News

Domestic workers call on Downing Street in visa justice plea

31 March, 2014 | Unite the Union | Unite the Union
UNITED KINGDOM -

Campaigners from Unite, Justice for Domestic Workers, The Showroom and Kalayaan will hand in hundreds of signed postcards to 10 Downing Street tomorrow (Tuesday, 1 April) demanding that the Prime Minister reinstate basic visa rights for migrant domestic workers (MDW) and end to this modern day form of slavery.

Marcelina Bautista, IDWF Regional Coordinator for Latin America, receives the Mexican National Award for Equality and No Discrimination

31 March, 2014 | IDWF
MEXICO -

Our Regional Coordinator for Latin America, Marcelina receives on Monday, March 31 2014, the Mexican National Award for Equality and No Discrimination (Premio por la Igualdad y la No Discriminación 2013) by Conapred (National Council to Prevent Discrimination). This is a big award and recognition of her work with domestic workers in Mexico.  IDWF truly shares this joy with Marcelina.

Argentina ratifies the Domestic Workers Convention

24 March, 2014 | ILO | ILO
ARGENTINA -

On 24 March 2014, the Government of Argentina deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189). Argentina is the thirteenth ILO member State and the seventh Latin American member State to ratify this instrument that seeks to improve the working and living conditions of tens of millions of domestic workers worldwide.

Indonesia: A promise to domestic workers, after 10 years

18 March, 2014 | Irham Ali Saifuddin | Jakarta Post
INDONESIA -

An estimated 6.5 million Indonesians are currently working overseas. Indonesia has the second-largest population of migrant workers in countries across Southeast Asia after the Philippines.

Approximately 75 to 80 percent of them are domestic workers who have long endured isolation, underpayment, long working hours, forced labor, human trafficking and violence.

To improve the protection of its migrant workers, the government has taken some necessary efforts such as the domestic workers deployment moratorium, improving bilateral agreements, banning certain recruitment agencies and ratifying the 1990 UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

On Feb. 12, Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar stated that Indonesia would ratify the International Labor Convention No. 189 on decent work for domestic workers. The statement coincided with national domestic worker’s day, commemorated by activists on Feb. 15. Thus, after the bill on domestic workers was first submitted to the House of Representatives, workers might see a realization of this decade-old promise.

USA: Bill of rights for domestic workers considered

17 March, 2014 | Boston Globe | Boston Globe
USA -

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a bill that would establish labor standards for domestic workers, including nannies and house cleaners. A public hearing is planned on Tuesday before the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee on legislation that would create a so-called bill of rights for domestic workers. Advocates said California, Hawaii, and New York have enacted similar laws that provide more legal protections to such workers. There are an estimated 40,000 domestic workers in Connecticut. Advocates say they are excluded from basic protections such as minimum wage and antidiscrimination laws. The Brazilian Immigrant Center said live-in workers are especially vulnerable. Legislation would require employers to advise domestic workers when they are hired about issues such as required hours, compensation rates, and availability of sick time.

Prime Minister: Jamaica to ratify ILO Household Workers Convention

10 March, 2014 | Jamaica Observer | Jamaica Observer
JAMAICA -

Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller says the Government is moving to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 189, which stipulates safeguards for the welfare of household workers globally, and outlines provisions to significantly enhance their status and working conditions.

"This is a matter which the Bureau (of Women's Affairs) has partnered with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the (Jamaica) Household Workers Union (on), to bring (it) to a successful outcome," Simpson Miller told Friday's cocktail reception at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, to commemorate the Bureau's 40th Anniversary, and International Women's Day, which was observed on March 8.

Labour ministry launches campaign for domestic workers' rights in Jamaica

7 March, 2014 | Jamaica Observer | Jamaica Observer
JAMAICA -

THE Ministry of Labour and Social Security has launched a media campaign aimed at engendering widespread support for the rights of household workers in Jamaica.

The campaign comes as members of the Jamaica Household Workers Union increased calls for the Government to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 189, Advancing Decent Work for Domestic Workers.

Hong Kong government has a duty to respect the rights of domestic workers

6 March, 2014 | SCMP | SCMP
HONG KONG -

After a record number of complaints against recruitment agencies for domestic helpers last year, let alone anecdotal evidence of overcharging and disregard for maids' rights and welfare, it is a worry that the Labour Department denied licence renewals to only four out of 1,250-odd during the period. Clearly the government needs to make the industry more accountable. So it is good to hear Labour and Welfare Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung say that his bureau will work with the Department of Justice to overhaul the regulatory system for workers and increase punishments for unscrupulous employment agencies.

Indonesia raises minimum wage for domestic workers

1 March, 2014 | Mehdi al Lawati | Oman Observer
INDONESIA -

The Indonesian Embassy in Muscat has unveiled its plan to increase the minimum salary for domestic workers to RO 120 per month. In a recent notice issued by the Consular Affairs Department, the embassy said that starting from March 9, non-experienced domestic workers must be employed with a salary of RO 100 and experienced for RO 120.

This step will be followed by an announcement to increase the salaries for all Indonesian domestic workers to RO 120. According to an official source, the decision is a step towards securing the interests of the domestic workers, adding that similar wages are paid back home in a city like Jakarta. The source added that the salary is not always mentioned in the contracts received by the embassy for approval.

High agency fees for bringing domestic workers into the UAE must be monitored

1 March, 2014 | Ola Salem | The National
UAE -

High agency fees for bringing domestic workers into the UAE must be monitored, a Federal National Council member will argue this week.
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