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Ecuador: Organization of domestic workers

In the megalopolis of Latin America there is hardly a population group that is more strongly exploited than domestic workers. For the most part these are young women from indigenous population group who only recognize the work in a household of the middle and upper class as a way out of poverty. Exploitation does not only mean exploitation of the manpower, unfair payment and working hours around the clock. Exploitation often enough also means sexual abuse.

This is also the case in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Therefore the Kolping Society offers vocational training for domestics so that they can find a job that is better paid. In order to secure the domestics better, the association cooperates with the ministry for Education. They run a joint internet platform that brings together employers and potential employees. If an employment relationship is agreed upon then it is monitored so that in the case of exploitation one can intervene.

Moreover, the domestics are invited to organize within self-help groups. Since these are better capable to intervene in the case of abuse and exploitation than individuals and to defend the domestics’ human dignity.

Peter Schwab