Human Rights Watch: Domestic Workers Convention - Labor Rights Treaty to Take Effect
Migrant domestic workers are often at heightened risk of exploitation due to excessive recruitment fees, language barriers, and national policies that link workers’ immigration status to individual employers. Human Rights Watch has documented abuses against Filipino migrant domestic workers in Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Singapore, including beatings, confiscation of passports, confinement to the home, overlong working hours with no days off, and in some cases, months or years of unpaid wages.
The Domestic Workers Convention includes specific provisions to protect migrant domestic workers, including detailed requirements to regulate private employment agencies, investigate complaints, and prohibit the practice of deducting from domestic workers’ salaries to pay recruitment fees. The convention also requires that migrant domestic workers receive a written contract that is enforceable in the country of employment and requires governments to strengthen international cooperation to protect domestic workers.