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Report/Press release

"Yes, We Did It!" How the World's Domestic Workers Won Their International Rights and Recognition




Celia Mather


On June 16, 2011, the worlds domestic workers and their supporters achieved a major step forward in extending worker and human rights. On that day, representatives of governments, employers and trade unions, meeting at the annual International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland, voted for a new Convention to protect the worlds domestic workers.

This booklet outlines the how Convention C189 was achieved and the lessons that can be learnt for others who wish to promote a global society based on equality, justice, respect and rights for all. In particular, this booklet focuses on and celebrates the role of domestic workers themselves and that of their organizations as the fundamental players in making their own history.


El 16 de junio de 2011, las trabajadoras del hogar y sus aliados dieron un enorme paso en la ampliación de los derechos humanos y de los trabajadores. Ese día representantes de gobiernos, empleadores y sindicatos, reunidos en la Conferencia Internacional del Trabajo (CIT) en Ginebra, Suiza, aprobaron un nuevo convenio para proteger a las trabajadoras del hogar de todo el mundo.

Esta guía explica como el convenio C189 fue obtenido y qué lecciones pueden extraer quienes quieran promover una sociedad basada en la equidad, la justicia, el respeto y los derechos para todos. En particular, esta guía pone atención el rol de las trabajadoras del hogar y sus organizaciones, siendo protagonistas fundamentales de su propia historia que ellas mismas construyeron.

Responsible institution

Women in informal Employment : Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)


Economic sectors

Occupations in services - Domestic work and Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations

Content types

Support initiatives

Target groups

Researchers and NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Geographical focuses

Quebec, International Organizations, Global relevance, and National relevance

Spheres of activity

Gender and sexuality studies and Social work


English and Spanish