Subregional Programme on Quality and Decent Work Promotion for Women in South Asia through Prevention of Human Trafficking, Skills Development of Domestic Workers and Gender Capacity Building

To prevent labour exploitation and crimes of human trafficking through a rights-based approach; to eliminate abuse and promote decent work for this largely female, uneducated and disadvantaged labour force; and to contribute to the establishment of effective equal employment opportunity mechanisms between ILO constituents and women’s machineries to provide decent work to women and their families in poverty.

This regional project for Asia and the Pacific responds to the cross-cutting priority of gender equality promotion and gender mainstreaming, especially in relation to the regional priority of improved management of labour migration. Acting on the global ILO Action Plans for Gender Equality and against Discrimination in Employment, Forced Labour and Child Labour, this project contributes to decent work outcomes stipulated in DWCPs as well as (sub)regional knowledge development and sharing on equality and decent work promotion for Asian women through:

  • Prevention of human trafficking
  • Protection of domestic workers
  • Gender capacity building

The subregional component for India, Bangladesh and Nepal aimed to address the above three issues with a particular focus on domestic workers. Millions of domestic workers are denied the protection of even the most basic standards of decent work and many of them end up in forced labour conditions. Common abuses range from excessive hours of work to low wages and violence at work as they are excluded from labour and social protection mechanisms, and are not allowed to organize. Many governments in the sub-region are considering legislative steps to rectify this situation, and the tripartite constituents require basic data, comparative legal advice and good practices. The longer term objective is to eliminate abuse and promote decent work for this largely female, uneducated and disadvantaged labour force.

The project is aimed to build capacity of ILO constituents to engage and provide leadership in national consultations on the domestic Workers’ Bill (India) and trafficking prevention (Bangladesh, Nepal) and network base of organizations working on domestic workers issues (trafficking included) strengthened to reflect ILO equality and other fundamental rights and principles in national legislations and extend the application of national poverty and skills development programmes to domestic workers and other vulnerable groups of women workers.