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)- Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China
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)- Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) – Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China
Hope Workers Center (HWC)- Taiwan, Province of China
Hsinchu Migrants and Immigrants Services Center (HMISC) – Taiwan, Province of China
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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