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Domestic Workers Movement in Latin America

CARE established partnerships in Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Guatemala, and more recently in Mexico, Colombia, and Honduras. These partnerships engage in research, exchange of experiences, communications strategies, coalition building, and networking and capacity building, with the goal of influencing public policies, strengthening their organizations, and improving the lives of more than 10 million domestic workers across the region by 2030.


In 2011, the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted the Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers (Convention 189), thus setting international standards for domestic workers. Over the following years, national domestic worker organizations throughout Latin America made it a political priority to ensure the ratification of the Convention within their own countries.


In the most recent phase, Phase 3 (2015-present), CARE defined a regional strategy with a long-term goal: to give 10 million domestic workers in the Latin America and Caribbean region access to social security, minimum wage, and decent contracts by 2030.

CARE assists partners in strengthening their organizations, facilitates opportunities for sharing knowledge and learning, and seeks to gain greater political influence. CARE also backs massive communication campaigns aiming to change behaviors among domestic workers’ employers, helps organizations use CARE’s seed money to mobilize greater financial resources, and supports the evaluation of achievements made in these activities. CARE’s work focuses on six countries: Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, and Brazil.

A group of women hold up flyers and cheer with their hands raised in the air.
Maria Faustina, Maria de los Angeles, Fidelia Castellanos, Eloida Ortiz, and Floridalma Cartrera, all members of a domestic workers' organizing group in Guatemala City, organize other women to help prevent the mistreatment they suffered. They are also working to convince Guatemala to ratify the International Labour Organization's Convention 189, which establishes basic rights for domestic workers around the world.

Project achievements

Through alliances with women’s associations at national and regional levels, and the strengthening of a regional network focused on domestic workers, CARE has pressed for important changes in national legislation and contributed to the ratification and implementation of ILO Convention 189 (protecting the rights of domestic workers) in Ecuador and Bolivia, as well as the ratification of the ILO Convention 190 (violence-free workplace).

The importance of the Domestic Workers Movement in Latin America

CARE’s partnership with domestic worker organizations has been characterized by a desire and commitment to learn more effective ways of supporting social movements in their quest to promote social change. This partnership translates into a strengthening of the organizations with respect to their agendas, struggles, and interests.


CARE and the Latin America Domestic Workers’ Movement

A brief chronology of the domestic workers’ movement over the last 10 years, a historical review of the relationship between CARE and the movement, and an analysis of the successes and tensions.

Read the report on CARE Insights

Igual Valor, Iguales Derechos Website

The program Equal Value, Equal Rights, is CARE’s impact multiplication strategy in Latin America, which seeks to advance the rights of millions of domestic workers in the region.

Go to the website