Decent work for Migrant Domestic Workers: An Unrealised Promise?

Decent work for Migrant Domestic Workers: An Unrealised Promise?

By Natalie Alkiviadou

International Slavery Museum - Albert Dock - Liverpool - Legacies of slavery - Migrant domestic workers and Kalayaan at the May Day Rally 2007

"International Slavery Museum - Albert Dock - Liverpool - Legacies of slavery - Migrant domestic workers and Kalayaan at the May Day Rally 2007" by ell brown 

Introduction

In 2019, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that there were approximately 11.5 million migrant domestic workers (MDWs) around the globe, 8.5 million of whom are women.  The entrance of women into the labour market and ageing populations have been central factors contributing to the rise in the demand of cheap female migrant domestic workers (FMDWs). FMDWs fill the gaps in ineffective systems of social welfare, which cannot support, inter alia, an ageing population. In this ambit, FMDWs are caught at the ‘the intersection of care work exploitation with gender, ethnic and migrant oppression in the context of a globalising world.’ This piece is based on research conducted on the situation of FMDWs in Cyprus and seeks to set out the international legal framework that exists to protect this group of workers.  

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