Caribbean Governments working towards ratification of ILO Conventions

Governments of Barbados and Jamaica moving to ratify the ILO Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (Convention 189)

News | 02 April 2014
In Barbados

“It is only a matter of time before Cabinet is asked to approve ratification of ILO Convention 189 which speaks to the working conditions of domestic workers”, said Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development of Barbados, Senator, the Hon Dr. Byer-Suckoo. The Ministry is currently ensuring that legally and administratively, Barbados can implement the international labour standard.

“This Convention came into force in September 2013 and heralds in a set of revolutionary standards for workers in that part of the informal sector. It is, therefore, my desire to have this instrument now ratified as early as possible and bring this area of work, which we know is dominated by women, into the civilised world as far as labour practices are concerned.”

The Minister further stated that her Ministry awaits the relevant submissions in order to advance the process of ratification as it relates to the ILO Occupational Safety and Health Convention No. 155 and the ILO Safety and Health in Agriculture Convention No. 184.

In Jamaica

The Government is moving to ratify the ILO Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (Convention 189), which stipulates safeguards for the welfare of household workers globally, and outlines provisions to significantly enhance their status and working conditions. So says the Most Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica.

Her announcement received rousing applause including President of the 3,600-member strong Jamaica Household Workers Union (JHWU) President, Shirley Pryce, who has long advocated the ratification.

Ratification of the Convention signals governments’ commitment to revise the relevant laws in their country which govern the welfare of household workers, both women and men, and to undertake other supporting interventions which are consistent with the provisions of the Convention.

Mrs. Simpson-Miller reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to making gender equality and the empowerment of women “become and remain a reality for our nation.”