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Asia lags in protecting domestic workers, says report

Around 40 per cent of domestic workers globally are employed in Asia and yet the region has been slow in enacting reforms, according to a report which also says domestic labourers in countries like India, Nepal and Sri Lanka face horrific abuses.

Despite major progress in other parts of the world, Asia has been lagging behind in enacting labour reforms, according to the report released by the International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Human Rights Watch.

“Domestic workers from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Cambodia experience horrific abuses. These governments should pick up the pace of reform to introduce long overdue protections for both domestic workers at home and those migrating abroad,” Nisha Varia, women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch said.

The groups are releasing a new report assessing progress since the 2011 adoption of the Domestic Workers Convention, a groundbreaking treaty entitling domestic workers to the same basic rights as other workers, a statement here said.

Asia to the Middle East experience a wide range of abuses, including unpaid wages, restrictions on leaving the households where they work, and excessive work hours with no rest days.

Some may face psychological, physical, or sexual abuse and can get trapped in situations of forced labour, including trafficking.

Under the new convention, domestic workers are entitled to the same basic rights as those available to other workers.

The report notes incremental reforms in India, Singapore, and Thailand. India extended a health insurance scheme to domestic workers in May 2012 and included them in a 2013 law prohibiting workplace sexual harassment.

Recent International Labour Organisation (ILO) research found that while child labour in other sectors has declined in recent years, child domestic labour increased by nine per cent between 2008 and 2012. - PTI

Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 @ 16:26:49 LKT by

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