Q.) Describe the challenges that domestic servants confront in their professions. In addition, examine the reasons that contribute to these challenges and suggest solutions to overcome these difficulties. (10mark) (150 words)

Domestic workers are in high demand because of rapid urbanisation, migration, and changes in the way people live in their homes. Government data from 2019 (based on the NSSO 68th round of 2011–12) says that there are 3.9 million domestic workers in India, which is a lot. This group of workers has its own set of problems. They have to deal with them.

Domestic workers face a lot of problems:

    • There isn’t a good way to figure out how many people work at home in India. 
    • Domestic workers make up a big part of the workforce in informal jobs. Not only do they not have to be registered, but they also work for private households, often without clear terms of employment, and are not covered by labour laws and welfare.
    • Even though a lot of men work in this field, it still has a lot of women in it.
    • Domestic workers are often paid very little, work very long hours, and don’t get a guaranteed day off each week. They can also be victims of physical, mental, and sexual abuse, or be limited in their freedom of movement.
    • Child labour in the home, forced labour, or trafficking for labour exploitation.

Factors that have led to these problems:

  • Lack of accurate data on the number of domestic workers in India. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has said that the number ranges from 2.5 million to 90 million.
  • The abuse of domestic workers can be partly blamed on a lack of social and labour protection. This often happens because of discrimination on the lines of sex, race and caste.
  • It is hard to make sure that laws and regulations protecting domestic workers are being followed. In this case, the government did not ratify the ILO’s C189 Domestic Workers Convention, which defines domestic work through protective rules.

Way forward

  • It’s important to keep track of the information about domestic workers. A standard way to collect data on domestic work, as well as the social and economic value of domestic work, is needed.
  • Steps like increasing pay, joining minimum wage protection, and regulating working hours are needed to make things better.
  • It has helped domestic workers start forming unions to fight for fair labour practises with the help of NGOs and people. 
  • Policies and strategies that protect domestic workers’ labour and social rights, like social security, written contracts, and so on, should be pushed by the government.

Domestic workers have been given some legal protection and social security by the Indian government Eg. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act (2013). The Domestic Workers Sector Skills Council was set up to help domestic workers become more professional and help them move up in their jobs.

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