Child domestic workers undertake domestic chores, they care for children, tend the garden, take care of animals, run errands and help their employers run their small businesses.


Child domestic workers are children who work in other people’s homes or they can work in their own homes.  This includes children who ‘live in’ or live separately from their employers, as well as those who are paid for their work, those who are not paid, and those who receive ‘in-kind’ benefits, such as food and shelter.


The International Labour Organization estimates that more than 15 million children around the world, mainly girls, are in paid or unpaid domestic work in households other than their own. Of these children around two thirds are estimated to be in unacceptable situations, either because they are below the legal minimum working age, or are working under hazardous conditions or in circumstances that are tantamount to slavery.



Poverty is the main reason children are pushed into domestic work.  Although conflict and natural disasters, HIV/AIDS and economic globalisation are all factors that are forcing more poverty-stricken young women and children into domestic work far from their homes.  And, gender inequality means that domestic work is assumed to be a woman or a girls role and it is therefore not seen as real ‘work’....more


Child domestic labour is one of the most widespread, exploitative forms of child work in the world today, and one of the most difficult to tackle. Child domestic workers are hard to reach not only because they work behind the closed doors of their employers’ homes, but also because society sees the practice as normal and – in relation to girls – important training for later life as a wife and mother....more

"As a domestic worker, you have no control over your life. No one respects you. You have no rights. This is the lowest kind of work."  Yanti, Indonesia






"I cook in the kitchen every day. I wash the dishes. In the evening I wash the dishes of the previous dinner. After eating they leave the dirty plates for me to clean. I’m to clean the living room while they are sleeping."  Clarice, Togo









“I came with my mum, she left me at my aunt’s house, she told me I was going to stay there because it was better for me, because at home we didn’t have so many things.” Ana Monica, Peru






"We don’t get treated properly. We are discriminated against because of our race or our culture. That’s how my employer’s eldest daughter treats me, as inferior."  Flor, Peru.