Karuna Domestic Workers Welfare Trust » About us Copy


The International Labor Organization (ILO) defines a Domestic Worker as “someone who carries out household work, in private households, in return for wages”.

The estimated number of domestic workers in India is 90 million, a workforce which does not have any international or national standards to regulate their employment, conditions of work, wages and social security. It is a fact that 90% – 95% of domestic workers are women and the ILO also estimates that worldwide, domestic work is the largest employment category for girls under the age of 16.

The discrimination and exclusion of domestic workers starts by not recognizing their work. The problems they face are many, beginning with ill treatment and physical, sexual and mental abuse at the workplace. Their working conditions are often similar to forced and bonded labor, thus making them contemporary slaves. Many women and children domestic workers reveal that they are trafficked, both within and outside the country, and exploited by the placement agencies, which operate openly without any form of government regulation.

The Karnatake Domestic Workers Movement began in 2002 in Bangalore with Sister Nisha Mathew as it’s state coordinator. KDWM is an extension of the works of the National Domestic Workers’ Movement (NDWM) which is engaged in advocacy programs in 24 States of India. NDWM has it’s headquarters in Mumbai with Dr. Sr. Jeanne Davos as it’s National Coordinator.

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