It’s the law: Domestics get protection worldwide


MANILA, Philippines—The Domestic Workers Convention—a treaty that provides basic labor rights to an estimated 53 million domestic workers worldwide, including some two million Filipinos—came into force Thursday.

“There are currently at least 53 million domestic workers worldwide, not including child domestic workers, and this number is increasing steadily in developed and developing countries,” according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The new convention, which is now a binding international law, needed to be ratified by at least two ILO member states. But to date, eight ILO member states—the Philippines, Bolivia, Italy, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Paraguay, South Africa and Uruguay— have ratified it.

‘Kasambahay’ law

Since the convention’s adoption, several countries have passed new laws and regulations protecting their domestic workers’ labor and social rights, including the Philippines which in June passed the Kasambahay Law.

The Kasambahay Law provides protection and better working conditions for Filipino household service workers.

“All this shows that the momentum sparked by the ILO convention on domestic workers is growing. The convention and recommendation have effectively started to play their roles as catalysts for change. They now serve as a starting point for devising new polices in a growing number of countries, recognizing the dignity and value of domestic work,” said Manuela Tomei, director of the ILO’s Working Conditions and Equality Department, in a statement.

According to an ILO study from January 2013 entitled “Domestic Workers Across the World,” household workers serve in private homes often without clear terms of employment, unregistered and excluded from the scope of labor legislation.


At the time of the study, only 10 percent were covered by general labor legislation to the same extent as other workers. More than one quarter were completely excluded from national labor legislation.

“Deplorable working conditions, labor exploitation and human rights abuses are major problems facing domestic workers,” the ILO said.

It said that lack of legal protection increased the domestic workers’ vulnerability and made it difficult for them to seek remedies.

“As a result, they are often paid less than workers in comparable occupations and work longer hours,” it said.

“Today’s entry into force of Convention 189 sends a powerful signal to more than 50 million domestic workers worldwide. I hope that it will also send a signal to ILO member states and that we will soon see more and more countries committing to protect the rights of domestic workers,” said Tomei.

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  • walaywalay

    what education is required to do laundry sweep mop dust and obey your master–new collage course—slave labor at slave wages in the RP?

  • walaywalay

    MANILA, Philippines — After spending eight months in detention, the
    woman accused of beating her maid until the house helper became blind
    and illegally detaining her for three years has offered to plead guilty
    to a lesser offense.
    Abused housemaid Bonita Baran told a Senate hearing on
    Wednesday that she was held in slave-like conditions at the Quezon City
    home of her employers for four years, repeatedly beaten and tortured,
    and generally treated like “their dog.”
    Baran told senators it was Mrs. Annaliza Marzan in particular, who beat and maltreated her to the point of rendering her blind

  • hello stupids

    guarantee sex for tickets is official?

  • just_the_guy

    It’s commendable that the Phils has already passed a law to protect it’s own domestci workers. The question though is whether it is being complied with it, and who is tasked to monitor it’s compliance. Baka puro porma lang ito.

  • Anqui

    Mabuti para sa lahat and batas na ito. Many employers treat their house maids like an animal…they worked them to death and abuse them physically.

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