The Protection Of The Rights Of Domestic Servants: Home And Abroad

Domestic workers provide essential services (e.g. cleaning, cooking, childcare, gardening) in other peoples’ homes─which allows others to work outside the home.

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Domestic workers provide essential services (e.g. cleaning, cooking, childcare, gardening) in other peoples’ homes─which allows others to work outside the home. Thus domestic workers are an essential part of the labour market and the economy. The majority of the world’s domestic work is performed by women, predominantly poor women. Because they work in private homes, domestic workers face unique vulnerabilities. Usually, there is a great social and economic power imbalance. The aim of this work is to help domestic workers and their organizations, as well as lawyers, researchers, advocates and policymakers understand some of the legal challenges around domestic work. Models for addressing those challenges can also be found here.


Title Page                                                                                       i

Declaration                                                                                  ii

Certification                                                                             iii

Acknowledgement                                                                   iv

Dedication.                                                                                  v

Table of cases                                                                             vi

Table of Statutes and Conventions                                       vii

List of Abbreviations                                                                 viii

Abstract                                                                                         ix

Table of Contents.                                                                       x


  • Background of the Study
  • Statement of the problem
  • Research Questions
  • Aims and Objectives of the Study
  • Scope of the Study
  • Significance of the Study
  • Limitations of the Study
  • Research Methodology
  • Structure of the Study




2.1.1  Nature and meaning of Domestic Servants’ rights

2.1.2  The Historical Development of Domestic Servants

2.2.3  Identification of the Rights of Domestic Servants


2.2.1  Classical Marxist Theory

2.2.2  Classical Theory of Employment

2.2.3  Keynesian Theory of Employment

2.2.4  Summary of Literature

2.2.5  Gap in knowledge




3.1.1 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

3.1.2  Nigerian Labour Act

3.1.3  International Labour Organisation

3.1.4  C189: Domestic Workers’ Convention (ILO)

3.1.5  Domestic Work Employees-Labour Standard (California, US)

3.1.6. New York (US) Domestic Workers’ Bill of Right

3.1.7 South Africa Basic Conditions of Employment Act (Resource Guide forDomestic Workers & Employers)


4.1  Challenges to the Protection of the Rights of Domestic Servants

4.2  Statutory Limitation of the Protection of Domestic Servants’ Right; International viewpoint

  • Statutory Limitation of the Protection of Domestic Servants’ Rights; National viewpoint
  • Domestic Servants’ Responsibilities


  • summary of Findings
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations Bibliography


1.0                                                          INTRODUCTION

1.1                                            BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

A domestic worker (or servant) is a person who works within the scope of an individual’s residence. The term “domestic service” applies to the equivalent occupational category. In traditional English contexts, such a person was said to be “in service”.[Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.)] Domestic workers perform a variety of household services for an individual(s), from providing cleaning and household maintenance, or cooking, laundry and ironing, or care for children and elderly dependents, and other household errands. Such work has always needed to be done but before the Industrial Revolution and the advent of labour saving devices, it was physically much harder.

Some domestic workers live within their employer’s household. In some cases, the contribution and skill of servants whose work encompassed complex management tasks in large households have been highly valued. However, for the most part, domestic work tends to be demanding and is commonly considered to be undervalued, despite often being necessary. Although legislation protecting domestic workers is in place in many countries, it is often not extensively enforced. In many jurisdictions, domestic work is poorly regulated and domestic workers are subject to serious abuses, including slavery.

Protection for workers is needed, including work safety and social security, because there is special attention for women a worker because physically and generally women are weak. Likewise, the decency of women in the work environment is not covered by possible immoral acts and actions that can endanger their safety and decency so that they need to be guarded and prevented. The state as one of the parties in the obligation to provide protection for its citizens must be able to guarantee legal certainty for domestic workers who are outside their territory (International Organization for Migration, 2010). The practice of illegal recruitment can cause workers to be trapped in a debt-tied situation to go abroad. Often the workforce is not trained properly and does not understand their rights so it is easy to exploit. The countries of destination and transit often face problems with illegal migration, organized criminal networks involving people trafficking and people smuggling and other social problems. The transnational nature of labour migration requires the involvement of sending countries, transit and destination countries to face these challenges (International Organization for Migration, 2010).

Migrate or to try a decent livelihood in another country with the aim of improving the economy of the family does not necessarily be obtained easily. Because some of them must be passed very difficult, some of them must accept actions that are not in accordance with human rights, there are the existence of exploitation, discrimination and harsh treatment of the employer1.

None of this also became the forerunner of the initial thinking so that an international human rights agreement was made, namely The Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948.

1.2                                       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

  • Around the world, workers who work in isolation, where nobody is watching, are particularly vulnerable to violence and harassment at work. Domestic workers are just such workers. A workforce 67 million strong, domestic workers provide essential care for our homes and loved ones; yet, they frequently suffer forms of violence and harassment, exploitation, coercion, ranging from verbal abuse to sexual violence, and sometimes even death. Domestic workers who live in the homes of their employers are especially vulnerable. For many of them, daily abuses like lack of rest and non-payment of wages can quickly turn into forced labour. Sometimes it seems that domestic workers don’t have right of themselves. This work discuses the right of domestic servant.

1.3                                                   RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. Who are domestic servant?
  2. What are rights of domestic servants both locally and internationally?

iii.        What are problems faced by domestic servants?

  1. Domestic Workers Act?
  • The main aim of this research is to know the protection for domestic workers from the Human right Perspective for both locally and internationally. At the end of this work the legal right of domestic servants shall be discussed

1.5                                                     SCOPE OF THE STUDY

  • The result the protection for female domestic workers under international conventions is in line with human right. The result of this research are identified that and legal protections for migrant domestic servants primarily for domestic servants, where they are the most vulnerable subjects facing the violations human right such as physical violence of sexual. Human rights through its international legal instrument have become the main standard in the effort to create a regime of legal protections for domestic workers both when they are in their home country and especially when they are immigrants in the recipient country, the formation of international conventions such as the protection convention for migrant workers and its relatives and specifically the international Labour Organizations (ILO)

1.6                                              SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

  • This work will serve as an eye opener for both the writer and readers of the work. In this work the right of domestic servants shall be known. In this work, Legal protection for domestic servants under international conventions is in line with human rights, particularly Human and Cultural Rights, including the right to information, social security, and special attention to child labour, complaints, dispute resolution and special attention to the lives of workers. Although the substances of this Convention has not been fully regulated human rights in the field of Economic and Social Culture

1.7                                               LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

  • This work focused fully on how the legal right of domestic servants can be protected for both internationally and locally.

1.8                                              RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

In the course of carrying this study, numerous sources were used which most of them are by visiting libraries, consulting journal and news papers and online research which Google was the major source that was used.

1.9                                                STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY

The work is organized as follows: chapter one discuses the introductory part of the work,   chapter two presents the literature review of the related works,  chapter three describes laws and institutional framework for the protection of right of domestic servants, chapter four discusses protection of the rights of domestic servants, chapter five is on summary of findings, conclusion and recommendation.



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