Domestic Workers

Project proposal for
Capacity building for domestic workers and
strengthening the Network of Domestic Workers in
Thailand
1 March 2016 – 28 February 2017
Background and strategy
As of the record of December 2015, the Network of Domestic
Workers in Thailand comprises 536 members, of which 400 are
Thai and 136 are migrants (MDWs). In the annual meeting held
in March, 2015, 15 members were voted to be the Network’s
leaders. Of the number, 12 are Thai and 3 are migrants.
Members are required to pay yearly membership fee: 150 baht
for Thai members and 120 baht for migrant members. Board of
directors meetings are regularly conducted. The Network’s
rules and regulations are constantly reviewed to adequately
respond to emerging situations. Thai members also run a
saving group. Saving-related activities are held on a monthly
basis. The saving amount recorded in January 2016 is 215,500
baht. Some of the saving is used as loans for needy members,
and for improving welfare for the members. Additionally, the
Network occasionally raises funds for organizing special
activities, for example, New Year celebration, tours, and
producing Network’s t-shirts. The activities significantly
contributed to reaching out for more members.
The group of MDWs have developed their own rules and voted
for their own group’s leaders who represent each ethnic group,
including Shan, Karen, Burmese and Pa-O. Works to engage
the group have been focused on enhancing their knowledge
related to migration policy, work permit and reproductive health.
Apart from network-strengthening activities, the Network has
advocated, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and
employers, for enforcement of the domestic worker regulation
No. 14 with support of embassies and media. A series of
training were organized to enhance legal knowledge and skills
of the Network’s leaders, particularly ones related to access to
the judicial processes. The Network provided legal assistance
to domestic workers who were taken advantage of in terms of
employment. Regarding the case of the Ethiopian domestic
worker abused by her employer, the Network made public
demand to ensure adequate investigation into the case. The
abovementioned activities have generally raised awareness of
the members about the importance of access to judicial
processes.
With regards to access to the Social Security, the Network met
with a representative of the Social Security Office to assert why
it is important that the Social Security, Section 33 applied to
formal workers be extended to cover domestic workers. This
issue was also advocated through varying media channels.
Consequently, the Network’s representative has been
recognized to be part of the Working Group to consider the
feasibility of the extension.
At the national level, the Network has collaborated with the
Informal Workers Network and other labour-related networks in
other social advocacy activities, including the national reform,
women’s rights, women’s economic rights. At the international
level, the Network’s representatives participated in activities
organized by IDWF, UNHCR, and UN Women.
In the meeting to evaluate the Network’s works undertaken in
2015, and to formulate a plan for the year 2016, three areas of
focus were identified:
o Strengthening and expanding the Network: reaching out
for MDWs from countries apart from Myanmar and Thai
domestic workers living in other provinces outside
Bangkok. At least, migrants of another nationality and Thai
domestic workers of another province are expected to
reach out.
o Advocacy for widespread and effective enforcement of
laws protecting domestic workers. In collaboration with
employers andrecruitment agencies, use of employment
contracts and access to judicial procedures of domestic
workers will be promoted.
o Partnering with journalists to build positive perception of
employers and wider public towards domestic workers
It is worth mentioning that the Foundation for Labour and
Employment Promotion have partially secured a grant from
the International Federation of Red Cross and Red
Crescentsocieties to execute projects that benefit MDWs in
terms of access to health care and judicial processes.
Thus, the proposal to be implemented in March 2016-
February 2017, submitted to ILO focuses on expanding and
strengthening the Network of Domestic Workers in Thailand;
enhancing legal protection and welfare for domestic workers
in Thailand; as well as cultivating positive public perception
towards domestic workers.
The immediate objectives for this phase are as follows:
1. To expand and strengthen the Network of Domestic
Workers in Thailand
2. To advocate for legal protection and welfare for domestic
workers
3. To build positive perspective of employers and the wider
public towards social protection of domestic workers
Activities
1. Expanding and strengthening the Network of Domestic
Workers in Thailand
1.1 Organizing the national- leveled meeting of board
of directors (3 times) for follow-up and planning. The
platform will also be a semi-capacity building for the
leaders for future operation of the Network; through the
platform, the leaders’ knowledge on issues of their interest
will be enhanced. The meeting will be one-day long and
held once every 4 month with 15 board members.
1.2 MDW Board of directors meeting (3 times) to
build capacity of the leaders so that they become capable
of planning and initiating and executing activities that
enhance social protection of MDWs. The meeting will be
one-day long and held once every 4 month with 15 MDW
board members.
1.3 A Leadership training will be organized for
members, both Thai and migrants, with potential
leadership capacities. The key content will be about the
importance of organizing as a group/ network, and
approaches to work with new members. The training will
be two days.
1.4 Workshop on Social Security for the Network’s
leaders to raise good understanding about the Social
Security Act, particularly the intention of the law and
benefit packages. This one-day workshop will have 30
participants (Thai and migrant members).
1.5 Meeting with NGOs working with migrants :
Currently several NGOs working on migrant issues without
or with limited knowledge about domestic workers. An
exchange platform among the organizations will allow the
Network to gain more support in enlarging membership;
increasing social protection of domestic workers, and
referring cases of rights violation to organizations with
adequate expertise. The meeting will be one- day long
with 20 representatives from NGOs working on migrantrelated
issues, including Human Rights and Development
Foundation (HRDF),Thailand’s State Enterprises Workers’
Relations Confederation (SERC), MAP Foundation
Thailand, Labour Rights Promotion Network (LPN) and
Women’s Foundation.
1.6 Annual general meeting to inform members about
the progress of the Network in the respects of past
activities, fiscal information, growth and problems. Next
year plan will be collectively formulated. The meeting is to
increase transparency and accountability of board of
directors, and to enhance ownership of members. This
one- day long meeting will accommodate 150 members.
1.7 Evaluation and planning meeting to draw lessons
learned ;to identify emerging problems and how to
address as well as; to formulate a work plan for the next
phase. This one-day long meeting will be participated by
25 leaders of the Network.
1.8 Developing membership database and
producing membership cards to ensure systematic and
fast tracking of up-to-date membership data.
1.9 Producing publications related to the Network’s
background and benefits of members for dissemination:
 2,000 copies of brochure in Burmese
 Rules and regulations of the Network: 1,200 Thai
copies and 800 Burmese copies.
2. Advocacy to promote legal protection and welfare of
domestic workers.
2.1 Legal training for domestic workers in Khon Kaen
Province. In a meeting with domestic workers in Khon
Kaen in 2015, a number of them expressed interest in
participating the Network’s activities. The Project will start
with organizing a one-day training on the Ministerial
Regulation No. 14 and the Social Security Act to raise
participating domestic workers’ understanding about their
rights guaranteed by the laws. There will be 25
participants, namely domestic workers in Khon Kaen and
related persons.
2.2 Meeting with employers (2 times). As employers
are major stakeholders in law enforcement, meeting with
employers to keep them informed and have positive
perception on domestic workers will be a catalyst to
enforcement of laws. The Project will organize two oneday
meetings. The participants will be individual
employers and representatives of employer from trade
unions and employer’s non-profit organizations. It is
expected that the meetings will produce 10 employment
contracts to be used by participating employers.
2.3 Engaging 2 recruitment agencies to disseminate
information about the Ministerial Regulation No.14. It
was found that a number of members in the Network use
service of recruitment agencies when they seek a new job.
To raise understanding of recruitment agencies about
domestic workers’ rights and employers’ code of conduct
will thus enhance protection of domestic workers. The
Project will explore and select at least two recruitment
agencies to engage with. Ten employment contracts will
be initially produced and used by recruitment agencies
which are willing to collaborate to set good example of
genuine legal protection.
3. Awareness-raising and cultivating positive perception
about social protection of domestic workers
3.1 Developing website of the Network of Domestic
Workers in Thailand.
3.2 Media Brief (3 times) as a proactive strategy to
engage journalists in the respects of legal protection,
social security, code of conduct of employers and
domestic workers. It is expected that engaged journalists
will cover activities and movement of the Network and
largely contribute to advocacy for social protection of
domestic workers. The Project will hold meetings with
journalists covering labour, women and human rights
issues. This monthly meeting will engage with 10
journalists each time.
3.3 Celebrating International Domestic Workers on
16th June to communicate to the public about the progress
of social protection of domestic workers at national and
international levels. 150 participants will be from
government agencies, trade unions and NGOs.
3.4 Joining campaign on important day, namely The
International Women’s Day, National Labour Day and the
International Migrant Day. Joining national partners to
present identity, problems, demands of domestic workers.
Fifteen members will participate in each event.
Expected Outcomes
1. Members of the Network will increase: additional 150 Thai
nationals (550 in total), 160 Myanmar nationals (300 in
total) and 25 members of another nationality (equivalent to
20% of members of Myanmar nationals)
2. Twenty-five new leaders with leadership capability will
emerge while 30 existing leaders will acquire good
understanding about social security and be able to
communicate about it to other members.
3. A network of NGOs working on migrant issues will be
established.
4. Thirty employers and 2 recruiting agencies will acquire
good understanding about the Ministerial Regulation
No.14, good practice of domestic workers employment. 20
employment contracts will be used in real contexts.
5. A website for the Network will be developed and regularly
updated
6. Activities and movement of domestic workers will be
regularly published through media
7. Member database that can be used for referencing will be
updated
8. Publications: 2,000 copies of brochure in Burmese about
the network of MDWs; rules and regulations of the
Network (1200 Thai copies and 800 Burmese copies)