Ending the Exploitation of Domestic Workers in Pakistan

In 2020, Pakistan was shaken by the story of 8 year old Sana – a domestic worker in Lahore – who was starved and beaten by her employer. In an article published on June 16th 2021, Mishael Hyat Ayub and Dr Anju Mary Paul write about the lack of domestic worker protections in Pakistan. Despite grievous oversights however, new laws on the horizon promise to improve the situation for domestic workers. Read the full article published in The News, a Pakistan based newspaper, here.

Invisible Under The Law: The Consistent Neglect of Domestic Workers in Sri Lanka

The work of the Global Care Policy Index was featured in an article in the Sri Lanka based newspaper “The Sunday Times” on Sunday, June 13th. Drawing from research done under the GCPI, Dr Anju Mary Paul and Shanya Sadanandan expose the exclusion of domestic workers from the coverage of almost all labour protections in Sri Lanka. Read the full article here.

Sri Lanka’s country report and technical report will soon be published under the GCPI.

Hong Kong Country Report

Hong Kong Country Report and Technical Report. Overall score: 5.28. Download country and technical report here.

Report summary: Despite its advanced economy, Hong Kong’s policies for family caregivers have significant gaps with respect to dependent care leave, flexitime options, and nursing support for new mothers. Hong Kong scored much better for Sub-Index B because, with close to 380,000 migrant domestic workers, the government has been forced to strengthen its protections on this front. Overall, Hong Kong scored 5.28 (out of 10) on the GCPI, locating itself on the low end of the ‘Maturing’ band of the GCPI.

New Zealand Country Report

New Zealand Country Report and Technical Report. Overall score: 6.89. Download country and technical report here.

Report summary: New Zealand has done reasonably well in protecting workers in its formal economy. The country has ratified 61 ILO conventions and has 33 currently in force. There is, however, a lack of domestic worker protections in New Zealand. It also lacks flexible work arrangements for employees with care responsibilities. Overall, New Zealand had a score of 7.33 for Sub-Index A, but a lower score of 6.44 for Sub-Index B.

Macau: Care Policy Evaluation 2021

Macau is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China. Macau’s economy is dominated by the service sector – in particular, the casino industry. This nature of the Macanese economy led to Macau being one of the richest countries in the world, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Macau’s economy is heavily dependent upon migrant labor, and a significant fraction of Macau’s workforce consists of migrant domestic workers. In Macau, domestic workers are entitled to a minimum wage, a safe working environment, and daily periods of rest. In addition, Macau further regulates how private employment agencies may recruit migrant domestic workers.

While Macau performs fairly well on Sub-Index B, significant oversights in its policies for family caregivers lead to a weaker performance in Sub-Index A. Macau’s provisions for paid maternity leave are well below the ILO recommended duration of 18 weeks. Macau also lacks legislation that guarantee working women time to nurse or pump milk during working hours.

Overall, Macau earned a score of 6.08/10.00 on the Global Care Policy Index, placing Macau in the “Maturing Protections” index band. You can find Macau country report and technical report here.

India: Care Policy Evaluation 2021

Sweden: Care Policy Evaluation 2021

Macau Country Report

Macau Country and Technical Report. GCPI score: 6.08. Macau’s labor laws offer robust protections for domestic workers, particularly for migrant workers who make up an overwhelming majority of its paid domestic worker force. However, Macau has much room for improvement for its protections for family caregivers, such as in flexible work arrangements and nursing support in the workplace. Consequently, Macau scores higher for Sub-Index B than for Sub-Index A. With a total score of 6.08, Macau is rated as “Maturing” on the Global Care Policy Index.

Canada: Care Policy Evaluation 2021

Canada is a high income country situated in North America, and holds an impressive score of 0.922 on the Human Development Index (HDI). Our research has found that while Canada performs well both in protecting family caregivers and protecting domestic workers, Canada offers particularly robust labor protections to domestic workers. Notably, Canada requires that migrant domestic workers must have signed employment contracts with their employers, which is a significant forward step in formalizing care work. However, Canada is yet to introduce legal provisions for family friendly work arrangements, which limits the flexibility of family caregivers.

Therefore, Canada’s policy regime for caregivers and care-workers earned an overall score of 6.47/10 (Maturing) under the Global Care Policy Index (GCPI). The final country report and technical report on Canada can be accessed here.

An elderly woman in Canada receives care from a health worker. The elderly are often overlooked, but require high levels of care from family and those around them. Photo by Dragana Gordic, on Shutterstock.

India Country Profile

India Country Report and Technical Report. Overall score: 3.74. Download country and technical report here.

Report summary: India’s recent amendments to its Maternity Benefit Act offers greater protections for pregnant and nursing mothers. However, there remain no protections for working fathers and no dependent care leave provisions outside of the civil service sector. Domestic workers in India are also vulnerable due to the lack of any robust nationwide legislation to guarantee their rights. Due to the lack of comprehensive protections, India scored 3.74 on the Global Care Policy Index and is rated as “Emerging” for its performance.