P June 2020

Protecting the rights of domestic workers in Malaysia during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

No. of pages: 12
Author: ILO

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the decent work deficits of the domestic work sector in Malaysia have come into sharp focus. The health crisis has compounded the negative effects of domestic workers’ exclusion from full labour and social protections on par with other sectors. As many domestic workers are migrants in Malaysia, domestic workers also grapple with additional challenges such as lost remittances, travel restrictions and risk of arrest and detention by state officials. This note outlines the specific requirements of migrant domestic workers in light of the existing and emerging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and seeks to make recommendations to protect the rights of domestic workers in Malaysia. The observations and recommendations made in this note are the results of a consultative dialogue organised by the ILO-UN Women Spotlight Initiative Safe and Fair programme and Ke-Arah 189, a coalition of civil society organisations advocating for the protection of the rights of domestic workers in Malaysia.