New Protections for Migrant Domestic Workers Adopted at the UN
December 6th, 2010
A high-level UN body has approved formal jurisprudence that elaborates the rights and practical recommendations for the protection of migrant domestic workers worldwide. In a vote on December 2, the UN Committee on Migrant Workers adopted the guidance in the form of a “General Comment” that interprets the 1990 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, one of the nine core international human rights treaties.
According to the International Catholic Migrant Commission (ICMC), “Domestic work accounts for as much as 10% of total employment in some countries, yet almost every country of the world excludes domestic work from its national labour laws and protections. Working in private homes, the workers are almost entirely unseen and unprotected. Estimates suggest that well over half of all domestic workers in many countries are migrant. As noted in the General Comment, “migrant domestic workers are at heightened risk of certain forms of exploitation and abuse.” Women, who are the vast majority of domestic workers worldwide, and child domestic workers are exceptionally vulnerable.”