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Focus will be placed on the vulnerability of migrant domestic workers when a two-day Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) is convened in Jamaica, beginning Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, under the theme: Domestic Care Workers at the Interface of Migration and Development: Action to Expand Good Practice. Hosted by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ); Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; International Organization on Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Swiss GFMD Chair-in-Office; UN Women and the MacArthur Foundation, the two-day workshop will engage policy makers and experts in the field from Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America as well as outside the region from Asia, Africa and Europe.

According to the PIOJ, the issue of migrant domestic workers poses serious challenges to migration and policy makers today, as it touches on several cross-cutting areas such as gender, family, health, labour market and human rights. The lack of effective policies can impact the well-being of workers and their families, as well as the potential development gains of their work abroad for countries of origin and destination.

The Forum offers an opportunity for concrete transnational debate on migrant domestic workers. Participants will share good practices on legal, social protection and asset building for domestic workers and develop a gender sensitive checklist for labour laws recognizing domestic work as well as employment contracts for domestic workers, including migrant workers.

Data from the International Labour Organization (ILO) indicate that there are over 100 million domestic workers worldwide. In June 2011, the ILO adopted an historic convention on domestic workers.  This convention underscores the importance of female migrant workers as important contributors to the development of both the host country and country of origin.