CANCHIPUR (MANIPUR), May 2 - A two-day workshop here discussed the issues of unregulated domestic workers particularly the young boys and girls in North Eastern States. The workshop on indigenous women and domestic workers concluded at Manipur University campus, about 6 km from Imphal recently.
The workshop was organised by the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP), Manipur University in collaboration with International Labour Organisation (ILO).
�The number of domestic workers is on the rise among the Scheduled Tribes (STs) in the region,� said ILO Consultant Souparno Lahiri while speaking on indigenous women and domestic workers: Transition from Assam tea gardens to domestic work sector. �We need to understand the reasons and address the issues.�
Citing some of the case studies on domestic workers, the ILO Consultant said some of the ST and adivasi girls and boys from Assam�s tea gardens go for domestic work in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh.
Claiming that the situation is also not so encouraging in West Bengal tea gardens, Deputy Director Tata Institute of Social Sciences Guwahati Prof Virginius Xaxa said anyone will go for domestic work if there are opportunities while Prof E Bijoykumar, Coordinator of CSSEIP said the demand for domestic workers might be lesser if their remuneration is high.
Coen Kompier, ILO Specialist on domestic work observed that the issue is a big challenge. On the other hand, National Project Coordinator of ILO country office in Delhi Suneetha Eluri while making a presentation on first-ever International labour standard for Domestic workers Convention 189 informed the gathering that domestic work is a new work but there is no proper guidance.
So many things in this sector need to be regulated, starting from the human rights angle to mutual agreement and grievances redressal system, etc., Suneetha said. It is estimated that there are about 10 million domestic workers in the country.
The workshop was inaugurated by Vice Chancellor of Manipur University Prof H Nabakumar Sarma on Thursday. According to Dr Thiyam Bharat, Convenor of CSSEIP, the participants werefrom Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Manipur.