13 June 2018










Montreal, May 2nd, 2018

Hereby, the International Center for Workers Solidarity (CISO), the Quebec Committee women and development of AQOCI (CQFD) and their partners invite you to support our Campaign to Ratify Convention 189 on domestic workers, adopted by the majority of the members of the International Labor Organization (ILO), including Canada, in 2011.
However, in 2018, Canada still hasn’t ratified the convention. It is time for the Canadian government to remedy this situation in order to recognize the status of domestic workers and to assert their rights, in all equality. To this end, it is essential to build broad popular in support of this ratification.

In Canada, since the mid-1950s, female domestic workers, overwhelmingly racialized people from immigration, have marked economic development of the country, without ever receiving the recognition due to them, their work remaining most often invisible and poorly valued socially. Policies towards them are most often intended to exploit their labor power and not to defend their human rights.  Today, there are approximately 25,000 of these workers in Quebec and 150,000 in Canada. These women are vulnerable to exploitation, racial discrimination, sexual and psychological harassment, violence, rape, in brief, modern slavery.

Elsewhere in the world, the ILO estimates that there are between 67 and 100 million female domestic workers, 15.5 million children and a very large majority of girls and women.In many cases, they must deal with racism, the caste system, slavery, physical and sexual violence and serious violations of their rights to freedom of movement.

Currently, only 25 states have ratified the Convention. By joining these states, Canada can take a leadership role in defending women workers’ rights, domestic workers and more broadly, female migrant workers. Moreover, this ratification would encourage States to ratify Convention C-189 and to adopt binding standards in favor of the rights and safety of these workers.

In 2011, according to Human Rights Watch, “The growing global movement for the defense of the domestic workers rights, consisting of national women workers organizations, trade unions and civil society groups, including human rights migrants organizations and children’s rights, has been a driving force behind the adoption of the Convention 189 “.

Our campaign is part of this movement. It will take place between March 5th, and June 16th,, 2018. On March 5th, a public event was held to launch the campaign in Quebec. Several educational tools have since been released to publicize rights violations, but also the organizing efforts of these women workers. Advocacy activities will be needed for the deputies across the country for them to make them aware of the support of groups and communities for this claim. Throughout this process, we will need multipliers across the country, and we believe that your organization would be an important player in this campaign.

CISO want to mobilize the members of several groups in Quebec, Canada and ask the Canadian government:
– to ratify Convention 189 concerning decent work for women workers and domestic workers;
– to invite the provincial and territorial governments to harmonize their ILO Recommendation 201 that accompanies this Convention.

Together, let’s say NO to modern slavery and YES to domestic workers’ rights!

Thank you for letting us know your support at this address: ciso@ciso.qc.ca

For more information on the campaign: https://www.ciso.qc.ca/