Acli Colf. Association of Domestic Workers - Italy 2. ACTIVITIES ON A COMMON PATH 1. INTRODUCTION. ASSOCIATION S ROLE

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1 1. Introduction Association s role 2. Activities on a common path Acli Colf Association of Domestic Workers - Italy 3. Open issues and prospects for decent domestic work 1. INTRODUCTION. ASSOCIATION S ROLE Acli Colf 1 is a professional association and a part of the Acli movement (Christian Associations of Italian Workers) that has as main aim the protection of domestic worker s rights and dignity. Born in 1945, with 40 offices in the Italian territory and approximately members, and through their actions, association promotes domestic work pursuing the following objectives: a) Promoting rights and duties for domestic workers; Acli Colf - Biella b) Promoting legality and surfacing undeclared work; c) Promoting a culture which would recognize domestic work s dignity and importance for the society; d) Facilitating involvement and integration of domestic workers into the social environment, promoting activities and meetings about specific topics which would give the category more recognition; e) Organizing activities of career counselling and trainings for acquiring skills and developing competences concerning domestic work and caregiving; f) Cooperating with public corporations and institutions, private-social organizations and trade unions to improve the protection and promotion of domestic work on a local, national and international level; g) Promoting Italian and foreign domestic workers participation in Acli Colf and ACLI s activities. 2. ACTIVITIES ON A COMMON PATH 2.1 Promoting legality and protection of domestic workers rights - surfacing undeclared or partially declared work - participating in the negotiation table for the national collective agreement for domestic workers in Italy 1 The word colf comes from the union of collaboratrice and familiare which in Italian means domestic worker. This word was created by the Domestic Group of ACLI in 1964, and today it is currently used.

2 - joining the international advocacy campaign for the ratification of the ILO Convention regulating domestic work, that was adopted on 16 June 2011 during the International Labour Conference in Geneva. At the national level. During the past years domestic work has become an important part of the italian economy, and constitutes 33% of the national gross product. The employees in this field of work increased about 43% since The protection of the rights of this category of workers starts from the national collective agreement for domestic workers, which expired on February 28 th, Our association is bringing its considerations and working experience at the negotiation table with the trade union, as an active and representative part of the civil society. At the international level. In developing countries, where opportunities to find a regular job are rare, domestic workers are an important portion of the economically active population. Most of them are women or girls, and they are often marginalized, exploited ore abused. Acli Colf is supporting an international advocacy campaign for the adoption of the ILO (International Labour Organization) Convention regulating domestic work. The campaign is called 12by12 and promoted by ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation), and its main aim is to have at least 12 countries ratify Convention n 189 by the end of The Convention 189 for domestic work is the result of the International Labour Organization involvement in promoting an equal treatment of domestic workers, which would give them rights and dignity any other category of workers has. It is based on the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization 2.2 Professional trainings and workshops about cultural topics - thinking of the professional trainings as a tool to define a common professional profile on a national level for domestic workers and especially for caregivers. - defining the guideline of the basic professional training for domestic workers and caregivers - promoting a debate about relevant topics concerning cultural and professional training for the workers and for the people who are dealing with domestic work and caregiving Training courses Migrants for development in collaboration with ngo IPSIA ACLI February 19 th 21 st and March 05 th 07 th, 2010 Work Migrations Representation June 23 rd 27 th, 2010 Risks and responsabilities of domestic work and caregiving June 24 th 26 th and August 08 th 10 th, 2011 Meetings concerning specific topics Conflicts and conflict prevention in the field of domestic work April 21th, 2011 Safety on the job: risks and responsibilities in the field of domestic work May 26th, 2011

3 The ambiguous respect. An anthropological point of view about the meeting of cultures on the place of domestic work June 9th, 2011 Professional training for domestic workers and caregivers July 11 th, 2011 Workshop concerning the professional training March 28 th, Women and migration - Promoting a debate about women role and gender topics connected with domestic work and caregiving - Organizing activities which would pay attention to the connections between domestic work and female migration In 2010, our association joined the Campaign Under one roof, under one law, promoted by Caritas Internationalis, and participated in the international meeting The Female face of Migration which took place in Saly (Senegal). Immigrant women leave their countries looking for dignified living conditions and better possibilities for themselves and their families. Their migration has consequences on their country of origin as well as on the destination country. They increase the social and economic environment of the destination country, but at the same time their migration generates a lack in the country of origin. Their choice of emigrate becomes the meeting point of the expectations of the ones they leave behind, and at the same time of the claims and prejudices of people they meet in the country of destination. In 2011, Acli Colf collaborated to realized the publication Migrant domestic workers, which is also about migration issues and the difficulty on domestic work. It presents stories of women who has to deal with their financial straits, with the distance to their families, with the difficulties of their working relationship, where the employers often don t take the worker rights into consideration. Acli Colf also joined the Campaign L Italia sono anch io to recognize the citizenship rights for the children born in Italy from foreign parents. 2.4 Events and initiatives Our association promoted some public meetings to debite about the issues we deal with, such as: The day off of (in)visible woman (Conference organized in collaboration with ACLI and Patronato Acli Rome March 18th, 2010) Colf: it is not a game (Initiative promoted by ACLI - Rome June 17th, 2010) The female face of migration (Conference promoted by Caritas Internationalis Saly/Senegal November 30th/ December 2nd, 2010) Poverty behind crisis (Conference promoted by ACLI Rome February 22nd, 2011) Migrant Colf-Badanti: invisible distant mothers (Conference promoted by the Verona branch of Acli Colf Verona March 8th, 2011) Non self-sufficient elderly people: outlining the future (Conference promoted by the Trentino branch of FAP (Retired Elderly People Federation) Trento March 14th, 2011)

4 Strengthening the capacity of and the social protection for domestic workers (Conference promoted by Le Centre Catholique International de Geneve Geneve June 3rd and 4th, 2011) Colf d Italia. 150 anni di lavoro domestico per raccontare l Italia che cura. (Conference promoted by Acli Colf in collaborazione with ACLI and Patronato ACLI, under the High Patronage of the President of the Italian Repubblic within the Celebrations for the 150th Anniversary of the Unity of Italy Rome 18th November, 2011) Colf d Italia. 150 anni di lavoro domestico per raccontare l Italia che cura (Colf of Italy. 150 years of domestic work to tell Italy that takes care) has been an important occasion to trace the domestic work history during the 150 years of the Unity of the country. We wanted to remind the precious contribution these workers gave in the process of national-building, as well as the immigrant workers do today. 3. OPEN ISSUES AND PROSPECTS FOR DECENT DOMESTIC WORK To promote the dignity of domestic work there are different aspect that have to be taken into consideration. The open issues concern four topics in particular: Domestic workers rights Professional profile Partecipation in community Creation of a network with the other actors 3.1 Domestic workers rights Considering the critical moment our country is living, the association wants to keep the attention on the domestic workers rights. Some important topics are: Contribution and undeclared job Right to take maternity leave Right to take sick leave Professional trainings 3.2 Professional profile To promote professional trainings for domestic workers and caregiver is an important tool to qualify the professional profile of domestic workers. This is exstremly important because of the role domestic workers have inside our families today. Domestic workers take care of our homes and our loved ones. It is a job that requires professional skills as well as proximity to the persons domestic worker take care of. They are often old and sick people, with serious pathologies such as Alzheimer or Parkinson s disease.

5 In organizing the professional trainings it is also important to highlight some significant topics such as: - Sustainable growth - Facilitating the working relationship - Transnational Welfare and Codevelopment 3.3 Partecipation in community life Acli Colf promotes the involvement of domestic workers in the activity of coomunity life and of the ACLI movement, and wants to be a place for sharing and participate. Most of the domestic workers are foreign women who can share their personal experiences inside our association and inside the society in general. It is also necessary to give these workers the facilities they might need, in collaboration with other services in the society or inside the ACLI movement (for exemple Patronato for the social security). 3.4 Creation of a network with other actors Acli Colf wants to promote a political debate inside and outside the ACLI movement concerning the social and economic role of domestic workers and caregiver. The main aim is to keep the attention on this category of workers and to think about the future of domestic workers, in particular caregivers considering the increasing ageing of the population in Italy and Europe. All the issues we presented need to be discussed and they need efficient solutions. We need to build the present and the future together taking common efforts. Acli Colf Varese

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