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Publication Detail
CHL 1997-11: The Phenomenon of Child Domestic Work in Asia: Issues, Responses and Research Findings (Background Paper for the Regional Consultation on Child Domestic Workers in Asia)

This background paper is an attempt to organize the concerns of child domestic work. The sources are the very few studies and situation analyses on this occupation conducted in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. The paper hopes that it can provide background information which practitioners and policy-makers need in reflecting on the gains and pains of reaching out to the child domestic workers. Child domestic work is perceived by parents as lighter and less arduous task than other employment opportunities that are available to children in their community. Such a work requires no formal training or special skills or qualification yet it provides the guaranteed and regular income needed by the household and which no other work in the informal sector can offer. Like their parents, there are children who perceive that life in domestic service, especially in the city, is a better option for them. For others, the perception of a “better life” is also translated in terms of hope and trust wishfully placed upon their employer, someone who is seen to help them get established in life. Employers, on the other hand, generally perceive that they are doing a philanthropic act by employing a child from a poor family to work in their households. That the employers see themselves as “benefactors” rather than as “exploiters” of children is deeply ingrained in their minds and attitudes. In general, policy responses to the problem of child domestic work comes in the form of comprehensive child labour legislation which set the minimum age for employment, establish the terms and conditions or work and ban child labour in certain industries in India and the Philippines. Various sectors have proposed and lobbied for bills which seek to recognize domestic workers as workers, uphold and protect their rights, and provide penalties for violations. Although these are laws that cover the situation of child domestic workers, enforcement mechanism generally leave much to be desired. Among assistance interventions to child domestic workers are advocacy and a basic prevention strategy aimed to challenge the stereotypes and attitudes that condone or give rise to exploitation in domestic work. Organizing is also a tool where child domestic workers can share their grievances as they speak the same experiences.

Collection of Studies from Other Institutions
Authors Keywords
Camacho, Agnes Zenaida V.; Oebanda, Cecialia; Montaño, Virgilio; Pacis, Rolando R.; Robidillo, Ma. Roserillan; child labor;
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