Migrant Forum in Asia
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Ratify and Implement ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers Now!


16 June 2012

Ratify and Implement ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers Now!

Today, as we commemorate the first anniversary of the adoption of ILO Convention 189 (C189) on Decent Work for Domestic Workers, we call on ILO Member States to immediately ratify and implement C189 as a demonstration of their global commitment made at the 100th Session of the International Labour Conference on 16 June 2011.

Ratifying C189 is important, urgent and a priority! Wide ratifications of C189 would benefit an estimated 100 million domestic workers around the world who for long have been unrecognized, neglected, and forgotten.

We commend Uruguay for being the first country to ratify C189.  We are optimistic that this step forward will encourage the rest of the world to follow in particular the Philippines which also committed to be among the first countries to ratify the Convention.

We call on States, employers, recruiters, civil society, religious groups, and the general public to become instruments of change and reinvent their views on domestic work. Specifically, we raise our call to the following:

  • Governments to ratify C189 and follow through on their ethical and legal obligations to extend to both local and migrant domestic workers the same rights as those of other workers.
  • Governments are urged to provide an enabling environment that will facilitate respect for rights, provide ample protection and promote holistic development of domestic workers.
  • Governments to include domestic workers in national labour laws and enact provisions that address the specific needs and concerns of domestic workers especially child domestic workers and migrant domestic workers.
  • Governments to repeal policies that disproportionately discriminate and criminalize domestic workers and effectively enforce existing policies that seek to promote the rights and welfare of domestic workers.
  • Governments, employers and the general public to recognize the contribution of domestic workers to the development of societies where they work and treat them with respect and dignity.
  • Recruiters to stop the exploitation of migrant domestic workers through collection of exorbitant recruitment fees which lead domestic workers into forced labor and debt bondage.
  • Trade unions and labour rights advocates to show their concrete support by assisting domestic workers  to exercise their right to association and to join or form a trade union
  • For trade unions to expand solidarity with migrant domestic workers across borders. Religious groups to take an active role in promoting public consciousness with respect to the culture of inequalities and stereotypes that work against domestic workers particularly women domestic workers.
  • Religious groups to continue with their role of providing refuge and comfort for domestic workers who have been exploited and abused.
  • Domestic workers to organize, speak for themselves and mobilize support for the ratification and implementation of C189.

Domestic Work is Work! Domestic Workers are Workers! Domestic Work is Not Slavery! Ratify C189!

Signed by:

ACTFORM- Sri Lanka


Ain O Salish Kendro (ASK)- Bangladesh

Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL– Philippines

Association for Community Development – Bangladesh

Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines- Migrants Center- Philippines

ATIKHA- Philippines

Bangladesh Institute of Labor Studies-Bangladesh

Batis Center for Women- Philippines

Cambodia Legal Education Center (CLEC) – Cambodia

Caritas Lebanon M igrant Center (CLMC)- Lebanon

Center for Indian Migrant  Studies (CIMS)- India

Center for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) – Nepal

Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) – Philippines

Coalition for Migrants Rights (CMR)- Hongkong

Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach – U.S.A.

Federasi Serikat Pekerja Metal Indonesia (FSPMI)- Indonesia

Federation of Free Workers (FFW)– Philippines

German Commission for Justice and Peace- Germany

Global Network- Asia

Helpers for Domestic Helpers (HDH)- Hongkong

Hongkong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) – Hongkong

Hope Workers Center (HWC)- Taiwan

Hsinchu Migrants and Immigrants Services Center (HMISC)

Humanitarian Organization for Migration and Economics (HOME)- Singapore

Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF)- Thailand

Institute of Social Development (ISD) – Sri Lanka

International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN)

JALA PRT- Indonesia

KAKAMMPI- Philippines

Kanlungan Centre Foundation- Philippines

Konfederasi Serikat Pekerja Indonesia (KSPI)-Indonesia

Labor Education and Research Network (LEARN) – Philippines

Labour Education Foundation (LEF) – Pakistan

Legal Support for Children and Women (LSCW)- Cambodia

Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) – Malaysia

Migrant Care- Indonesia

Migrant Forum in Asia

Migrant Forum India – India

Migrants Rights Council – India

National Domestic Workers Movement- India


Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee (PNCC)-Nepal


Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK) – Philippines


Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA-Academy) – India

Serikat Buruh Migran Indonesia (SBMI)- Indonesia

Solidarity Center

Sr. Immaculate De Alwis, ACTFORM- Sri Lanka

SUMAPI- Philippines

Tamkeen for Legal Aid and Human Rights – Jordan

Transient Workers Count Too- Singapore

Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC) – India

Unlad Kabayan Migrant Services Foundation, Inc. – Philippines

Union of Domestic Workers in Andhra Pradesh – India

Visayan Forum Foundation Incorporated- Philippines

WARBE Development Foundation – Bangladesh

Women Power Connect (WPC) – India

WOREC – Nepal

Youth Action Nepal (YOAC) – Nepal


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MFA is a regional network of non-government organizations (NGOs), associations and trade unions of migrant workers, and individual advocates in Asia who are committed to protect and promote the rights and welfare of migrant workers.

It is guided by a vision of an alternative world system based on respect for human rights and dignity, social justice, and gender equity, particularly for migrant workers.

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