Domestic workers want June 16 as their day

More than a thousand workers gathered at DCC Hall, near Gole Dak Khana in Delhi to demand June 16 to be recognised as Domestic Workers’ Day.

They demanded basic human rights to be followed and implemented for domestic workers in the country.

This is the first time such a day has been observed. Last year on the same day the International Labour Organisation adopted Domestic Workers’ Convention (C189) for domestic workers’ rights. Though India supported the convention, it still has to ratify it. The workers gathered demanded government representatives and the ILO to declare June 16 as domestic workers’ day.

Saadya Hamdani, senior gender specialist, ILO said, “India has nearly 50 lakh domestic workers out of which 80 per cent are women. Governments should work to look after these women and their children.”

India has already formulated a national policy for domestic workers, along with the National Advisory Council (NAC) making recommendations. Domestic work is the largest sector of women employment in the country which is estimated to have grown by over 200 per cent since 1999-2000 due to fast changing socio-economic scenario.

“Their work is an important aspect of the country’s economy,” said Hamdani.
Dr Charu Walikhanna, member, National Women’s Commission, said, “The job of domestic workers is very important as people do this after leaving their family including children and the elderly, with faith on domestic workers.”

Emphasising the demand for a domestic worker’s day, Kamal Chand, project manager, Domestic Workers Forum, said, “The demands of the domestic workers are to pass the National Legislation for the domestic workers, to ratify C189, in addition to including domestic work in 6th schedule of minimum wage act.” 

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