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Workers’ rights: Terzi signs convention on domestic labour on a day devoted to immigrants : “Historic step in worker protection ”

“We are taking an historic step forward today in the protection of workers’ rights, legally recognising domestic labour as a profession”. This was the statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi as he signed the “Convention on the dignity of domestic labour”.

“Italy wanted to be among the first European signatories”, the minister underscored, “since this is a convention that fosters social cohesion and the assertion of rights, particularly those of women, which is one of the parameters of civilisation. We have adhered thanks to the great personal commitment of Minister Elsa Fornero, with whom I have worked in close coordination”.

The foreign ministry underscored the high symbolic value of the signing of the convention in coincidence with International Migrants Day. Full respect for the rights of migrants is an indispensable pre-requisite for the social and economic development of the countries in which they live and work. In that sense, in consideration of the large number of foreigners employed in this sector in Italy, the protection the convention extends to foreign domestic workers is especially relevant to Italy.

The convention on dignified labour for domestic workers was adopted in June of last year, and aims to ensure an adequate standard of protection for domestic workers, in full respect of gender equality given the large number of women employed in the sector.

The convention protects domestic workers’ right to be informed of the terms and conditions of the job, prohibits forced labour and regulates hiring procedures. At the same time it introduces minimum requirements in terms of lodgings and respect for privacy for live-in employees. The States signatories to the convention are also required to establish a minimum age for employment as a domestic worker in conformity with existing international instruments for the protection of minors.