Informal Economy

Marie Constant: Empowering Domestic Workers in Lebanon

Marie Constant has worked as a domestic worker in Lebanon since 1997. Originally from Madagascar, Constant has been fortunate to have a good employer. But most migrant domestic workers are not so lucky. “In general, domestic workers [must] work from morning until evening with no specific break time and no holidays,” she says, speaking in French… [READ MORE]

Zimbabwe: How Democracy and Unions are Intertwined

  • June 21, 2018
  • Shayna Greene

Wage theft and other forms of economic injustice are among the major factors holding Zimbabwe back from a democratic transition, says Imani Countess, Africa regional program director for the Solidarity Center. Countess spoke at a recent panel discussion in Washington, D.C., “Assessing Zimbabwe’s Election and Prospects for a Democratic Transition,” organized by the National Endowment… [READ MORE]

Domestic Workers Lead the Change

Domestic workers are at the forefront of change in many countries, highlighted by the adoption of the Decent Work for Domestic Workers convention by the International Labor Organization, and the creation of the International Domestic Workers Federation. Yet this International Domestic Workers Day, 60 million of the estimated 67 million domestic workers do not enjoy social… [READ MORE]

Racial Equality Tops Domestic Workers Meeting in Brazil

Some 40 domestic workers from 17 countries across North and South America and the Caribbean shared organizing tactics, hammered out resolutions and participated in Solidarity Center training on gender-based violence at work at a recent conference in São Paulo, Brazil. The conference is one of a series of regional planning meetings domestic workers around the… [READ MORE]

Hong Kong, SAR: Migrant Domestic Workers Must Live In

Migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China, must live with their employers, according to a court ruling this week that rejected a case by a Philippine migrant worker who argued the rule violates Hong Kong SAR’s Bill of Rights and other basic laws. Expressing disappointment in the court’s decision, the Federation… [READ MORE]

Ensuring Access to Justice for Workers in Forced Labor

When Fauzia Muthoni arrived in Qatar from Kenya to work as a receptionist and earn money to support her family, the labor agent traveling with her informed Muthoni the job was in Saudi Arabia and escorted her to another plane. She tried calling her family, but realized her sim card did not work in the… [READ MORE]

Decent Work Forum: ‘With a Union, We May Fight Together’

Ending human trafficking. Ensuring all employers treat workers fairly. Giving voice to migrant workers around the world. Creating a world in which women are treated equally to men. These are some of the broad goals participants at the Solidarity Center Forum on Decent Work Forum for Agricultural Women and Domestic Workers identified in a morning… [READ MORE]

Decent Work Forum: Sharing Strategies for Success

Following heartfelt rounds of songs on workers’ struggles and union solidarity, some 30 worker rights advocates launched the second day of the Forum on Decent Work for Agricultural Women and Domestic Workers. Discussions centered on the lack of migrant worker rights and the commonalities between the treatment of domestic workers and farm workers, and participants… [READ MORE]

El Salvador Embroidery Workers Defy Odds to Form Union

In isolated rural areas across El Salvador, thousands of women work from their homes hand-embroidering intricate patterns on pieces of cloth they later return completed to factories to be sewn into finished garments. To meet the factory’s production deadlines, the women typically work 16 hours a day, seven days a week, and those who do… [READ MORE]