Is There a Dualistic Protection System for Migrant Domestic Workers? The "Easy" and "Speedy" Ratification of the ILO Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers in Italy


  • Rie Miyazaki Ohtsuki City College



Domestic workers provide a variety of services and contribute significantly to the global economy. However, domestic work has long been undervalued in the labour market. In January 2013, Italy became the first country in Europe, and the first among the countries receiving migrant domestic workers, to ratify International Labour Organization Convention No. 189, the Domestic Workers Convention. In contrast to the unprecedented dedication to domestic workers’ labour rights specified in C189, the majority of domestic workers presently in Italy are migrant women and undeclared workers. This article draws on interviews to show how Italy’s ratification of C189 was accomplished through well-organised tripartism and top-down ratification processes, while perpetuating the undervaluation of the work status of migrant domestic workers.

KEYWORDS: Domestic workers; ILO Convention No. 189; Italy; migrant workers; labour protection