As of the 15th June 2018 the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights has released a report entitled Out of Sight: Migrant women exploited in domestic work.
The extensive fieldwork and desk research carried out by FRA for the report is the first to look comprehensively into various fundamental rights abuses in private homes across Europe of domestic workers in EU Member States. The report effectively utilizes an interview process to reveal the extent of the abuses which occur daily against female domestic workers within the EU.
For example, one interviewee stated the following:
“I started at 04.30, I go and wake up the kids and make breakfast and go to the school. When I come in from the school I prepare lunch and dinner. I had no rest. Just continuous.
(United Kingdom, interviewee from the Philippines)
The report aims to fill the knowledge gap, thus challenging the current climate of implicit acceptance of severe labour exploitation of female domestic workers.
It identifies risk factors contributing to such exploitation and discusses means of improving the situation. It highlights the challenges faced by EU institutions and Member States in making the rights of domestic workers who have moved within or into the EU to decent working conditions a reality. It aims to support them in preventing severe labour exploitation, monitoring situations where severe labour exploitation occurs and making victims’ right to have access to justice a reality.
An EU-level consensus is needed which states that severe labour exploitation is unacceptable and that all domestic workers are entitled to the effective protection of their rights. If the EU and its Member States are serious about maintaining national and international labour standards, accepting systemic labour exploitation is not an option.
We at time for Equality are committed to the topic of domestic workers and domestic slavery, as a result we deem it necessary to disseminate resources which can further inform citizenry of the various social issues which exist at both a domestic and EU level.
Photo: from “A Woman Captured” a multi-awarded documentary film (2017) on domestic slavery by Bernadette Tuza-Ritter.
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Time For Equality is a non for profit association based in Luxembourg. Our objective is to make a difference both within and across borders through advocacy and awareness raising using the power of stories and the arts to reach individuals.
Arron Mc Ardle
I am a legal researcher and writer with a passion for the delineation and dissemination of global human rights issues.