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Unite calls for humane protections for domestic workers

Unite calls for humane protections for domestic workers
- UK must not sit apart from international convention
Unite has paid tribute to the vital contribution of domestic workers who continue to be some of the most vulnerable in the UK as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) introduces its convention on domestic workers.
Agreed by workers, employers and governments from across the world, Unite, the UKs largest trade union, says that the UK government must also take action to support the convention.
Unite says the absence of basic rights for domestic workers places them at huge risk of exploitation and they need better protection from the UK government.
Diana Holland, Unite assistant general secretary, who was part of the historic settlement at the International Labour Organisations conference and a long-standing campaigner for the rights of domestic workers, said:
Domestic workers are excluded from basic working rights and face the real threat of abuse such as insults, threats, alongside physical and even sexual abuse. This Convention is a real step forward for justice for these domestic workers some of the most vulnerable and exploited workers in the world.
We call on the UK government to support these workers. One of the first things they must to is lift the threat to the overseas domestic worker visa, which ended modern day slavery in this country and offers essential protections but is now poised to go.
Domestic workers are some of the most vulnerable workers in the world. Migrant domestic workers are particularly susceptible to abuse. They frequently work excessively long hours, without breaks, days off or holidays, are often on very low wages or have their wages withheld.
Many are not paid at all, or will only receive payment in kind such as food or accommodation. While others experience a lack of food and poor living conditions such as having to sleep on the floor in a utility room. All domestic workers need every protection they can get.
Marissa Begonia, UK domestic workers' representative at the conference, a migrant domestic worker and member of Unite, strongly welcomed the achievement and reminded everyone of why it is needed. She said, Every government worldwide, including the UK, now needs to take action to implement it. We dont want excuses and we dont need any more delays. Domestic workers are workers and need the recognition and respect they deserve.
"No one knows what goes on behind closed doors but adopting this convention in the UK can help send a clear signal that abuse will not be tolerated."


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