 160 countries calling on the Hong Kong government to take immediate steps to stop the abuse of foreign domestic workers.

Workers' rights campaigners flew in from Africa, India, Nepal and elsewhere to present the petition to the government in Tamar yesterday.

Vietnam: Experts give opinions to new rules on domestic workers

12 April, 2014 | Tuoi Tre News | Tuoi Tre News

The new regulations on domestic workers should be more concrete so that they can be implemented efficiently when they take effect next month, some experts have said.

These regulations are provided in Government Decree 27 that  provides guidance for the implementation of a number of articles of the Code of Labor in relation to domestic workers.

Under the decree, as of May 25, those who employ domestic workers in Vietnam must sign a labor contract with them and must not pay them less than applicable minimum wages applicable in the zone where they are working.

USA: If You Want Better Rights For Domestic Workers, Organize The Parents

11 April, 2014 | Bryce Covert | ThinkProgress

Hand in Hand, an organization that focuses on the people who employ domestic workers, launched “My Home is Someone’s Workplace,” a project aimed at getting the parents and other employers who hire nannies, home health aides, and housekeepers to sign a pledge toward fair labor practices and offer them a checklist of things they can do to get there.

“The goal of the campaign is both for employers to recognize the fact [that they are employers] and to shift the conversation around labor,” Danielle Feris, Hand in Hand’s director, told ThinkProgress, “and also to implement the law,” New York State’s Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, passed in 2010. It even aims to go beyond what’s in the law and emphasize things not covered, like regular check ins and evaluations, cost of living raises and bonuses, and health care and worker’s compensation coverage.

Jamaica: GraceKennedy launches Inaugural GraceKennedy/Heather Little-White Household Worker Award

10 April, 2014 | The GraceKennedy Group | The GraceKennedy Group

GraceKennedy is seeking to identify the Household Worker of the Year from nominations from the public. From the nominations, ten finalists will be chosen who will be interviewed by a panel, and the top three selected.  The inaugural award, scheduled to become an annual presentation, will see the eventual overall winner receiving a trophy named in memory of Dr. Heather Little-White, a cash award of $250,000 and the opportunity to nominate a student to receive an educational grant.

Shirley Pryce: Household workers "have had enough hurt"

1 April, 2014 | Jean Lowrie-Chin | Jamaica Observer Column

Shirley Pryce says: "While many domestic workers work in adequate surroundings and are paid in line with the Government's directives on the minimum wage, far too many do not experience the level of decency and respect that should be extended to every human being. Protection for domestic workers is long overdue. People turn a blind eye to the domestic worker issue. We have had enough hurt and it is time for us to be heard."

Sign and Share Petition Now: Time is running out for Indonesian domestic worker on Saudi death row

1 April, 2014 | Bryan Carter | Equal Times

When Satinah's employer tried to smash her head into a wall after months of alleged abuse, Satinah defended herself with a rolling pin.

The 41 year-old foreign domestic worker now faces execution in Saudi Arabi.  Please sign the petition calling on the King of Saudi Arabia to stop the execution of Satinah Ahmad and commute her death sentence.
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