Their work is undervalued, underpaid, invisible, not recognised, and not respected. The majority of domestic workers are women (82%) – many are migrants or children.
In many countries domestic workers are excluded from labour legislation and social protection schemes. Many are denied the right, either in law or in practice, to form or join a trade union. As a result, mistreatment, exploitation, violence, and physical and sexual abuse are frequent and often go unpunished.
In June 2011 the UN body that deals with labour issues, the ILO (the International Labour Organisation), adopted Convention 189 (C189) and Recommendation 201 (R201) on Domestic Workers.
The ITUC launches the “12 by 12” worldwide campaign on getting 12 countries to ratify Convention 189 by the end of 2012.