This year’s Global Forum on Migration and Development to focus on the protection of migrant domestic workers

Date: 21 Nov 2012

Hosted by the Government of Mauritius from 21-22 November, 2012, the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) is a state-led process focused on policy-making on migration and development at the national, regional and global levels. It seeks to strengthen the capacity of states to address migration and development opportunities and challenges more effectively, while promoting international cooperation.

This year, UN Women and the International Labour Organization (ILO) are co-leading the “Roundtable on Protecting Migrant Domestic Workers: Enhancing their Development Potential, which will focus on advancing ratification of the ILO Convention on domestic work. Women constitute the vast majority of domestic workers worldwide. The Roundtable will also put an emphasis on sharing good practices on implementing legal and social protection for domestic workers; and advancing use of the new GFMD Checklist to Protect and Support Domestic Workers.

The Checklist, to be launched at this year's forum, was agreed upon by governments, civil society and UN agencies at the 2011 GFMD. It is based on international standards and good national practices and is meant to help policy-makers formulate and implement national policies, laws and programmes that promote and protect the rights of domestic workers, both female and male.

A pre-GFMD meeting co-organized by the government of the Philippines and UN Women's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in October 2012, focused on key international human rights standards for domestic workers, good practices in legal and social protection and the contribution of domestic workers to development.

According to the Checklist, there are currently estimated to be between 53 million and 100 million domestic workers worldwide, with women constituting 83 per cent of this workforce.