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Of the estimated 67 million domestic workers worldwide, approximately 50 million are informally employed, making domestic work one of the sectors with the highest share of informal employment. These figures are driven by a lack of labour and social protection, widespread social norms that domestic work is not real work, and a lack of labour market institutions such as representative organizations, collective agreements, and regulated personal and household service providers.

Formality in domestic work is measured by the extent to which domestic workers are covered by labour and social protection, effective social security, and the use of formal arrangements, such as the use of written contracts. Since the adoption of ILO Convention 189, and aided by Recommendation 204, the ILO has documented good practices in increasing formal employment, thus contributing to the achievement of SDG indicator 8.3.1.

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