Published: 16/06/2020

On June 16, 2020, International Domestic Workers Day, the IUF and its affiliates stand in solidarity with domestic workers around the world and their organization, the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF).

The estimated 69 million domestic workers worldwide who provide essential personal and household care face the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lack of recognition as workers and multiple exploitations due to class, gender, race, and their migrant status have exacerbated their vulnerabilities and precariousness and exposed them to the full force of a global health emergency in which they are largely excluded from employment protection, social security and health services.

Many domestic workers have been plunged into overnight poverty as their employers turned them away without compensation. Many face eviction and homelessness and are unable to access food and medication. Many who have retained their jobs or are returning to work lack personal protective equipment.

The IDWF has grown dramatically since its founding congress in 2013, with the full support of the IUF, in which it forms a special group.

To mark the day, IDWF organised a webinar with its affiliates, the ILO and long-standing allies, in which  IUF General Secretary Sue Longley and EFFAT-IUF General Secretary Kristjan Bragason proudly took part (CLICK HERE to watch the video). The IUF General Secretary recalled the importance of June 16 as the day in 2011 when ILO Convention 189, the Domestic Workers Convention, was adopted after years of organizing and campaigning by domestic workers, and that “The Convention stresses both the significant contribution that domestic workers make to the global economy but also that this work continues to be undervalued and invisible. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that contradiction – the significant contribution of workers that is not recognized or valued by society at large. It underlines the importance of the struggle to get more ratifications and implementation of C189 so that domestic workers, like other workers, have the protection of social security and furlough schemes. So celebrate today but get ready to fight tomorrow for more ratifications and for justice for domestic workers.”  

CLICK HERE to learn more about IDWF and how you can contribute to their solidarity fund to provide emergency support to members in the COVID-19 crisis.