International and national legislation

This section includes descriptions and analyses of international labour standards and instruments, in particular ILO Conventions No. 138 and No. 182, human right instruments and national labour and criminal laws addressing, directly or indirectly, the issue of child domestic labour, as well as on their respective enforcement mechanisms. These materials are of a technical nature and provide for a specialised view on child domestic labour and its links with the issue of child labour on the one hand and adult domestic labour on the other.

The targeted audience is law and policy makers and practitioners, members of the judiciary systems, child protection advocates and human rights defenders at both the national and international levels. Examples from a wide range of legislative provisions from various countries as well as guidelines on how to adapt national legislation to international standards and ensure its implementation can also be found under this section. They generally aim at identifying laws, policies and programmes in place to address child domestic labour; examining their responsiveness and effectiveness as a legal framework for protecting child domestic workers, especially the girl-child, and making recommendations for legal and policy reforms to prevent and eliminate child domestic labour by means of adapted and effectively enforceable legal protection mechanisms.

A number of regional and national studies have been carried out under this legal perspective.


Central America and Dominican Republic: IPEC: Estudio comparado de las legislaciones de América Central y República Dominicana en materia de trabajo infantil doméstico. Working Paper No. 184. ILO, San Jose, 2004. Comparative analysis of the existing normative systems regulating domestic work and ensuring adequate protection to child domestic workers. This study highlights legislative limitations and lacunae and sets the basis for a more in-depth analysis of the legislation on child domestic labour and its application and enforcement system. It provides concrete guidelines and recommendations for key stakeholders and decision-makers. (English and Spanish)

Asia: IPEC: Study on the legal protection of child domestic workers in Asia-Pacific. ILO, Nepal, 2002. This report examines the problem of child domestic workers from a legal perspective, focusing mainly on the existing labour laws, (including policies and programmes reflective of such policies) and enforcement mechanisms available for addressing this issue. The adequacy and responsiveness of the legal and enforcement mechanisms are analysed on the basis of how effective these measures have been in preventing the employment of children in domestic work; and how much protection the State has provided for those who are already engaged in such work. (English)

South America: IPEC: Legislación comparada sobre trabajo adolescente doméstico. El caso de Brasil, Paraguay, Colombia y Perú. Working Paper No. 170. ILO, Lima, 2003. Comparative analysis of the national legal framework and enforcement mechanisms of 4 selected countries (Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia and Peru) relevant to the protection of child domestic workers and of how these are linked to the norms and regulations on adult domestic labour. (Spanish)

South Asia: IPEC: Reaching behind closed doors: A survey of legal and policy responses to child domestic labour in South Asia together with recommendations for reform. ILO, New Delhi, 2006. Report analysing how relevant ILO Conventions and other international standards, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, are reflected, or not as it were, in national legislation and policies in South Asia in order to eliminate child domestic labour. It looks at adult domestic labour regulations and it includes specific recommendations for policy and legal reforms regulating this sector and for the protection of child domestic workers in particular. (English)


Brazil: IPEC: Estudo Legal: O trabalho infantil doméstico em casa de terceiros no direito brasileiro. ILO, Brasilia, 2002. (Portuguese)

Colombia: IPEC: Estudio de aspectos legales del trabajo infantil doméstico en hogares de terceros en Colombia. ILO, Lima, 2002. (Spanish)

Costa Rica: IPEC: De la invisibilidad a la búsqueda de la protección integral: Consideraciones jurídicas sobre el trabajo infantil y adolescente doméstico en Costa Rica. ILO, San Jose, 2003. (Spanish)

Dominican Republic: IPEC: Estudios sobre trabajo infantil en la legislación dominicana. ILO, Santo Domingo, 2005. (Spanish)

Guatemala: IPEC: Breve descripción del régimen legal para el trabajo infantil y adolescente doméstico en Guatemala: Análisis de la legislación nacional e internacional. ILO, San Jose, 2005. (Spanish)

Honduras: IPEC: Estudio de la legislación sobre trabajo infantil doméstico en Honduras: Análisis de la legislación nacional e internacional. ILO, San Jose, 2004. (Spanish)

Nicaragua: IPEC: Explotación entre cuatro paredes: Investigación jurídica sobre trabajo infantil doméstico. ILO, San Jose, 2005. (Spanish)

Paraguay: IPEC: ¿Por qué me van a pagar?... Soy una criada. Marco normativo del trabajo infantil doméstico en hogares de terceros en Paraguay. Vol. 3. ILO, Asunción, 2003. (Spanish )

IPEC: Investigación sobre el marco legislativo del trabajo infantil doméstico en hogares de terceros y la explotación sexual comercial de niños, niñas y adolescentes en el Paraguay. ILO, Lima, 2002. (Spanish)

IPEC: Trabajo doméstico remunerado en Paraguay. ILO, Asunción, 2005. (Spanish)

Peru: IPEC: Estudio de desarrollo legislativo – Perú. Trabajo infantil doméstico. ILO, Lima, 2001. (Spanish)