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Domestic Workers Receive Human Rights Award

Domestic Workers Receive Human Rights Award
September 9, 2013—At least 50 domestic workers from seven countries marched into the main hall at the AFL-CIO quadrennial convention in Los Angeles Sunday, singing their signature song, to accept the George Meany–Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka presented the annual AFL-CIO award to the International Domestic Workers’ NetWork (IDWN) for supporting local domestic worker movements, building bridges between unions and domestic worker organizations and providing a voice for domestic workers at the international level.

Myrtle Witbooi, general secretary of the South African domestic workers union SADSAWU, accepted the award on behalf of the world’s domestic workers. (Watch the ceremony, beginning at 15 minutes into the video). In 2011, the international coalition of domestic workers secured passage of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers (C. 189). Convention 189 for the first time recognizes that the 53 million workers who labor in households, often in isolation and at risk of exploitation and abuse, deserve full protection of labor laws. The award proved timely: On September 5, the convention officially went into effect, providing millions of domestic workers worldwide with fundamental labor protections.

Source: Solidarity Center

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