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IDWF Statement on the May Day 2017: Uniting for a World of Democracy, Human Rights and Social Justice for all

IDWF Statement on the May Day 2017: Uniting for a World of Democracy, Human Rights and Social Justice for all

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by IDWFED published May 01, 2017 12:00 AM
International Workers' Day, celebrated on the First of May, commemorates the historic struggle of working people throughout the world.

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GLOBAL -

International Workers' Day, celebrated on the First of May, commemorates the historic struggle of working people throughout the world.

On May Day 2017 domestic workers of the world have much to celebrate.  We have struggled hard to build strong organization, unity and global solidarity and have achieved a lot:

  • The IDWF itself has grown rapidly with more than 61 affiliates in 49 countries representing over half a million domestic workers and with a strong, all women leadership
  • Since 2011, 23 countries have ratified the ILO Domestic Workers Convention 189 and nearly 50 countries have enacted improved legal protections for domestic workers.

But, the World is an increasingly threatening and insecure place for all workers, and especially for the most vulnerable, such as domestic workers.  Most of us are women from poor communities, and despite our achievements most of us still work informally, without worker or social protection.  And many of us are migrants. Our struggle is becoming harder as the political and economic situation deteriorates, with anti-worker, anti-poor policies increasingly adopted.  Democracy has become a sham in many countries as right-wing demagogues take power.

  • We are alarmed at the growing inequality: Since 2015, the richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet.  Domestic workers are amongst those at the lowest end of this spectrum. The greed and corruption in the private and public sectors is widely acknowledged, but ignored by those in power who are often complicit by voluntarily handing over power to those who should be politically controlled.
  • We are alarmed at the increasing racism, xenophobia, and human rights abuses of migrant domestic and other workers, fuelled by government policies and reckless actions by politicians
  • We are alarmed at the violence and abuse of women at work and in their homes, including that meted out to domestic workers by employers, and the lack of effective preventative or punitive measures in many countries
  • We are further alarmed at the growing number of cases of human trafficking and forced labour. Many domestic workers become slaves to agents and to employers; others are trapped into sex work. Authorities do little to stamp this out.

We cannot allow this to continue! 

Let us use May Day 2017 to intensify our struggle against economic and political decline and human rights abuses.  Let domestic workers and allies be at the forefront of the struggle for economic, political, and gender equality.

Let us unite for a World where there is true democracy,

human rights and social justice for all.


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