South Asian lawmakers and civil society call for ratification of ILO Convention 189 to protect migrant domestic workers

Author: Rasika Somarathna, Daily News, Published on: 29 February 2020

Call to ratify ILO Domestic Workers’ Convention, 2 March 2020

Parliamentarians, Civil Society members and the Media from several Asian countries including Sri Lanka gathered in Dhaka, Bangladesh...to support and discuss the path towards ratifying the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 189 a landmark treaty for the world’s “invisible workforce”, the domestic workers.

The gathering included representatives from Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippines and the ILO...

This is the 189th ILO convention and was adopted during the 100th session of the International Labour Organization. It came into force on September 5, 2013.

The Convention will ensure the provision of the same basic labour rights to workers who care for families and households as those available to other workers.

This includes a minimum wage, clear terms and conditions of employment, daily and weekly (at least 24-hours) rest time, restrictions on in-kind payments, and respect for the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Both the migrant and domestic workers come under this convention.

...If all goes according to plan Sri Lanka may well become the first country in South Asia to ratify the ILO C189 with all the new laws and regulations in place...

 ...effective implementation of the convention could minimise the exploitation and ensure decent work for domestic workers, both at home and abroad... not only C189 but supporting the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) endorsed by the UN member states in 2018 too was important in protecting the rights of migrant domestic workers...

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