Domestic workers in the UK - any enforceable human rights

Working paper

Salih, I. 2014. Domestic workers in the UK - any enforceable human rights. Social Science Research Network.
TypeWorking paper
TitleDomestic workers in the UK - any enforceable human rights
AuthorsSalih, I.

The plights of migrant domestic workers from historical and legal perspective appear to be internationally recognised. However, the setback lies with the lack of agreement on how best to deal with the problem. This paper examines the human rights protection for migrant domestic workers from international and national perspectives and finds that migrant domestic workers are barely protected. This group of workers continues to experience a series of human rights violation such as discrimination, criminalisation, and exploitation; with little or no means of redress. The ‘’international bill of rights’’ appear to provide some support for migrant domestic workers but its enforcement, as well as the enforcement of all other human rights instruments is problematic due to inadequate support at the national level. The adoption of the 189th Labour Convention in June 2011 has been praised as a landmark victory for domestic workers even though its effect is too soon to be called. However, considering that the United Kingdom did not support this Convention, its benefit for domestic workers in the country is currently doubtful. Further, the current changes to the United Kingdom immigration rules puts the future of migrant domestic workers (especially the new migrants) into a complete state of disarray. In addition, domestic workers in diplomatic households remain at the mercy of their employers’ immunity. This paper advocates a rethink of strategy in dealing with migrant domestic workers. It also attempts to make a case for the adoption of the ILO 189th Convention as the best way forward.

KeywordsDomestic Workers, Vulnerable Workers, Human Rights, Servitude, Discrimination.
Research GroupLaw and Politics
Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC)
PublisherSocial Science Research Network
Publication dates
Print25 Oct 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited28 Nov 2014
Output statusPublished
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Web address (URL)
Institution nameSocial Science Research Network
Department nameLegal Research Network
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