16 August 2018

Southern Africa: SADC Member States Urged to Ratify ILO Convention 189

WINDHOEK - Representatives of domestic workers unions from five SADC countries have urged member countries in the region to ratify International Labour Organisation (IOL) Convention 189 on decent work for domestic workers.

In 2011, the International Labour Conference voted to adopt Convention 189 which, mandates state supported protection to ensure decent work for domestic workers.

Yet to date, only Mauritius, South Africa and Guinea have ratified and submitted the convention.

Domestic workers union leaders from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi and Namibia gathered in Windhoek over the weekend to celebrate the International Domestic Workers Day.

The purpose of the gathering was also to prepare themselves for February 2019 when the SADC meeting of labour movement will take place to discuss labour issues.

In a media statement on Sunday, union leaders reminded all SADC government of the urgent need to restore the rights of domestic workers from exploitation within employment by ratifying the convention.

"To raise our voices strongly, we call upon our government to ratify the ILO C189 immediately," said the union leaders from five SADC countries.

"This instrument has given domestic workers instrumental power to fight for justice and rights, in our countries, domestic workers and their families deserve decent work and dignity like any other workers," read the statement.

"We hope our message is clear we want Ratification of C189 NOW!!!!! While they are busy- discussing us we are in their homes cleaning, looking after theirs family and playing roles of chefs without degree," they said.

Therefore we are saying "Watch this space next year, our voices will be heard inside and outside. Convention 189 is ours, it belongs to us, so ratification now."

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