Post Mortem

Plight of domestic workers in Nagaland

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 4/15/2019 12:11:15 PM IST

 Domestic workers are not considered as workers by the state mainly due to their unorganized nature of work, though the employers and employees’ relationship is widely established. Hence the concern is on the regulation of domestic work with regard to decent working conditions including working hours, weekly off, annual leave, health and safety at work, protection from abuse and discrimination. Today in Nagaland, having dealt with the plight of domestic workers for years we see that domestic workers have become the property or slave of the employers i.e. to say that their pay, safety, security etc. is at the mercy of the employers.

The incident that happened in Kohima, wherein the couple assaulting a minor, who is about 13 years of age, is heartbreaking, and the reality is that this is just the tip of the ice- break. Such similar incidents take place in Nagaland daily. The victim is a child who is child labour. Where is the Law to protect these minors? We the National Domestic Workers Movement – Nagaland Region working for the domestic workers in Nagaland come across similar and such incidents on a regular basis where our domestic workers are physically, sexually emotionally abused, their pay is not paid, and they are made to work overtime. The plight of the domestic workers is Nagaland is very sad. Why? One important reason is that the state government has not yet recognized domestic workers as workers and their work as work. Though we work for their rights, justice, empowerment, and dignity we can’t go to employers’ house and fight for their rights because our state government does not recognize them as workers, they are not listed in the schedule of employment of minimum wages act, they are not  recognized by the state government as workers. Though, the state government has registered domestic workers under the trade union act; what about the other benefits, where is the safety and the security? The abuses of the domestic workers are violation of human rights. Now it is high time for all of us specially the state government to protect the domestic workers. In Nagaland almost every household has a domestic worker. If the government does not protect them, then their plight will continue to suffer under the employer.  

The employer who treats their domestic worker in an inhuman way should be punished, labour law should give a provision to recognize domestic workers as workers and their work as work and protect them under the act, where contract is made between the triparty so that the domestic workers will be protected. Just think of a home without the domestic worker. Then, why the state government is so slow in protecting them and bring their work under the schedule of employment, give them safety and security, pass a law where domestic workers are protected. State government has failed to recognize domestic workers as workers and their work as work. Hear our cry for the domestic workers safety and security. They are not slaves, to be treated badly. They are workers who contribute a lot for the economy of the state and the nation.

The National Domestic Workers movement Nagaland Region and the All Nagaland Domestic Workers Union condemn the inhuman act. 

Sr. Pramila 

(National Domestic workers 

Movement- Nagaland Region)

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