ITUC // Trade Union Development Projects Directory

For trade unions, development cooperation is a part of our commitment to fight poverty, promote sustainable social development and improve working and living conditions for all.

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Building Strong Organization & Campaign: Domestic Workers Claim their Rights

duration: 1 year 6 months (From 1 January 2013 to 30 June 2014)
budget: 198,800 EUR

Description:
Strengthen domestic workers organizations at national level: member recruitment and organization building; strengthen the domestic worker movement through regional and international meetings for networking, information sharing and joint planning of campaign strategies and actions; strengthen leadership, in particularly among women, within domestic workers’ organizations; enhance the economic rights of domestic workers; achieve national legislation to protect domestic workers’ rights; increase wages, combat human trafficking, promote health and safety, stop violence against domestic workers; achieve ratification of Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers in at least 10 countries in 3 years; consolidate the IDWN as the global domestic workers’ organization.

Results achieved:
The current project has been successful in achieving decent work for domestic workers in two areas. The first is on standard setting. The adoption of ILO Convention 189 recognises domestic workers as workers and hence their employment rights. Secondly, campaigning has raised awareness and built the capacities of domestic workers to begin organizing themselves collectively and strengthen existing organizations at various levels, including the International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN). No government has yet ratified Convention 189. Many governments think that ratification is "the right thing to do" but it is not a priority for them. Unless domestic workers maintain and intensify the pressure on governments, ratification will quickly fall off government agendas. Despite an increase in the level of organisation, the proportion of domestic workers that are organised into democratic worker organizations in most countries is still small and these organizations are generally fragile. Trade unions and their national centres have to work with domestic workers’ organizations to formulate joint strategies and plans to organize and build the capacities of domestic workers’ unions. The International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN) is still in the process of development and has yet to achieve its objectives and goals of helping domestic workers to organise and being their global voice.