Statement on International Labour Day
KUALA LUMPUR 1 May, 2010: The first May Day in 1886 celebrated the successful struggle for an 8 hour work day. Today International Workers’ Day is celebrated as a public holiday throughout the world while most migrant domestic workers are still working about 12-16 hours a day, without a day off. For hundreds of millions of domestic workers however, decent working conditions are 124 years behind.
This International Workers Day, domestic workers in Asia urge their governments to support an International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention on Domestic Work this coming June. Together we must send the message that all workers, whether in a house or a factory, are workers deserving the same rights we fought to establish over a century ago.
Last year, the Malaysian government, through its reply to the ILO had opted to only support a weaker, non-binding international recommendation instead of an ILO Convention on Domestic Work. CARAM Asia a regional network member of NGOs and domestic workers associations across the Asia Pacific region feel that the time has come for governments to rectify an immoral practise that had prevailed for centuries, that is the slavery like treatment of domestic workers!