|Foreign Domestic Workers Campaign Toolkit|
There are several push and pull factors that contribute to the growing ranks of foreign domestic workers (FDWs). Wealthy countries in the West, the Middle East and the fast growing economies in Asia, rely on labour migration to fill low-paying, labour intensive jobs with poor working conditions. Paid domestic workers help free women in expanding middle classes to work outside the home, where increased access for women to the formal labour market has not been matched with appropriate family-friendly working conditions and children options.
A new feature of international migration for work is the increase in the numbers of overseas women migrant workers, which in countries like the Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka exceed the numbers of male migrants. Women migrant workers are recruited into both skilled and unskilled jobs, the majority are concentrated in the low status jobs at the lower end of the job hierarchy, where they suffer abuse. Migrant workers face many problems throughout the migration process. Women migrant workers face these in a qualitatively different way from men and are often at a greater disadvantage. Women are disproportionately disadvantaged, despite their substantive contribution. Continued discrimination, violence and exploitation of women migrant workers thwart human development.
It is a drain on economic resources, productivity and economic growth. Protecting and empowering women foreign domestic workers thus promote gender equality, uphold basic human rights and ensure human development and good governance.
The health of domestic workers is often ignored. Health is the most important resource for people. It
goes beyond absence of disease and it includes the daily dealing with stress that domestic workers are facing. Health is more than the presence of physical disorders, and can only be seen in the context of the human rights of domestic workers. If these are not respected, domestic workers will have increased vulnerability, while having limited access to prevention and care. Many things have been said and suggested in the past to defend the rights of the foreign domestic workers in order to improve their health. This resource toolkit is an attempt to compile knowledge and make use of the tested activities of many years to serve the purpose of education and advocacy strategy and thus uphold and protect the rights of the foreign domestic workers with emphasis on health. As such it complements other initiatives to advocate domestic workers rights.
The Campaign Toolkit is also an outcome of the Regional Summit on Foreign Migrant Domestic workers from 26-28 August 2002 in Colombo Sri Lanka by CARAM Asia with the support of many UN agencies, regional organisations and migrant organisations with the objective of understanding the current status of FDWs and de^ning emerging isses in order to increase protection and reduce various forms of vulnerability especially to HIV/AIDS. The FDW Campaign Toolkit is designed to achieve the following objectives: ^ o enhance awareness and understanding of the vulnerabilities of foreign domestic workers to discrimination, exploitation and abuse throughout the migration process.
To recognise domestic work as work and as such it should be compensated in economic terms like any other work To enhance an understanding of overseas women foreign domestic workers not just as victims but as survivors and a productive force To promote policies, legislation and programmes that prevent abuse and protect and empower foreign domestic workers To facilitate the issue of integration of access to health care in the ensuing campaign.
We are sure with everyone committed to this cause; we will achieve the goal of defending the foreign domestic workers ights and their freedoms through the effective use of the toolkit.
PDF version of the toolkit is available for download below:
Section 4 -
05E - Assertiveness (410K)
09 - Policy Advocacy (410K)
10 - Utilising Media (410K)
11 - Developing Partnerships (409K)