ILO: 96% of domestic workers still do not benefit from full social protection

DESPITE the application of the International Convention of Domestic Workers a decade ago, around 96% of these workers worldwide still do not benefit from a full range of social “protection”, according to a new study by the International Organization Labor (ILO).

In its report “Making the right to social security a reality for domestic workers: a global review of policy trends, statistics and extension strategies”, the ILO said that only 6% of the 75.6 million domestic workers in the world are covered by medical care, illness, unemployment. , old age, accident at work, family, maternity, invalidity and survivors.

“About half of all domestic workers have no coverage, with the remaining half legally covered by at least one benefit,” the ILO said in a statement released Thursday.

“Even when legally covered, only one in five domestic workers are actually covered in practice as the vast majority are informally employed,” he added.

Most of those who benefit from full social protection are from Europe and Central Asia, while almost all of those employed in the Arab States, Asia and the Pacific and Africa do not. not.

This, he noted, makes the majority of domestic workers globally vulnerable compared to those employed in other sectors.

This became more apparent with the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, which led to the displacement or infection of many domestic workers.

“They have been among the hardest hit during the pandemic, with many losing their jobs and livelihoods. Many of those who kept their jobs were often exposed to the disease without sufficient protective equipment,” the ILO said.

To address the plight of these workers, the ILO has urged more countries to adopt the provisions of its Convention No. 189 or the 2011 Domestic Workers Convention or the 2011 Recommendation, which set out the basic standards for the protection of domestic workers.

The said Convention and Recommendation set minimum working standards for domestic workers, who should be on an equal footing with those employed in other sectors.

Currently, only 35 of the 187 member countries of the ILO have ratified Convention 189. Among the first countries to implement it are the Philippines.

The ILO has also recommended simplifying registration and payment procedures for registering domestic workers with relevant government agencies, which provide them with social protection.

He also proposed to promote inspection services, complaint and appeal mechanisms for domestic workers as well as the information campaign so that the workers concerned and the employers are informed of the said measures.

Joel C. Hicks