“As it is so hereby adopted.” At 12:15pm on June 10th, the Committee on Domestic Work adopted the text of the Recommendation to supplement the Convention on Domestic Work, bringing to a close two weeks of intense tripartite deliberations.
MFA celebrates this major achievement in the movement to protect the rights and welfare of domestic workers, and migrant domestic workers, worldwide. The excitement and enthusiasm generated by this moment is being channeled into our continued lobby efforts to ensure that our governments vote in favour of the adoption of the text on June 16th, and will drive our campaigns for ratification going forward.
This historic victory for domestic workers is only a first step. The intensity of the debates throughout these past two weeks foreshadows the challenges that lie ahead for domestic workers and their advocates. As Mr. Abdelhamid El Jamri, UN Special Rapporteur on the Migrant Workers’ Convention, reminded us during a Human Rights Council Side Event on social security, protections for workers worldwide are being diluted as states embrace an economic system that encourages irregular work in an attempt to lower labor costs. Deliberate policies of states badly affect all workers, especially migrant workers.
We recognize that in this context, achieving the rights of domestic workers that are enshrined in this Convention will require much sustained effort, commitment, and diligence. Lobbying, consciousness-raising, advocacy, and solidarity are necessary to persuade governments to not only ratify the Convention, but to properly implement and monitor the provisions the Convention stipulates.
The Convention and Recommendation alone will not put a halt to the abuses that continue to impact domestic workers and migrant domestic workers, but the standards it sets represent a significant step forward in acknowledging that domestic workers are workers, domestic work is work, and domestic work is not slavery!