News

The Gap Between Laws And Reality For Colombian Domestic Workers

5 September, 2014 | Gabby De Cicco | AWID
COLOMBIA -

On September 5, 2013 the Domestic Workers Convention (C189),  adopted by International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2011, entered into force. A year later, AWID spoke to Andrea Londoño S., Coordinator of the citizens' initiative Hablemos de Empleadas Domésticas (Let's Talk About Women Domestic Workers) from Medellin, Colombia, who outlines the legal landscape, how women domestic workers are organizing, and the challenges they face.

Brazil expands labor rights for domestic workers

21 August, 2014 | Jenny Barchfield, The Associated Press, Rio de Janeiro | The Jakarta Post
BRAZIL -

Nivea dos Santos got her first job as a live-in maid at age 12, dusting, vacuuming, ironing and polishing the silver of a wealthy Rio de Janeiro family from dawn until she'd fall, exhausted, into bed. More than two decades later, Brazil has passed legislation aimed at preventing such abuses.

The landmark domestic workers law, passed as a constitutional amendment last year and strengthened this month, aims to extend some of Brazil's generous labor protections to the more than 6 million maids, nannies, eldercare givers, gardeners and caretakers who work in privates homes — many toiling long hours for little or, in some cases, no pay.

New Brazil law supports domestic workers' rights

8 August, 2014 | BBC News | BBC News
BRAZIL -

A new law in Brazil has come into force under which employers can be fined if they fail to register their domestic workers.

It is part of new measures to provide basic protection for some seven million domestic workers long excluded from Brazil's stringent labour laws.

Employers can now be reported and fined several hundred dollars each time they break part of the code.

A constitutional amendment limits domestic workers to a 44-hour week.

It defined other rights as well - basic entitlements such as an eight-hour working day, the right to the minimum wage, a lunch break, social security and severance pay.

Only 1 out of 100 Colombia house workers have formal labor contract

23 July, 2014 | Christoffer Frendesen | Colombia Reports
COLOMBIA -

Despite a series of laws meant to encourage the transition toward the formal workforce, Colombia’s domestic laborers are overwhelmingly part of the country’s large “informal” sector, made up of those workers without labor contracts, according to a study released Wednesday.

A National Union Labor School (Escuela Nacional Sindical — ENS) report claimed that only 8,000 of the 735,000 people working in the domestic employment sector enjoy guaranteed benefits or other labor protections that come with a formal contract.

Domestic workers, 95% of whom are women, according to the report, often work 48 hours a week or more for less than minimum salary, according the ENS. Only one in 10 has a formal contract.

Peru: Domestic Workers demand for their rights and respect (Spanish only)

17 June, 2014 | La República Digital | La República Digital
PERU -

Trabajadoras del hogar exigen hace tres años se ratifique convenio 189 de la OIT

Es lo que exigen al Gobierno para que sus derechos laborales sean respetados y no seguir sufriendo discriminación y abusos de sus empleadores. Ayer protestaron con pancartas y ollas vacías para pedir que las atiendan.

El trabajo doméstico en el Perú sigue siendo invisible y sus beneficios sociales casi  inexistentes. María Ortencia Junchaya, de 68 años, provista de una olla vacía en la puerta del Ministerio de Trabajo evoca su infancia y nos cuenta  en su condición de empleada del hogar que sufrió por discriminación racial. Recuerda que su jefa extranjera residente en Barranco se burlaba del color oscuro de su piel.

Peru: Domestic workers protest outside the Ministry of Labour in the Salaverry Avenue (Spanish only)

16 June, 2014 | El Comercio | El Comercio
PERU -

Un grupo de 30 agremiadas al Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadoras del Hogar realizó una protesta esta tarde frente al Ministerio del Trabajo pidiendo la modificatoria de la ley 27986, que regula las relaciones laborales de ese sector.

Colombia ratifies the Domestic Workers Convention

12 May, 2014 | ILO | ILO
COLOMBIA -

On 9 May 2014, the Government of Colombia deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189). Colombia is the fourteenth ILO member State and the eight 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.

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

6 May, 2014 | ILO | ILO
PARAGUAY -

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.

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.
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