Brazilian Worker Center

Fighting for Social and Economic Justice


June 16 is International Domestic Workers Day, a day that marked the adoption of the International Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers, ILO Convention No. 189 in 2011 (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. Incredibly, this convention has already been adopted by 17 countries, though the United States is not one of them yet.

At the Brazilian Worker 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 40,000 in Connecticut. In the home country of so many of us, Brazil, over 7 million work as domestic workers.

We are fortunate to be engaged with recent and ongoing movements here in Massachusetts and Connecticut that have achieved real gains for domestic workers: a full and strong Bill of Rights in Massachusetts, now in the process of being implemented, and a Domestic Worker Bill in Connecticut that acknowledges domestic workers’ civil and human rights, which is a huge victory toward according domestic workers respect, dignity, and protection under CT state labor law. The Connecticut legislature’s Domestic Worker Task Force, where BWC has three members, by October 2015 will recommend further provisions for expanding domestic worker rights in a more complete Bill of Rights in 2016.

With six states now having already increased labor rights for domestic workers – New York, Hawaii, California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Oregon – the movement is growing and having powerful effects in improving state-level labor protections around the nation.

With the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and other allies in Massachusetts and Connecticut, the Brazilian Worker 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 seventeen other US states, and with our sisters all over the globe. We thank you for your support and for your participation with us in this movement!

updated: 1 year ago