The conference - organized by the ILO, with the participation of the Ministry of Family and Social Policies and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, aims at promoting a dialogue on domestic workers among representatives from the Turkish government, workers and employers organizations, civil society and academia. It provides an opportunity to introduce ILO Convention No.189 on domestic workers and Recommendation No. 201, to discuss the main problems facing domestic workers in Turkey as well as to develop recommendations for possible solutions.
The findings of a new draft report on domestic workers in Turkey will be presented. Entitled “Domestic Workers in Turkey: The Visible Face of Women’s Invisible Labour”, the study prepared by Prof. Dr. Gülay Toksöz and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Seyhan Erdoğdu from Ankara University details the specificities of the domestic work sector in Turkey, including differences between local and migrant labour, the legal framework, and challenges to the collective organization of domestic workers.
For local domestic workers in Turkey, informal channels such as personal acquaintances play an important role in the quest for a job. Migrant domestic workers, on the other hand, typically rely on intermediary agencies to obtain a job. The activities of unlicensed agencies increase the workers’ vulnerability to psychological, physical and sexual harassment at work.
Long working hours, lack of social security coverage and intermittency of employment are some of the other difficulties facing domestic workers in Turkey. Presently, domestic workers are excluded from the scope of the Labour Code, but are covered by the new Law of Obligations. The authors of the study suggest that there is need for a social security model and a legal framework that addresses domestic workers’ needs and working conditions.
The National Conference follows the adoption of the ILO Domestic Workers Convention (No. 189) and Recommendation (No. 201), 2011. These instruments provide guidance for the promotion of decent work for domestic workers, based on international best practices.