Domestic workers' rights are on the agenda today in the European Parliament as the GUE/NGL Group holds a special conference that aims to increase pressure on EU governments to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on domestic workers' rights.

Opening the conference, GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer said: “There are 2.6 million domestic workers in the EU, of whom 89% are women and half are migrants. Domestic work is one of the most unprotected and invisible forms of work which means it is often very difficult for domestic workers to defend their labour and social rights through membership of a union. We must stand up for them and let their voices be heard.”

GUE/NGL MEP Mikael Gustafsson commented: “This Conference is an important contribution to the international campaign to keep up the pressure on EU member states to ratify and implement ILO Convention 189 on domestic workers' rights.

“The Convention is aimed at extending fundamental labour rights to an estimated 50 to 100 million domestic workers worldwide. Most of them are women who have experienced a lot of discrimination and abuse. Two years on from the historical adoption of Convention 189, it is time to go from words to action. All EU member states must ratify the Convention as soon as possible.”

In addition, Parliament's Employment committee voted in favour of a report from GUE/NGL MEP Inês Zuber this morning that calls for urgent ratification of the ILO Convention.

MEP Zuber commented: “Member states must ratify the 2011 ILO Convention concerning decent work for domestic workers. I consider that it is essential and necessary to retract the policies imposed by the European Semester, economic governance, and the budgetary consolidation policies imposed by the Troika (EU-ECB-IMF) in order to coherently uphold the principles of defending workers' rights which are laid out in this Convention.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group

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