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IDWF and Elizabeth Tang receives The Arthur Svensson Prize 2023

The "Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights" 2023 is awarded to the "International Domestic Workers Federation" (IDWF) and their general secretary, Elizabeth Tang. Through this award, the prize committee will shine a spotlight on the important work IDWF and Tang do for this extremely vulnerable group of workers all over the world. They provide the women in particular with a network, strength and information about their rights, and provide training in conducting trade union work through the member organisations. The award is also a strong call to the ILO's member countries to ratify ILO Conventions 189 and 190, two conventions which are crucial for a dignified working situation for workers in private homes.

"Domestic workers" - workers who are employed in private homes, are workers who are very often without rights, are unorganized and without someone to protect them. Very often they are poorly paid and exposed to harassment and violence. The vast majority are women who work as maids, cleaners, caretakers, nannies, cooks and similar occupations.

IDWF is a unique organization that was founded by representatives from this group themselves in the belief that their work should be valued as highly as other work, and that they should have the same rights. The organization's goal is to build a strong, democratic and unifying global organization to protect and promote the rights of workers in private homes, and it is led by elected representatives from the workers themselves. As of today, IDWF has 88 affiliated member organizations from 68 countries with a total membership of more than 670,000.

IDWF's efforts were central to the efforts to get ILO Convention 189 on decent work for employees in private homes in place, and they are now focusing on getting more countries to ratify and implement this convention. They were also strongly involved in the work with ILO Convention 190 on eliminating violence and harassment in working life, to which a great many of this group of workers are exposed.

Elizabeth Tang has been involved in the labor movement since the early 80s. Tang led the work of the network that was the forerunner of IDWF, and was elected as the first general secretary when the global organization was formally established in 2013. She still remains general secretary. She was one of the founders of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) in 1990 where she was executive secretary until 2011.

Through this award, the prize committee will shine a spotlight on the important work IDWF and Tang do for this extremely vulnerable group of workers all over the world. They provide the women in particular with a network, strength and information about their rights, and provide training in conducting trade union work through the member organisations. The award is also a strong call to the ILO's member countries to ratify ILO Conventions 189 and 190, two conventions which are crucial for a dignified working situation for workers in private homes.


The award ceremony will be in Oslo 14th of June. Trade unionists from all over the world are invited!


Listen to the justification here




1 commentaire


CIAWU- Malawi, is an affiliate to IDWF, and through its General Secretary Late Mary Dzinyemba,(may her soul rest in peace) it has organized a number of domestic workers across Malawi and IDWF Africa region through its General Secretary Vicky Kanyouka, CIAWU has received tremendous support in organising and training domestic workers in the country. viva IDWF.

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