On June 16, 2021, the world will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ILO Convention 189 on “Decent work for domestic workers.” But for domestic workers in the Netherlands, often women, there is little cause for celebration since the Dutch government has not ratified the convention nor changed the current law: “Wet Dienstverlening Aan Huis” which the ILO has declared to be in contradiction with the ILO Convention 189. But even if the Convention is ratified, or if the current law is repealed, and a new law is enacted, undocumented migrant domestic workers will still be excluded. How is the current situation now and how should the law change? What can we do to change the situation of undocumented domestic workers? During the program, we will reflect on these questions with legal experts, trade unions and campaigners.
While undocumented domestic workers have often been at the forefront of the struggle for the recognition of domestic work, the undocumented workers are bound to remain excluded. Only Dutch citizens or migrants with legal status will benefit from changing laws. That is why it is necessary that undocumented migrants who have been working as domestic workers for at least five years should also be given a work permit or legal status. Their employers trust them enough as to entrust them with their house keys. These domestic workers, as their anthem song goes, deserve society’s respect and trust.