Towards Achieving Decent Work for Domestic Workers in ASEAN: 10th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour (AFML) – Thematic background paper

This report was prepared by the TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme, a partnership between the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

There are an estimated 9 million domestic workers in South-East Asia and the Pacific. Over 2 million of these are also migrants, meaning that migrant domestic workers constitute a fifth of all migrant workers in the region. While there is an increasing demand for domestic workers, there is also growing recognition of the lack of protection for the majority of domestic workers, who are overwhelmingly women. Globally, and in ASEAN, domestic workers are often excluded from labour laws and labour protection available to other groups of workers. Consequently, around the world, domestic workers regularly work excessively long and unpredictable hours. Many domestic workers do not receive any rest days and are paid below the minimum wage.

This report reviews the current situation for domestic workers in ASEAN and makes recommendations to ASEAN Member States. It was prepared as a technical background paper for the 10th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour (AFML) that was themed “Towards Achieving Decent Work for Domestic Workers in ASEAN” and hosted by the Government of the Philippines in October 2017.