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Home Alone: Protect Domestic Workers

Help end domestic slavery

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that at least 52.6 million men and women work as domestic workers across the world, as well as 7.4 million children below the age of 15. Domestic work is poorly regulated, undervalued, and many domestic workers are subject to serious abuses, including slavery.

Domestic workers often work excessively long hours, without breaks, days off or holidays. The pay is often very low, with wage payments frequently delayed. Many domestic workers face verbal, physical and sexual abuse. Some experience poor living conditions such as having to sleep on the floor in a utility room.

Domestic workers lack legal protection. In many countries, they are not considered ‘workers’ but rather as informal ‘help’ and are excluded from national labour legislation.

The Convention to protect domestic workers

The International Labour Organization's 2011 Convention concerning decent work for domestic workers (Convention No. 189) was adopted in June 2011 to protect the rights of domestic workers across the world.

Countries ratifying the Convention agree to ensure fair and decent conditions for domestic workers by protecting their fundamental labour rights, preventing abuse and violence and establishing safeguards for young domestic workers.

Only a few countries have ratified the Convention, the UK being one of those refusing to do so (check here which countries completed the ratification procedure). That is why we ask you to put pressure on British - or any other of your choice - government to ratify it and make the protection of domestic workers a reality.

Act Now

Act Now

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Cyprian, former child domestic worker, TanzaniaCyprian, 17, from Tanzania, has been a domestic worker since he was eleven.
Read Cyprian's story
©Anti-Slavery International

bonded labour in India"I escaped domestic work because of the violence of my employer’s husband."
Read Angel's story