Justice for Domestic Workers
The self–help group for migrant domestic workers
Justice for Domestic Workers (J4DW) was established on March 15, 2009. It is an organisation of migrant domestic workers who work in private houses in the UK.
This is our website about the problems and injustices we face, and our struggle against legislation that would make our lives even harder. It is our voice. Thank you for listening.
One Year On: the Return to Victorian-Era Slavery for UK Domestic Workers
By Marissa Begonia. Published in London on 7th April 2013
I am sitting on the floor by the right hand corner of the Natural History Museum. I have been here quite a few times and stood in the long queue for hours outside. This time though it is special because I am with my fellow migrant domestic workers (MDWs) on a trip as one of our educational activities organised by members of Justice for Domestic workers (J4DW).
As I sit and look at the gigantic dinosaur skeleton towering over us, I imagine it roaring like the employers who shout and hurl abuse at us in their attempt to frighten myself and my fellow MDWs. For a moment, inside the museum, I just feel like sitting down in a corner and never queuing again. Then I hear our group, enjoying themselves. I feel strong, enthusiastic and positive again. Behind their beautiful smiles are their own struggles, some of them are safe (MDWs under the old system) and some are not (MDWs under the new system). As I wave my hand and smile at them, “go on, I’ll wait here!” I take out my notebook and pen and begin to write. Full article.
Community organising is central to who we are and what we do. We are the only organisation that is run for and by domestic workers. We believe that in order to secure our rights we must educate and mobilise ourselves and build links with those who can support us. Learn more about our campaigns.
As well as speaking out for our rights we also solve each other’s practical problems, because when domestic workers flee from abusive employers it is their fellow domestic workers to whom they turn for help. We find each other emergency accommodation and pool our resources to provide food and clothing. Together we search for ways to overcome our isolation and vulnerability and demand respect as workers. Learn more about our objectives and how we fulfil them with our services.
We are mainly women, though we do have men who are members. We come from the countries of Asia and Africa including India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria and others. Some of us had to escape from abusive employers, it was our only means of surviving. Finding one another and sharing our experiences is our great refuge. Learn more about us and our stories.