In Latin American households there are 18 million domestic servants, most of whom are capable of informality.
According to the report “Formalization Policies for Paid Domestic Work in Latin America and the Caribbean” from the Regional Office of the International Labour Organization (ILO), eight out of ten domestic workers are informal, meaning 80% of these workers are exploited and have no access to social security or fair wages.
The regional director of the ILO, José Manuel Salazar, said this is a complex situation of discrimination, with historical roots in our societies, and attitudes that contribute to disregard the effort and work of women, many of whom are indigenous, Afro-descendants and migrants.
Salazar believes that improving working conditions is a historical debt that must be paid to help eradicate inequalities, gender discrimination and poverty in the region.
The report stresses that women are the most affected, as they represent 93% of the domestic servant population in the region; which means about 16.5 million women.
According to the report, only 28% of people engaged in domestic work contribute to social security, compared to 47% of total employed people.
In addition, the study warns there are countries where this job still does not cover minimum wage, and others where the minimum wage for this group is the lowest on the scale, placing these workers below the poverty line.
In Costa Rica, the Ministry of Labour launched the campaign “Put yourself in other people’s shoes”, aiming to push employers to pay the minimum wage.