Lobby wants Ruto to approve law on domestic workers

President William Ruto. [File, Standard]

A women’s lobby group has urged the government to ratify the International Labour Organisation law - C189 - that seeks to enforce the Global Regulatory framework for domestic workers and their families.

Kenya has not endorsed the ILO C189 for almost 10 years since the campaign for ratification began.

Convention 189 aims at recognising the significant contribution of domestic workers to the global economy, which includes increasing paid job opportunities for women and men workers with family responsibilities. The convention further focus on ageing populations, children and persons with disability.

Youth Alive, a local lobby group, has now petitioned President William Ruto through the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection to prioritise ratification of the convention.

“International Labour Organisation Convention 189 is the convention concerning decent work for Domestic Workers which was adopted in Geneva on June 16, 2011, and member countries across the world went ahead to ratify and domesticate the policy,” said Mitchelle Atieno, programme officer, Youth Alive when she met women in Nairobi.

Peris Nyakio, 32, recounted her ordeal working as a house help in Kawangware, Nairobi.

“Sometimes I never had off days, my employer made sexual advances and deliberately delayed my pay,” narrated Nyakio.

Wycliffe Ouma, national project coordinator of ILO Kenya, cautioned workers against rushing for employment outside the country.

“Try and learn the laws of the country you are going to; some countries still operate under orthodox laws.”