Domestic workers forum (DWF) is a forum of women and men working as domestic helps in the household of Delhi and other NCR cities which is instrumental in bringing the domestic working men and women, employer, placement agencies, human agencies, human right activist, concerned government officer etc.together. so that the rights and dignity of the workers are recognized and respected. DWF stands to protect their rights to common gathering, freedom of association, choice, mobility and dignity of profession.
Though the objectives of the forum merely reflected in the form of achievement but in the last year it gave a great outcome as the domestic workers were included into the sexual harassment at work place bill in 2010 in India. It was a great achievement in the aspects of securing the physical and mental abuse that they suffer in their work places or elsewhere. But that does not suffice the basic requirements needed for the social security/welfare, minimum wage and regulation of work etc. This was just start to the struggle to many. This initiative made a clear statement to many who were and still are ignorant of the fact of acknowledging the selfless services of the domestic workers. In order to keep up the momentum of this grand togetherness into advocating for the rightful choices that they should be entitled with the consideration of keeping up the dignity of a fellow human dignity, once again there is a need to congregate and deliver their voices to the larger community who have to give their consent so that necessary steps are taken in intervening and implementing a policy that favors this category or employment.
Membership Promotion & Animation:
About 3000 domestic workers have taken formal membership and more than 10,000 Domestic workers reached through various programs such as Rallies, Protests, Meetings, Networking meetings, etc. 180 Micro Groups formed out of which 40 micro groups organize meetings on their own on a regular basis. Sunday Gatherings are organized in various parishes after the service which generates awareness of their rights and dignity vis-à-vis promotes membership. Zonal Gatherings are organized which serves the purpose of Zonal level leadership quality.
As part of the ongoing capacity building programme, more than 100 group leaders are given Leadership Training. Secretariat staff which includes zonal coordinators andDrop-in Center coordinator is given trainings at different levels. Regular Staff Members are conducted on every Monday.
The efforts to motivate the placement agencies are made through one to one meetings and consultations with them. We organize consultations at Indian Social Institute, New Delhi, Punjabi Bagh, Jasola and Kotla Mubarakpur. We are currently networking with 55 placement agencies Exposure Visit to Place of Origins are made.
The issues chosen for advocacy this year are : India support ILO Convention held on June 2011 at Geneva; Making of National Policy exclusively for Domestic Workers and Inclusion of Domestic Workers in Sexual Harassment Bill 2010 tabled in the Parliament. In support of these demands the Forum carried out advocacy through Post Card Campaigns, Signature Campaigns and Knock the Door Campaign.
Rescue Operation, Counseling & Rehabilitation:
Domestic workers forum rescues domestic workers from abusive and trafficking and assists them to change their employers or reintegrates them with their loved ones. During this operations, counseling and legal advice to Domestic workers are given.
Achievement’s as on 31/03/16
- ‘Domestic Workers Forum’ has recognition that cuts across government departments, elected representatives, civil society organization and activists common public and above all domestic worker’s themselves.
- Advocacy and Lobbying for Domestic workers to capacitate them and have an understanding about their rights.
- Draft Proposed to the Government of India for the application of minimum wages for the Domestic workers.
- Establishment of wide network with partnering organizations throughout the country working for the common cause.
- 245 micro groups have been formed in the residential areas of nine zones of NCR, where leaders are taking.
- More than 5000 members registered with the Domestic Workers Forum.
- International labour organization (ILO) looks at the domestic workers forum as a consultative body of the intervention and connections to the place of origins.
- Strong network with the Police Administration of 4 States in the Country with the largest Trafficking figures.
- Micro groups have also made representation on various issues either related to their residence, their work place or their rights issues, etc. with their local governmental bodies.
- The states of Assam, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have been identified as the strong ports of migration and contacts have been established with local civil society organizations.
- Vigilance groups have been set up in the villages that are presently into studying their local situations with the support of local civil society organizations through surveys. Organizing exposure visits for the key persons from the villages to the place of destination has created a great opening to understand situations of abuse, and the struggles involved. The community is aware of the stark realities behind domestic work.