ILO Report Presentation : Workers, Helper, Auntie, Maid ? / Guidelines and Tips For Employers of Foreign Domestic Helpers

Workers Validation and Analysis


      Presentations on an ILO Report : Workers, Helper, Auntie, Maid and Guidelines and Tips For Employers of Foreign Domestic Helpers were made on 18th June 2017( Sunday) at Newhall, Community Centre, St.John Cathedral, KL. This event was organised by North South Initiative (NSI) in collaboration with International Labour Organisation (ILO),  Association of Overseas Filipino Workers in Malaysia (AMMPO) and Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO). It was participated by about 120 Filipino domestic workers in Malaysia. Among other organisations that were present are Migration Working Group (MWG), Domestic Workers Coalition Group (DWCG), Indonesia Migrant Workers Group (SERANTAU), ASETUC, International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF), and Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility (CARAM Asia).The main objectives of the programme includes :

v To provide a space for the ILO/UN Women to present the findings of the report to domestic workers

v To give domestic workers an opportunity to validate and analyse the findings

v To come up with recommendations to improve the domestic workers laws and regulations in Malaysia

       ASETUC was invited to provide input on the ILO report during the panel discussion. ASETUC was represented by Sister Nithiyah Sinnathamby. She shared that the report has highlighted major concerns involving domestic workers. From ASETUC’s perspective, the MOU signed with regards to foreign workers are not transparent enough and there is always “double standards” arising between locals and foreign workers which leads to inequality. She also proposed that the recently launched “Guidelines and Tips for Employers of Foreign Domestic Helpers” book should be made available in different languages so that it could be distributed to not only employers but also migrant workers in origin country itself so that they know their rights ranging from minimum wage, working hours, living conditions and others.

Among the key recommendations highlighted from the domestic workers present were :

v To give guidance to domestic workers on ways to differentiate between true and fake recruitment agencies

v To provide more awareness to all workers on their rights

v To make sure that domestic workers are paid at the right time every month and given day off (which include educating them on how to calculate their working hours and monthly wages)

v Suggestions that the ILO research need to cover more migrant workers from different sectors and country of origin

v Raising awareness that migrant workers should be provided rights to organise

      Mr.Josua Mata, Secretary General of SENTRO particularly mentioned that although migrant workers are not allowed to form unions, they could opt for alternative way like creating a club consisting of migrant workers and try to raise their concerns through that club. The lack of rights to form unions/organise should not stop them from joining together.

The programme ended with concluding remarks from the organisers.









The links to the two reports are accessible here :

1.Worker, helper, auntie, maid? : Working conditions and attitudes experienced by migrant domestic workers in Thailand and Malaysia

2. Guidelines And Tips For Employers Of Foreign Domestic Helpers