Published: 10/09/2013

At a ceremony on September 8, during the AFl-CIO Convention in Los Angeles, the International Domestic Workers’ Network, IDWN, received the 2013 Meany-Kirkland Human Rights Award. AFL-CIO president, Richard Trumka, paid a vibrant tribute to the IDWN for its inspiring and innovating efforts to get domestic workers organized and their rights recognized worldwide.

The IDWN chair, Myrtle Witbooi, was accompanied by the general secretary, Elizabeth Tang, the steering committee member from Indonesia, Sayuti, as well as an impressive delegation from one of the IDWN founding members, the US National Domestic Workers’ Alliance.

In her speech, Myrtle Witbooi said that as a young domestic worker in apartheid South Africa, sitting alone in a back room she had a dream. 46 years later our common dream as domestic workers has been translated into ILO Convention 189. But as long as it is on paper only and not yet a reality for all domestic workers the struggle has to continue. In this struggle everybody in the labour movement is needed to free domestic workers from slavery. The time for thanking Madam for the salary is over – we have earned it!

Richard Trumka accepted her challenge to fight for labour rights for domestic workers in every single state of the US and he said it was a privilege to be in partnership with NDWA and the IDWN in this struggle.

You can follow the ceremony and listen to the speeches by clicking here

On the IDWN web site, you can also read about the launch of the African regional network