Making Invisible Work Visible For Migrant Domestic Workers
Brief summary of presentation of information made
Alternative Title: I Work With No Rights, do You Care?
Statistics 67 Million domestic workers in the world, 11.5 million international domestic migrants, 73.5% are women. Therefore this is a gender issue.
Issues facing domestic workers are hidden; isolation, exploitation, denial of rights, abuse. Domestic work is not often recognized as work and therefore labour laws do not apply.
We should consider the larger global care chain. i.e. a woman travels for work and looks after the children of a family in another country, leaving her own family to be cared for by a domestic helper in her own country, the domestic worker’s family also need to be cared for.
Presenter from Centre for Research and Migrant worker in Indonesia said that 85% of the seven million migrant workers in Indonesia are women. She recommended that education needs to be strengthened for migrant works on skills, vulnerability, rights and that villages should take authority in connecting with workers.
Excessive agency fees, long working hours, multi-tasking, sexual harassment, low wages, are abuses taking place for migrant workers from Philippines, Nepal, India and Indonesia: see the film “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”.
Philip Oystom, UN Special Rapporteur, visited Saudi Arabia and spoke with diplomatic community, shelter workers, and government officials. All actors acknowledged problems. Government gives a Sim card, but women often do not have a mobile phone, there is a complaints hot line, but little record of complaints, inspections can be carried out in houses but no record of any. There are hundreds of criminal prosecutions, but none from domestic workers who have no legal representation.
What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?
Education in towns and villages should be strengthened to prepare women pre departure. i.e. Orientation programs.