"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." [...]
On this page: Find information on domestic workers through Labordoc • International Labour Standards • Statistics • In the media • Key ILO documents • ILO databases • ILO links • External links • Photos • Videos
Find information on domestic workers through Labordoc
International Labour Standards
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.
Reports submitted to the Conference (ILC 100th session, 2011)
- Report IV(1): Decent work for domestic workers (pdf 239 KB)
- Report IV (2A) - Decent work for domestic workers (pdf 796 KB)
Contains the essential points of the replies received from governments and from employers' and workers' organization, as well as the Office commentary.
- Report IV(2B): Decent work for domestic workers (pdf 536 KB)
The texts of a revised proposed Convention and Recommendation will serve as a basis for the discussion at the 100th Session of the International Labour Conference.
Reports submitted to the Conference (ILC 99th session, 2010)
- Report IV(1): Decent work for domestic workers (pdf 766 KB)
This report provides information from across the world on the law and practice concerning domestic workers and served as the basis for the ILC discussion in 2010.
- Report IV(2): Decent work for domestic workers (pdf 3.42 MB)
Report IV(2) corrigendum (pdf 116 KB)
Summarized comments from constituents to Report IV(1).
Steps toward the preparation of a new Convention
- Steps towards the preparation and adoption of ILO draft international instrument(s) on domestic workers
International labour standards can be found in the NORMLEX database.
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: /travail/areasofwork/WCMS_146459/lang--en/index.htm.
In the media
News & articles
- Longest, most unpredictable hours – the plight of the domestic worker, 09 January 2013
- More than 52 million domestic workers worldwide, 09 January 2013
- Questions and answers on the hidden reality of children in domestic work, 8 August 2011
- Decent work for domestic workers: towards new international labour standards, 31 May 2010
- From domestic work to modern day slavery, 10 October 2010
World of Work, the magazine of the ILO