In November 2006, domestic/household workers’ organisations and networks from across the world sent representatives to a conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Also there were many trade unions, support groups, and researchers. It was the first ever global meeting to discuss the situation of domestic/household workers, and start to develop real international action to fight for rights and respect, as workers and as human beings.
At this global conference ‘Respect and Rights: Protection for Domestic/Household Workers!’ a decision was taken to fight for an international Convention that sets out the rights of domestic workers.
In 1948, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said they would consider a Convention specifically for domestic workers, but it was never followed up.
An ILO Convention would not guarantee an end to slavery or respect for domestic workers' other rights. But it would be an important step forward. It would tell the world that domestic workers exist, that they do have rights as workers, and that they are mobilising to get these rights.
Now, by 2011, the International Labour Organisation will adopt an international standard listing the rights of domestic workers. The international domestic workers' network are organizing a campaign to make sure this document gives the protection that domestic workers need.
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