International Labour Review, Vol. 150 (2011), No. 3–4

New ILO standards on decent work for domestic workers: A summary of the issues and discussions

The world’s millions of domestic workers are mostly excluded from national labour laws because they work in private homes, in employment relationships with special characteristics. They are highly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse – often overworked, underpaid and subjected to violence. Adopted in June 2011, the ILO’s Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189), and its accompanying Recommendation (No. 201) embody the resolve of governments and workers’ and employers’ organizations worldwide to remedy this situation. The authors of this paper, who were closely associated with the preparations and tripartite negotiations that led to the adoption of these instruments, review their contents and highlights of the underlying debates.


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