Domestic Workers During the COVID-19 Crisis: Pathways of Impact, Recovery and Resilience in Six Cities

The COVID-19 pandemic only worsened domestic workers’ socio-economic disadvantages. Bereft of social safety nets, the sting of job losses during the pandemic and resulting income losses threatened to be especially painful to domestic workers. Those who remained employed were required to be in others’ homes, and often multiple homes, exposing them to heightened risks of catching the virus, often without access to health care.

This report explores how the pandemic has exposed and worsened domestic workers’ legal, economic and social plight. It looks at how COVID-19 accentuated the mismatch between the necessity for domestic workers’ labour to sustain households and their precarious working and living conditions. Findings are presented from six cities where domestic workers were surveyed and interviewed: Ahmedabad and Delhi, India; Bangkok, Thailand; Lima, Peru; Mexico City, Mexico, and Pleven, Bulgaria.