The impact of international labour standards on national rhetoric, regulation and expectations: the case of the ILO and paid domestic work
Gomes, Ana Virgínia
Law Catholic University of Santos S. Paulo, Brazil
Law DINÂMIA (Centro de Estudos Sobre a Mudança Socioeconómica) Lisbon, Portugal
de la Blétière, Vanessa
Sociology DINÂMIA (Centro de Estudos Sobre a Mudança Socioeconómica) Lisbon, Portugal
In March 2008, the issue of standard setting for domestic work was put on the agenda of the 2010 International Labour Conference, starting a process expected to end with the adoption of a new convention or recommendation, aiming to protect the rights of what is estimated to be 100 million domestic workers around the world. Accordingly, the legal regulation of domestic workers will become a matter of relevance to national-level legislators and policy-makers in the coming years. At the same time, support for an ILO domestic workers convention has been largely created by international trade unions and NGOs. In turn, discussion of the sector at the international level is likely to lead to increased attention from trade unions and civil society at the regional and national level, as well as individual workers and their employers. This communication will canvas the ILO?s actions in relation to domestic workers, considering why the issue has only now been seen as important despite what amounts to obvious ?decent work defecits? in the sector. It will then consider the ways in which the discussion at an international level ? in addition to any actual legal instrument eventually adopted ? may impact upon the rhetoric, the regulation and the societal expectations concerning domestic workers at a national level. In doing so, it will identify, as major conduits for social and legal change in European industrial relations, international labour standards and civil society.