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Report for the Launch of the Domestic Workers Association Limited

Report for the Launch of the Domestic Workers Association Limited

70% (Uganda Labour Market Profile 2016) of the labour force is absorbed in the informal sector which remains insufficiently supported, not regulated and characterized with noncompliance with the labour standards (The Uganda National Employment Policy 2011). There is a constant growing section of female domestic workers in the informal sector of urban Uganda carrying out the paid domestic and care work of woman in the homes (PLA study profiling domestic work 2017). However, the negative societal biases and continued Feminization of domestic work has systemically normalized its nonregulation, non-recognition and under-valuing across society, in national laws, policies, and statistics. Whereas the current Employment Act 2006. The lack of legal protection has resulted into exploitation of domestic workers by employers and recruitment agents. Uganda has also not ratified ILO Convention 189 on decent work for domestic workers and either does it have specific regulation for Domestic work.

The hidden and invisible nature of domestic work leaves the women and youths working as Domestic workers isolated, unable to access information on their rights and responsibilities as they often come from rural areas to their employers’ homes without prior awareness and even those that are recruited through recruitment agents are neither oriented. This results into most domestic workers failing to perform their duties as expected leading to abuses such as verbal and physical abuses. (PLA study profiling domestic work 2017). Domestic workers also suffer economic, sexual and physical violence; with 4 out of 10 facing verbal and physical violence. (Platform for Labour Action Baseline Survey Report “Rights and Better Livelihood for Female Domestic Workers” Feb 2013). In addition, the hidden nature of domestic work serves a social barrier and undermines the freedom of association for domestic workers and thus they are not yet organised to collectively demand improved working conditions, as they have in other places such as South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania. Uganda lacks a trade union that effectively represents domestic workers, partly due to difficulty in collecting dues and the general low confidence in trade unions by workers.

The critical need for domestic workers in Uganda is legal regulation of domestic work and creation of a strong and effective network of domestic workers able to amplify their voices and collectively demand for improved working conditions that enable them access and benefit from social services.

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Platform for Labour Action (PLA) is a National Civil Society Organization that was founded in the year 2000. PLA is focused on promoting and protecting the rights of vulnerable and marginalized workers through empowerment of communities and individuals in Uganda.

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