Domestic Worker Rights

Kenya, domestic workers, ILO Convention 189, Solidarity Center

The Solidarity Center joins with unions in Kenya and around the world in championing ratification of the ILO global treaty Convention 189 covering domestic worker rights. Credit: KUDHEIHA

Millions of domestic workers are employed in countries where they are excluded from national labor laws, including limits to working hours, minimum wage and overtime pay. Domestic workers, who are predominately women and sometimes children, toil invisibly in private homes. Some live on their employer’s premises where, away from the public eye, they often are subject to abuse. Nearly one in five domestic workers are international migrants.

The Solidarity Center supports unions around the world as they assist domestic workers in gaining their rights on the job such as in Honduras and Ukraine, where workers formed the first domestic workers union in their countries with the assistance of Solidarity Center partners.

Together with the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) and the U.S.-based National Domestic Workers Alliance, the Solidarity Center supports leadership, gender equality and rights-based training for domestic workers to strengthen their ability to advocate for improved wages and working conditions.

Many domestic workers migrate for jobs to the Gulf countries and the Middle East, and the Solidarity Center works to advance their rights with union partners in origin and destination countries, such as the Kuwait Trade Union Federation (KTUF), which launched a migrant worker office that assists domestic workers and other migrant workers experiencing wage theft and other forms of exploitation.

The Solidarity Center, which joined with unions and rights organizations in championing passage of the 2011 International Labor Organization’s global treaty (Convention 189) covering domestic worker rights, assists unions in pushing for adoption of the treaty in their countries to ensure domestic work is legally recognized and valued. The Solidarity Center also supports domestic worker unions achieve labor rights in countries such as Mexico, where union partners won the right to written contracts and a ban on employing workers younger than age 15.

COVID-19: Maldives Unions Fight Jobs Bleed, Harassment

The Maldives Trade Union Congress (MTUC) and its affiliates say the government must rapidly address the economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, urging passage of occupational safety and health and labor legislation and an economic stimulus package targeted...

Migrant Workers Essential Workers Not Only in COVID-19

Sabina, a domestic worker from Bangladesh, has worked in Jordan for the past eight years, sending money home each month to her mother, sister and 11-year-old son who rely on her to survive. But with the COVID-19 crisis, she has been out of work for more than a month....

Stepping into the Breach: Unions Provide Key Aid in COVID-19

More than four out of five people (81 percent) in the global workforce of 3.3 billion are currently affected by full or partial workplace closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some 1.25 billion workers are employed in the sectors identified as being at high risk of...
Morocco Hospitality Workers Stand Strong in Pandemic

Morocco Hospitality Workers Stand Strong in Pandemic

Unions throughout Morocco are negotiating wage guarantees and other measures to safeguard the livelihoods of the tens of thousands of workers in the country’s hospitality industry—cooks, wait staff, hotel cleaners, tour operators—who have been furloughed or lost their...

From Haiti to Kenya, Unions Take Action on COVID-19

From Haiti to Kenya, Unions Take Action on COVID-19

Just as the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the massive global economic and social inequality around the world, with workers in the informal economy and supply chains, and  migrant workers—many of whom are women—especially marginalized, so, too, does it...

Learn More about Our Partners!

The Solidarity Center, as part of the global labor movement, is proud to closely work with trade unions, civil society organizations, academic institutions, progressive private foundations, labor-friendly businesses, governments and dozens of generous individuals to...

Pin It on Pinterest