90% of domestic workers excluded from social protection: ILO

Mar 16, 2016 11:50 IST

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) on 14 March 2016 announced that around 90 percent of domestic workers in the world are excluded from social protection.

It was revealed by the ILO in its Social Protection Policy Paper 16 entitled Social protection for domestic workers: Key policy trends and statistics.

Highlights of Social Protection Policy Paper 16

60 million of the world’s 67 million domestic workers still do not have access to any kind of social security coverage.

• The vast majority of domestic workers are women, accounting for 80 per cent of all workers in the sector globally.

• Most of their work is undervalued and unprotected. When domestic workers become old or injured, they are fired, without a pension or adequate income support.

• As female workforce highly subject to social and economic vulnerability, policies to extend social protection to domestic workers are key elements in the fight against poverty and the promotion of gender equality.

• The largest gaps in social security coverage for domestic work are concentrated in developing countries, with Asia and Latin America representing 68 per cent of domestic workers worldwide.

• The study revealed that social protection deficits for domestic workers also persist in some industrialized countries.

• In Italy, for example, some 60 per cent of domestic workers are not registered with, or contributing to, social security systems.

• In Spain and France, 30 per cent of domestic workers are excluded from social security coverage.

• It cautioned that migrant domestic workers – currently estimated at 11.5 million worldwide – often face even greater discrimination.

• Around 14 per cent of countries whose social security systems provide some type of coverage for domestic workers do not extend the same rights to migrant domestic workers.

• Apart from mandatory coverage, the strategies to protect them should include fiscal incentives, registration plans, awareness-raising campaigns targeting domestic workers and their employers as well as service voucher mechanisms.

• Domestic work should also be integrated into broader policies aimed at reducing informal work.

• The coverage of domestic workers by social security schemes is feasible and affordable, including in lower middle and low-income countries, as evidence from Mali, Senegal and Viet Nam clearly demonstrates.

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