On July 13 and 14, in Kampala (Uganda), the regional seminar “Legalization and Professionalization of domestic workers; Advancing real change in East Africa and DRC” gathered 70 participants, including 14 delegates from more than 5 countries of the region (DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda), to address the issues of the legal protection of domestic workers and their access to education. This seminar continued along the lines of the Kigali regional seminar (October 2015) and specifically focused on the post-project commitments and the medium and long term actions to be undertaken.

Check the report of the event: IDAY Regional Conference on domestic work

Discover the pictures of the event

This regional workshop commenced with opening remarks from the head of European Union Delegation in Uganda, Thomas Millar, and the commissioner for Youth and Children at Uganda’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Onduri Machulu Fred. In his speech to the gathering, H.E Ambassador Millar noted the existence of a challenge in the enforcement of laws against the exploitation of people involved in domestic work within East Africa and DRC, adding these suffer neglect due to non-professionalization and legalization of their work. Ambassador Millar appealed to governments in East Africa to speed up the legalization and professionalization of domestic work so as to transform the occupation into a real employment opportunity especially for the youth and protect children in the region against it.

Starting from these engaging recommendations, various speakers took turns presenting key elements and strategies to stop child domestic work in the subregion and to provide access to vocational training in domestic work, in order to professionalize the sector. 4 main axes of intervention have been identified and developped: (i) specific protection for child domestic workers; (ii) ratification of ILO Convention 189 on decent work for domestic workers; (iii) development of a specific curricula and adapted training for domestic workers; and (iv) role of trade unions and domestic workers organizations. DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda have developped a national strategic plan on those 4 axes, to be shared and enhanced with their respective stakeholders in their own country.

After 2 days of intense discussion and interaction, the voice from the stakeholders was unanimous, agreeing to step-up their advocacy campaigns towards the elimination of child domestic work and ending violence against domestic workers through education and regulation in East Africa and the DRC.