Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has said that the Government is fully committed to advancing the welfare of the country’s 58,000 domestic workers, whom she stated, play a valuable role in nation-building.
In her message to mark International Domestic Workers' Day on June 16, the Prime Minister informed that the necessary legislative amendments are being drafted to allow for ratification of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers. This is currently being undertaken through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
The Prime Minister said Jamaica aligns itself with the global community in marking International Domestic Workers’ Day and in paying tribute to the workers, who provide a valuable service to the society, as housekeepers and caregivers, while allowing others the opportunity to pursue their educational, professional and career advancement.
“It is therefore fitting that there is a day dedicated in the year to honour your worth, contribution, and the services you give to others,” she said.
The Prime Minister stated that Jamaica has a history of advancing the cause of domestic workers, and a significant step in this direction was made in 1996 when the government guided the formation of the Jamaica Household Workers’ Association (JHWA) and place responsibility for this important group under the supervision of the Bureau of Women’s Affairs.
The move, she said, gave the domestic worker a voice and status that has since kept their issues on the national agenda.
She noted that the JHWA has remained an active advocate, organising seminars and training sessions that have improved the employability and job satisfaction of domestic workers.
By Tracey Thompson