Domestic workers

  1. "Domestic work is one of the oldest and most important occupations for many women in many countries. It is linked to the global history of slavery, colonialism and other forms of servitude. In its contemporary manifestations, domestic work is a global phenomenon that perpetuates hierarchies based on race, ethnicity, indigenous status, caste and nationality. Care work in the household [...] is quite simply indispensable for the economy outside the household to function. The growing participation of women in the labour force, changes in the organization of work and the intensification of work, as well as the lack of policies reconciling work and family life, the decline of state provision of care services, the feminization of international migration and the ageing of societies have all increased the demand for care work in recent years." [...]


    Decent work for domestic workers, Report IV(1), International Labour Conference, 99th Session, Geneva, 2010 (pdf 766 KB)


International Labour Standards

Convention

You may also consult "Convention No. 189: Decent work for domestic workers" , a short factsheet which will help you understand what Convention No. 189 is, who it covers, and what minimum standards it sets.

 

Recommendation


Reports submitted to the Conference (ILC 100th session, 2011)


Reports submitted to the Conference (ILC 99th session, 2010)


Steps toward the preparation of a new Convention


International labour standards can be found in the NORMLEX database.


 

Statistics

Data on domestic workers are scarce however data for a few countries may be found in Decent work for domestic workers, Report IV(1), International Labour Conference, 99th Session, Geneva, 2010 (pdf 766 KB).

The Domestic Work Policy Brief series contains some global estimates on domestic work as well as data on remuneration and working hours.

The ILO's Conditions of Work and Employment Programme is currently compiling statistics on domestic workers from official national sources and international data repositories. These data will serve as the basis for regional and global estimates on the number of domestic workers that will be made in collaboration with the ILO's Department of Statistics. For more information: Data collection on domestic workers.