“We have come together to join forces, to be heard, because we want to speak for ourselves,” said Ernestina Ochoa, a Peruvian domestic worker, at the close of the founding congress of the International Domestic Workers Federation in the Uruguayan capital.
New international migration figures released by the United Nations Wednesday show that more people than ever are living abroad. Around 232 million of the global population of seven billion are considered international migrants, simply defined as persons living outside their country of birth.
An international convention enters into effect on Thursday that could eventually extend labour rights to as many as 100 million domestic workers across the globe, a constituency that has historically been bypassed by national laws.
Lahandapurege Ariyawathie feels she got off lightly - if returning home with 24 nails embedded in your body is lucky.
“It’s really painful to work and not get paid. And I can’t report them, because I don’t have documents, or a contract,” Rossana, one of the many immigrant women working as domestic employees and caregivers in Spain, told IPS.
Tomson Chikowero was ashamed of his job. He did not want anyone finding out what he did to earn a living, so he used to wake up early every morning and leave his home in Hatfield, a residential suburb in Zimbabwe’s capital city Harare, under the cover of darkness.