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Revaluing "Women's Work:" Ending the Exploitation and Abuse of Domestic Workers

Selene Kaye,
Director, Liberty Division,
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March 10, 2010

A reminder to those of you in the New York area to join us tomorrow at the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women for a film screening and discussion about the human rights of domestic workers.

For decades, nannies, caregivers, and housekeepers have been excluded from most U.S. labor protections – a legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, and the undervaluation of “women’s work.” The lack of regula­tion combined with the isolated nature of domestic work makes these women particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses, breeding the global phenomenon of human trafficking.

As the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women undertakes a 15-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, this public forum will call attention to the failure of the U.S. and other governments to live up to their obligations under interna­tional human rights law to protect this critical workforce.

The event will begin with a screening of Behind Closed Doors, a short documentary film about the exploitation and labor trafficking of South Asian women as domestic workers in the United States. The filmmakers, Pracheta Sharma and Jessica Hopper, will introduce the film, which will be followed by a panel discussion with domestic workers and advocates engaged in local, national, and international movements to protect the human rights of domestic workers and re-value their labor.

What: Revaluing “Women’s Work:” Ending the Exploitation and Abuse of Domestic Workers
Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 6:00pm
U.N. Church Center, 10th Floor, 777 U.N. Plaza (44th St. and First Ave.), New York, NY
This event is free and open to the public.

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