Dimapur, June 16: The National Domestic Workers movement – Nagaland Region in collaboration with Assisi Centre for Integrated Development and All Nagaland Domestic Workers Union joined the rest of the world in commemorating the International Domestic Workers Day on the theme “Making Decent Work a Reality beyond COVID-19 for Domestic workers” on Wednesday at ACID Hall, DImapur.
On the occasion, Sr. Pramila Lobo UFS, the coordinator of the NDWM Nagaland highlighted on the significance of the day, the struggles faced by the domestic workers, their concerns as well as their demands from the state as well as the central government.
The day also marked the 10th anniversary of the adoption of ILO Convention 189 on decent work for domestic workers. The convention defines domestic work as work performed in or for households. It recognizes the significant contribution domestic workers make to the global economy and affirms that they may have the same basis labour rights as those available to other workers.
She said that the Convention will bring no changes to domestic workers in India if it is not ratified by the Government of India. The need of the hour therefore is solidarity for the cause of domestic workers and expressed concern as to why ten long years is needed to give due recognition to the workers, she added.
The domestic workers on the occasion put forward a number of demands to the Government of India which included comprehensive legislation for domestic workers, registration of all domestic workers by the Labour Department, Rs 10000 should be given to each domestic worker as compensation for loss of work, and prioritize vaccination for domestic workers.
The workers also demanded the state government for recognition of domestic workers as workers, protection against all types of harassment, social security and access to benefits, inclusion of domestic workers in schedule of employment and thus entitled to minimum wages, and contract for domestic workers.
From the employer, they demanded that the domestic workers are treated with respect, the employers recognize their work, pay decent wage, guarantee sufficient rest, provide decent working condition and provide weekly off, paid holidays, and sick leaves.
The Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation (NVCO) observed International Domestic Workers’ Day on Wednesday at Kohima.
NVCO stated that domestic workers were among those affected most by the COVID-19 outbreak and their contribution to households have been immense, even while the pandemic has threatened their livelihood.
It said that they are among the most vulnerable groups of workers, an estimated 67.1 million people are employed in domestic work around the world, most of them women. The use of children as domestic workers continues to be common in parts of the world, including Nagaland, and they are very vulnerable to exploitation and physical violence, it added.
NVCO President Kezhokhoto Savi said that on June 16, 2011, the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted a landmark treaty, the convention on decent work for Domestic Workers.
The treaty is the first to set out the rights of domestic worker; it requires countries to guarantee domestic workers the same rights as other workers.
And since the adoption of ILO Convention 189 on decent work for domestic workers, many countries around the world have worked to improve their protection.
Therefore this year, the ILO is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Convention 189. However, Domestic Workers are still fighting for equality and decent working conditions and demanded to be recognized as ‘domestic worker’ and not as ‘maid’ or ‘helper’ or ‘servant’, he said.
(Page News Service)