International Domestic Workers Day

The ILO launches a campaign for the safety and dignity of Myanmar Domestic Workers

“Nine years ago, the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189) was adopted by governments, employers and workers, said ILO representative in Myanmar, Mr Donglin LI. It is even more relevant today in the face of the Covid-19 virus. Ensuring decent working and living conditions for domestic workers will keep domestic workers, their employers and their families safe.”

Press release | 16 June 2020
Yangon (ILO News) – To date, 29 countries have ratified C189, but in Asia where there are millions of domestic workers working both in their home countries and abroad, the only country to ratify and to adopt a national law to protect domestic workers is The Philippines. To raise awareness of the need for legal protection of domestic workers and to urge more ratifications, the ILO and domestic workers in Myanmar are launching an online campaign, “We care for you, please care for us”.

Nineteen domestic workers who have graduated from skills training courses supported by the ILO have recorded their messages to be streamed on ILO facebook at 7pm  from June 16th to June part of the “We care for you. Please care for Us”.

The domestic workers call for labour rights and occupational health and safety. Ma Romar Thein says: “I’m proud to be a domestic worker but I’m also a bit scared in this time of Covid 19. All countries need to work together, let’s all adopt the same law, ASEAN ratify C189!”

The domestic workers are joined by Myanmar celebrity singer, Chan Chan, performing an original song every day starting on June 16th. Chan Chan tells her fans: “Every day Myanmar domestic workers all over Myanmar and in other countries work hard, caring for the families they work for, getting the children ready for school, doing the cleaning and cooking, making the family life run smoothly. They also care for their own families with their wages. Today let’s remember to care for domestic workers.”

Without guidelines on occupational health and safety and labour protection, domestic workers and their employers  are vulnerable to exposure to Covid 19.  There is an urgent need for action to ensure that households can run smoothly without risks, and domestic workers can be safe and continue to have a livelihood. Ko Aung Paing, one of the founders of the company, Myanants, matching cleaners and domestic workers with employers  joins the online celebration explaining  the important skills trainings that Myanants provides.

The final day of the online campaign brings an exciting message of the positive steps being taken in Myanmar towards the recognition of domestic work as work.  Daw Ei Ei Pyone, Amoytha Hluttaw MP, Immigration, Local and Overseas Employment Committee, Ayeyawaddy Region, Constituency No (8), tells the domestic workers that the Committee has already drafted a bill which includes  articles on wages, minimum age,  working hours, right to education and protection from violence and discrimination.

Different songs and messages of the We care for you, please care for us campaign will be streamed on the ILO facebook page  at 7pm every evening from June 16th to June 20th. They can also be watched at any time on BBC Media Action:

The campaign is supported by the Livelihoods and Food Security Fund (LIFT) promoting   decent work and  livelihoods for all, including domestic workers. Production and technical support provided by the BBC Media Action Yay Kyi Yar project.

For further information please contact:

  • Ms Jacqueline Pollock (Chief Technical Advisor, Migration),; +959421126869