Bi-national Workshop on Migrant Domestic Workers’ Human and Labour Rights

Ukrainian and Polish trade unions discussed better protection and decent working conditions for domestic migrant workers

The State Statistics Service of Ukraine approximates the number of domestic workers in the country at 162,000 people - overwhelmingly women – who are cleaning, cooking, caring and performing other duties, often with little or no social or legal protection as only 7,500 of those domestic workers are participants in social security and pension funds. The Ukrainian domestic workers who migrate to Poland face the same difficulties as migrant domestic workers around the world, which include exposure to violations of human and labour rights, given their migration status, the absence of protection and assistance mechanisms in both home and destination countries, low social status, and the often informal nature of their work.

The workshop organized by the International Labour Organization to mark the close out of the Global Action Programme for Migrant Domestic Workers and their Families project highlighted the work done by the project. This work included promoting work opportunities for migrant domestic workers going through the Ukraine-Poland corridor that are productive and deliver a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment. In short, the work done by the project has focused on promoting decent work for migrant domestic workers going through the Ukraine-Poland corridor.

Trade unions from Poland and Ukraine came together with regional ILO staff at the workshop to review findings from the EU funded programme promoting decent work for migrant domestic workers. The workshop in Lviv was an opportunity for programme partners to exchange good practices and identify ongoing challenges to labour protections for migrant domestic workers (MDW)

Topics covered:

  • Results and good practices discovered during the implementation of The Global Action Programme on Migrant Domestic Workers and their Families.
  • The identification of a common platform that will enable the adoption of an action plan to promote decent work for migrant domestic workers between the two countries.
  • The conclusions of the workshop will provide inputs for the development of a technical cooperation project and guide the implementation of an agreed upon action plan.

About the project:

The Global Action Programme on Migrant Domestic Workers and their Families wa operational in the Ukraine since 2014. In that time, the project workers have focused on promoting decent work and safe migration for domestic workers from Ukraine to Poland. The project came to a close in July 2016. Project outputs included:
  • The publication of an Information Passport and Q&A Leaflet in Ukrainian for trade unions to utilize when assisting migrant domestic workers.
  • Building the capacity of trade unions in Ukraine to advocate for protection of migrant domestic workers’ rights and raise awareness on their needs.
  • Advocacy efforts leading to the Ukrainian Parliament ratification of and integration into the national action plan of ILO Convention 189. It was also due to the project’s advocacy efforts that the Ukrainian Parliament drafted a law entitled “On Amendments to Legal Acts to Regulate and Formalize Employment of Domestic Workers”.
Listen to migrant domestic workers and their organizers talk about their challenges and successes.

Contact point for press: Sergiy Savchuk ILO National Coordinator in Ukraine +380 (67) 443 18 42,

Share your thoughts on your social media along with the following tags: #MDWLVivWorkshop @ilo #GAPMDW