Paid Holiday for Domestic Workers on International Domestic Workers Day
Domestic Workers keep our homes going. Thanks to them, we are able to go out to work doubling the income of our families.
Yet, they are invisible, under paid and discriminated. We often hear stories of these workers not being allowed to use the toilets they clean in our homes; not allowed to use the lift in our apartments; given left over and often stale food; under paid and over worked…
The condition of many migrant live-in workers is akin to modern day slavery (You recall the doctor in Delhi who took his family on a holiday to Thailand, locking their domestic worker in a little room in his house? Well that is only the tip of the iceberg of what many migrant domestic workers suffer!)
It is hence that the International Labor Organization (ILO) adopted a Convention (C. 189), declaring
“Domestic Work is Work,
Domestic Workers are Workers,
Like any other”
There are 30 million domestic workers in India. India is the largest sending country of domestic workers all over the world, particularly to countries in West Asia. Yet, neither has India a put in place a national law to regulate the working conditions and welfare of its domestic workers in the country, nor has it ratified Convention 189 that could help its domestic workers abroad!
Interestingly, 22 countries, particularly those that send domestic workers abroad, but relatively in smaller numbers when compared to India, have ratified the Convention!
We have to begin somewhere. Especially as we reach June 16, the International Domestic Workers Day.
Let us ask the Government of India and employers of domestic workers to declare June 16 a paid holiday.
Let us ask the Governments at the national and state level to ensure a paid weekly holiday for all domestic workers.
Let us ask the Government of India to ratify ILO Convention 189 and legislate accordingly to protect our domestic workers within the country and those who choose to go abroad.
Let us ensure that domestic workers receive the respect and dignity they deserve in our homes.
Domestic Workers give so much to make our lives comfortable.
Let us help them to celebrate June 16, their day in full gusto!
Please sign the petition.
Let us make these invisible workers truly visible.
Your signatures will be presented to the Minister for Labor, Government of India on June 16, the International Domestic Workers Day.
– Varghese Theckanath S.G/Director/Montfort Social Institute (MSI).