The agenda of the meeting had as main points discussion on the program and action plan for this year. Taking into consideration the importance of ratification campaign on domestic workers Marieke Koning presented an update of the ITUC campaign: the work of domestic workers 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. Convention 189 recognises the right of domestic workers to join and form trade unions, which is still forbidden in many countries. It also protects the right to minimum wage in countries where it exists, and protects monthly payments and access to social security including in the case of maternity. In essence, the Convention guarantees that domestic workers are treated as any other worker under labour legislation. This Convention will enter into force once two countries have ratified it.
The ITUC had launched the “12 by 12” worldwide campaign on getting 12 countries to ratify Convention 189 by the end of 2012.
The PERC Women’s Committee fully supports the campaign and an increased number of organizations are joining it. Supporting the domestic workers campaign is one of the priority dimension in the work plan for this year. Other issues on the agenda: the organization of the Women’s School and Conference this year; the election procedures; changes in the terms of reference; information on the projects the committee is developing this year; contribution of PERC Women’s Committee for the general work plan of the PERC; preparation of the 8 March Survey on women’s representation in trade unions
The program and action plan for this year will be presented by the PERC Women’s Committee members for approval during the PERC Executive Committee to take place on 5 March in Brussels.