World Day of Social Justice: A Glance at Domestic Workers in the GCC

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Feb 19 2014

In 2007, the United Nations declared February 20 as the World Day of Social Justice. The pursuit of social justice requires us to remove barriers based on gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, and disability.

In 2008, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and representatives of governments, employers, and workers adopted the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization. The declaration holds that development and human dignity can only be achieved through fair employment, decent work, and social protection for all.

Promoting social justice also entails advancing gender equality and migrant rights.  Globally, significant progress has been achieved in advancing the labor and social rights of migrant workers but much inequity still remains; amongst the most acute obstacles to achieving social justice is the enduring plight of domestic workers, whose labor is often undervalued and unprotected.  In the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), the Sponsorship system furthermore compounds the issues domestic workers face by rendering them overly dependent on employers and consequently, at further risk for exploitation.

The infographic below spotlights the conditions of migrant domestic workers throughout the GCC. Learn more through our campaign to legislate rights for domestic workers.

MigrantRightsInfographic

Sources:

ILO Report: Tricked and Trapped: Human Trafficking in the Middle East 

The Situation of Migrant Domestic Workers in Arab States

Migration of Women Workers from South Asia to the Gulf

Hope for Reform Springs Eternal

Household help? Ethiopian women domestic workers' labour migration to the Gulf countries

Domestic Workers Count

ILO Report: Domestic Workers Across the World

Human Rights Watch

Saudi Gazette

The Himalayan Times

Advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the Middle East