Study Shows Domestic Workers Endure Abuse, Cruelty Worldwide
Domestic workers worldwide face starvation, forced confinement, and regular physical and sexual abuse, concludes a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report released on Thursday. According to the report, "Swept Under the Rug: Abuses Against Domestic Workers Around the World," domestic workers, the vast majority of whom are women and children, are often vulnerable to persecution and cruelty because many countries lack minimum labor standards for domestic workers.
"Millions of women and girls turn to domestic work as one of the few economic opportunities available to them," said Nisha Varia, a senior researcher for the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, "Abuses often take place in private homes and are totally hidden from the public eye."
The report stressed the need for governments to regulate working conditions for domestic workers and to institute laws that hold employers accountable for meeting minimum human rights standards. While it is difficult to estimate the prevalence of abuse to domestic workers, the HRW reported that the embassies of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines in Saudi Arabia receive receive thousands of complaints about domestic abuse every year.
The report comprises five years of research on domestic work in El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Togo, United Arab Emirates and the US.
Media Resources: Human Rights Watch press release 7/27/06; Reuters 7/27/06
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .