June 16, 2013 was International Domestic Workers Day
Monday, June 24, 2013
June 16, 2013 is International Domestic Workers Day, a day that marked the second anniversary of the historic adoption, at the 100th International Labor Conference in Geneva in 2011, of the International Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers, ILO Convention No. 189 (sometimes called the “Domestic Workers Convention”). For the first time, this convention guaranteed basic labor rights for domestic workers wherever they are found in the world.
At the Brazilian Immigrant Center, we mark this day by congratulating all the women who care for homes, children, the sick, the disabled, and the elderly across the world. This is no small number of workers! The ILO estimates 53 million people do domestic work globally, and the job is the 11th most common on earth for women. In the United States, an estimated 2,500,000 domestic workers perform this work that makes all other kinds of work possible, including an estimated 100,000 in Massachusetts, and more than 60,000 in Connecticut. In the home country of so many of us, Brazil, over 7 million work as domestic workers.
Domestic workers have very few rights, and here as elsewhere, this job is not recognized as a real profession, or a job that requires real skills. Far too often this leaves domestic workers invisible, mistreated, and undercompensated for the valuable work that they do.
With the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and the Massachusetts Coalition for Domestic Workers, the Brazilian Immigrant Center proudly takes its place in the movement to achieve respect, recognition and equal labor rights for domestic workers -- here in New England, at the national level through our alliances with active movements in eleven other US states, and with our sisters all over the globe.