Cambodia: Care Policy Evaluation 2021

The Kingdom of Cambodia is a country in South-East Asia that has experienced rapid economic growth since the turn of the 21st century. However, a majority of Cambodia’s workforce is employed in the informal sector. The country thus struggles in creating laws that successfully protect its careworkers.

Carework remains heavily gendered in Cambodia. While the nation has extended maternity leave and many forms of maternity pay to many classes of workers, provisions for paternity leave and adoptive leave remain elusive. Due to the lack of more robust protections for family caregivers, Cambodia only scores 2.02 out of 10 for sub-index A.

Cambodia scores better in sub-index B, with an overall score of 5.40 out of 10. Domestic workers remain excluded from many labor laws, though recent laws promise marginal protections. While employers must still provide domestic workers with a contract and safe accommodation, domestic workers are still excluded from many protections – such as minimum wage and social security benefits.

Overall, Cambodia scores a 3.71 out of 10 for the GCPI, positioning the nation in the “Emerging” protections band. Cambodia is indeed making efforts to protect family caregivers and domestic workers, but more comprehensive measures are certainly needed. You can read Cambodia’s country report and technical report here.

Cambodia’s law leaves domestic workers unseen and unprotected

The most recent estimates suggest that over 240,000 individuals are employed as domestic workers in Cambodia. Yet despite their number, domestic workers remain unprotected by most Cambodian labor laws. In an article published on December 3rd 2021, Dr Anju Mary Paul and Dolphie Bou evaluate Cambodia’s domestic work industry, and expose the limitations of existing legislation regulating the sector. Read the full article published in The Southeast Asia Globe here.

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.

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

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.

Australia: Care Policy Evaluation 2020

Australia is a high income country situated in Oceania, and boasts an exemplary score of 0.938 on the Human Development Index (HDI). Notably, our research found that Australian law provided significant protections and benefits for domestic caregivers. Australia provides families with a wide variety of social security benefits to help cover the costs caring for children and family members with disabilities in the long-term. However, while not explicitly excluding domestic workers, Australian labor law shows limited recognition of care-workers, thus leaving many of these workers vulnerable to exploitation.

Therefore, Australia’s policy regime for caregivers and care-workers earned an overall score of 6.72/10 (Maturing) under the Global Care Policy Index (GCPI). The final country report and technical report on Australia can be accessed here.

Colombia: Care Policy Evaluation 2020

The Republic of Colombia is an upper-middle income country in northwestern South America, and is the third most populous country in Latin America. In 2017, Colombia passed the New Maternity Law 1822 that increased the duration of paid maternity leave from 14 to 18 weeks. Impressively, Colombia also covers domestic workers under its Labor Code, thus guaranteeing them similar working and living conditions to other categories of workers. However, Colombia records a high rate of informal employment – more than 57% of Colombia’s employees work without formal contracts, and thus do not come under the protections of most care policies.

Colombia’s policy regime for caregivers and care-workers therefore earned an overall score of 5.65/10 (Maturing) under the Global Care Policy Index (GCPI). The final country report and technical report can be accessed here under Colombia’s country profile.