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Realizing the rights of domestic workers

McGill University, Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory


The international community considers that providing decent work for domestic workers is a priority, but often these workers are not afforded the same rights as other economic actors. They are often marginalized or unable to claim their rights due to their relative invisibility. The ILO Decent Work for Domestic Workers Convention (No. 189) prioritized these issues, but much policy and regulation remains to be written – and such laws must reach those who work in private homes.

This project focuses on establishing a community of engaged socio-legal academics to evaluate and support policy innovation, in the form of an observatory to be housed at McGill University. It builds on the existing capacity fostered by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation Leaders’ Opportunity Fund’s Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory and its database on labour norms for domestic workers.

The studies, to be carried out in four countries, will support innovation and knowledge sharing to help domestic workers transition from servitude to workplace citizenship.

Duration: March 2012 – February 2014
Funding: CA$40,985


Collaborating institutions
McGill University
IDRC funds researchers in the developing world so they can build healthier, more prosperous societies
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