Commemoration of the first anniversary of the Adoption of ILO Convention No. 189 - Decent Work for Domestic Workers, June 16, 2011

Keywords : Declarations Gender Equality

As we join millions of workers all over the world to mark the first anniversary of the adoption
of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 189 (Decent Work for Domestic
Workers), ITUC-Africa wishes to appreciate all social partners, civil social organisations and
particularly, domestic workers who all participated in the historic realization of this feat. It was
a victory for home-workers and working families; it was a victory for good cause; it was a
victory for justice.

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Statement first anniversary of the Adoption of ILO Convention No. 189

ILO Convention No. 189 like other conventions and recommendations and protocols of similar
international and multilateral agencies is aimed at providing the conditions for the defense,
protection and promotion of the rights of Domestic Workers. The adoption of the Convention
is a testament to the recognition of the roles, contributions and importance of Domestic
Workers to the growth of the national economy. Indeed, it is our shared view that the
adoption of the Convention has helped to shred the obscurity and exclusion that hitherto
Domestic Workers have suffered. They have thus been thrown to better visibility and
attention.

Most Domestic Workers are women and many are children who spend long hours working
instead of being at school. They are often excluded from labour and social protection. Part of
the reason for this is that domestic work takes place in the home and involves, to a large
extent, tasks that women have traditionally carried out without pay.

We must never forget that these home-workers who perform a range of tasks in other
people’s households as cooks, cleaners, laundry persons, baby sitters, care givers to the elderly
or persons with disability and others who may work as gardeners, guardians or family
chauffeurs need our support to ensure the ratification and effective implementation of this
instrument.

It is our task and duty to join in the aggressive push for national ratification and
implementation of this Convention. ITUC-Africa therefore calls on all its affiliates and trade
union organisations in Africa to join in and support the “12 by 12” campaign, which is aimed at
getting 12 Governments to ratify the ILO Convention 189 by the end of 2012. We also ask that affiliates support and coordinate national actions to assist and accompany the ILO Convention
189 ratification processes and its effective implementation.

ITUC-Africa urges African Governments to join this global movement for the protection and
promotion of Domestic Workers’ rights by ratifying Convention 189 and committing to taking
the necessary steps for its domestication and effective implementation.
Together we can continue to make changes and progress in the lives and welfare of Domestic
Workers in particular and African workers as a whole.

Issued at Lomé, 16th June 2012.

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