Friday, 10 June 2011

Update from Kalayaan's Community Advocate Kate Roberts (contd)

The Conference Turning a Blind Eye which launched important research by Nick Clark & Leena Kumarappan of the Working Lives Institute, which looked at the situation of some migrant domestic workers in the UK, found that few workers had contracts of employment, received payslips, or legally required minimum rest breaks.It also found that in many cases, the UK Borders Agency (UKBA) was aware of this, having received details of conditions of work as part of the annual application to renew the workers’ visas. 

In some cases letters sent by workers describing why they had changed employers (as permitted by their visas so long as type of work remains the same) alleged serious abuse including torture and indicators of trafficking for domestic servitude, yet no enquiries were made and nothing at all seems to have been done with this information.

If we are serious about having minimum standards of work for all workers, not to mention our anti trafficking commitments under the Council of Europe Convention for Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings these matters need addressing seriously. A start would surely be a firm UK Government Commitment to the proposed ILO Convention for Decent Work for Domestic Workers, to be voted on in Geneva early June 2011.

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