Philippines praised for ratifying 'kasambahay' treaty

Posted at 09/06/12 12:52 AM

GENEVA - A landmark treaty on the protection of the up to 100 million domestic workers in the world will take effect within the next year, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said Wednesday.

The Philippines on Wednesday became the second country to ratify the treaty, which was passed in June 2011, after Uruguay ratified it on June 14 this year, according to the ILO, which requires two countries to ratify a treaty before it can go into effect.

"Today's ratification by the Philippines sends a powerful signal to the millions of domestic workers who will be protected when the Convention comes into force," ILO chief Juan Somavia said in a statement.

"I hope it will also send a signal to other member states and that we will soon see more and more countries committing to protect the rights of domestic workers," he added.

Domestic workers represent about 3.6 percent of waged employment worldwide, the ILO said.

In developing nations, domestic employment can meanwhile account for as much as 12 percent of the workforce, with women and girls -- many of them migrants -- holding around 83 percent of such jobs, it added.

The new convention ensures that domestic workers enjoy the same rights and conditions as other workers, including reasonable working hours, a full rest day every week, clear information on their terms and conditions of employment and the right to collective bargaining.