2016 | Alexandra Ricard-Guay

The paper argues that measures addressing the demand-side (employers/labour market) can hardly be separated from tackling the ‘supply’ side, namely addressing the workers’ situations. Domestic workers face vulnerabilities to exploitation: the work is performed in private homes within intimate relationships characterised by dependency and power imbalance, very often within informal and live-in arrangements. Some policies may also foster the precariousness of migrant domestic workers. Preventing trafficking from occurring and discouraging inappropriate demand includes the reduction of vulnerability to abuse on the side of workers and the limitation of the opportunities for exploitation on the side of employers. Thus, a holistic approach must be adopted to address the demand-side of trafficking. Establishing stronger regulations for domestic work is crucial, but it is not sufficient without simultaneously seeking ways of empowering domestic workers and fostering change in social norms and employers’ behaviour, beliefs, and attitudes that tend to undervalue domestic work.