INTRODUCTIONWhenever we think or hear the term, domestic work or domestic worker, the very first thing that hits our mind is something related to the household work or the person engaged in the household works. Apart from this, we live in a society where importance is given to rich people, and the poor are considered animals. In this modern era of the 21st century, the Constitution of India provides every citizen of India with basic rights to live a peaceful life. Despite such laws and regulations, some people are forced to live a miserable life. It is a bitter truth, but the people more prone to becoming the victims of domestic violence or we can term it as domestic exploitation is the women and children.
TODAY’S SCENARIOEven today, the condition of women in society is not that good, after so many laws for the protection of women; they are not safe, whether in a house or even at the workplace. Now, moving forward with the legal definitions of the terms domestic work and domestic worker. According to the Article 1 of The Domestic Workers Convention, 2011:
- The term “domestic work” means work performed in or for a household or households.
- The term “domestic worker” means any person engaged in domestic work within an employment.
- Firstly, The domestic workers should be given daily and weekly hours of rest
- Secondly, Their payment complies with the minimum wage requirement and,
- Moreover, They shall be given liberty to choose the place where they live during the term of the employment.
- Further, As per the ILO, the States which have ratified the convention must take protective measures against violence against these workers and must enforce a minimum age for employment.
The Domestic Workers Act of 2008This act was introduced to regulate the payment and working conditions of household workers. It also addresses the issues of trafficking of women and the exploitation of workers. Also, this Act provides the provisions regarding registration, working hours, minimum wages, etc. Section 23 of the Act makes a person liable for punishment who knowingly sends, directs or takes a domestic worker to any place where she is likely to be morally or sexually exploited. The term of punishment for committing such offences is at least 6 months of imprisonment, which may be extended up to 7 years and also a fine up to Rs. 50000 or both, depending on the nature and the gravity of the offence so committed. Moreover, there are other acts that also provide protection to domestic workers in India. These are:
Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008
Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, Redressal) Act 2013 and its Relevance for Domestic Workers
Domestic Workers Welfare and Social Security Bill, 2010
- It also states the provisions regarding the registration of part-time domestic workers and migrant domestic workers.
- This bill clearly states that no child shall be employed as a domestic worker or for any of the incidental or auxiliary activities.