A group of parliamentarians from Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka on Wednesday called for the ratification of the International Labour Organisation’s Convention on Domestic Workers to protect the rights of the workers.
The parliamentarians made the call in a joint statement at a dialogue organised by the Parliamentarians Caucus on Migration and Development of the Jatiya Sangsad, WARBE Development Foundation and Migrant Forum in Asia.
The migration caucus chairman Israfil Alam MP read out the statement.
The convention, which is the 189th ILO convention setting the minimum standard of decent domestic work, must be ratified to end abuse, exploitation and violence against the workers, the parliamentarians said in the statement.
A strong political will and commitment is needed to ratify the convention, they said.
Domestic workers are neither servants nor second class workers and they are also entitled to decent work like other workers, they said.
‘We, members of parliament from Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka joined by the representatives from the labour ministries of Nepal and Sri Lanka and civil society gathered together in Dhaka to reaffirm our commitment to support and ratify the ILO Convention 189 on Domestic workers,’ they said.
‘We commit to strengthen our cooperation with other members of parliament in the South Asia region to further the protection of the rights and dignity of all domestic workers,’ they said in the statement.
The ILO estimates that 164 million people are migrant workers and 98 per cent among them are men and 68 million are women.
The migrant domestic workers represent 7.7 per cent of global migrant workers and around 8.5 million or 73.4 per cent of all migrant domestic workers are women worldwide.
In Asia, domestic workers work is a significant sector of employment with estimate of 21 million in Asia and another 2 million in the Middle East.
In Bangladesh, 1.3 million are in household work and among them 80 per cent are female and most of them are children and young in age.
Asia hosts the biggest number of domestic workers but only one country in the region had ratified the ILO convention.
Shamim Haider Patwary MP, Samsun Nahar MP, Rezaul Karim Bablu MP, member of Caucus and former MPs Roksana Yeasmin Suty, Selina Jahan Lita and Hosne Ara Lutfa Dalia, Nepal parliament member Ram Kumari Jhakri and Sri Lankan parliament members Kasadoruge Sujith Perera and JC Alawathuwala, WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haue and Peace4film Foundation executive director Pervez Siddiqui were present at the dialogue.