Press release

Decent Work for Migrant Domestic Workers side event

The side event “Decent Work for Migrant Domestic Workers” of the 21 session of The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families co-hosted by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) was held on 4th of September at the Palais Wilson in Geneva. This event was organized in the framework of the EU funded project “Global Action programme on Migrant Domestic Workers” and was designed as a forum to raise awareness on the human rights challenges faced by migrant domestic workers, including the discrimination they often face, to ensure the design and effective implementation of protective legislation and redress mechanisms, and to improve their organizational capacities.

Comunicado de prensa | 4 de septiembre de 2014
The panel was moderated by Michelle Leighton, Chief of the Labour Migration Branch at the ILO. Marco Ferri, from the EU Delegation to the UN, provided the opening to the side event. The following speakers were present at the panel: Pablo Ceriani, member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers, Marilina Armellin, First Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN, Barbro Budin, Project and Gender Equality Coordinator, from the International Union of Food Workers (IUF) and Robert J. Vitillo, Head of Caritas Internationalis Delegation to the UN in Geneva. Jyoti Sanghera, Human Rights and Economic and Social Issues Section Chief at the OHCHR, delivered the closing remarks.
A special attention was dedicated to a discussion of the key international instruments for the protection of human rights of migrants, including ILO Convention 189 and the International Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (ICRMW), as well as ILO Conventions 97 and 143. The participants agreed on the importance on raising awareness about migrant domestic workers from an interdisciplinary perspective, including different approaches of women's rights, workers' rights and human rights. On this regard, participants raised concerns about gender equality, labour protection, discrimination, xenophobia, vulnerability and isolation of migrant domestic workers.
The interactive format of the event allowed a lively discussion between the panellists and the public. Through the dialogue the attendees had the possibility to share further experiences and identify good practices on empowering migrants for improved protection of rights and social development outcomes. The event proved to be a good platform for moving the agenda on decent work forward and to further dialogue on the protection of the human rights of migrant domestic workers.