LEGAL frameworkS



The ILO provides the legal global framework for migrant domestic workers. Until 2021, several conventions and declarations have been developed, inter alia the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998), Migration for Employment Convention, 1949 (No. 97), Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111), Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975 (No. 143), Private Employment Agencies Convention, 1997 (No. 181), Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration (2006). The most recent Convention has been concluded in 2011: The Domestic Workers Convention (C189) and the Domestic Workers Recommendation (No. 201). The Domestic Workers Convention sets new labour standards for domestic workers, such as rest hours, minimum wage, protective measures. It has been ratified by 35 countries. For more information, click here.


Some regions have their own agreements, institutions, or systems in place that greatly affect the situations of migrant domestic workers.

In Latin America for example, the MERCOSUR bloc greatly facilitates the movements of people among member states (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) through different migration-related agreements, establishing equal labor rights between nationals and migrants from member-states.

In the Middle East, specifically in GCC countries, migration is dictated by the norms of the Kafala system, a visa sponsorship system which grants great power to employers over their employees, thus making migrant domestic workers more vulnerable to experiencing abusive employment situations.