Reaching behind closed doors: A survey of legal and policy responses to child domestic labour in South Asia together with recommendations for reform

This paper frames the international standard of protection in the context of child domestic labour and reviews by comparison the extent of legal and policy measures relating to this sector across South Asia.

This paper frames the international standard of protection in the context of child domestic labour and reviews by comparison the extent of legal and policy measures relating to this sector across South Asia. The resulting inventory points out where legal protection exists as well as highlights gaps and limitations under national law which form the basis of recommendations that government can employ in regulating the domestic sector. Creating satisfactory working conditions would not only facilitate legitimate domestic work for persons over minimum working age but would also render this area more appealing to adult workers, which would contribute to gradually eliminating child labour in this sector.

In researching this paper primary legal sources including laws from each South Asian country were consulted together with ILO and United Nations Conventions. Additionally, ILO publications as well as non-ILO materials on the issue of child domestic labour were reviewed. National Plans of Action were also examined to distil relevant legal and policy developments affecting this sector. Lastly, representatives from government and non-governmental organizations working in this area were interviewed.