Action urged on measure to control domestic labor

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, was not just a day of repetitive numbers, but also a day of global action where different child advocacy agencies urged governments to accept Convention 189. This recommendation addresses the issue of children doing domestic work, and it was put forth by the International Labor organization in 2011.

The Defensa de los Niñas y Niños-Internacional gave the example of Adriana. She is a 16-year-old who works every day from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. cleaning, cooking and caring for two children ages 3 and 6.

Although Adriana signed up for night school, she is not allowed to attend because her classes prevent her from serving the home, the organization said.

According to the defense advocacy group, Adriana is just one of thousands of Costa Rican teenagers who do domestic work under conditions of exploitation and a lack of labor rights.

Working adolescence that way is against the law, but such situations still exist, said the organization.

“This is in part due to the type of work they do,” said spokespersons. “The work is invisible, devalued, in hiding, behind closed doors and where the employers define the rules of the game.”

However the problem goes beyond Costa Rica. For this reason, the International Labour Organization Convention No. 189 adopted recommendation No. 201 on decent work for domestic workers with the intention of putting a stop to ill-treatment, violence and abuse.

Recently the Comisión de Asuntos Jurídicos of the Asamblea Legislativa signed out the measure, which now goes to all the lawmakers for a possible vote.

Costa Rica is one of 12 countries that has made this step.

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