Migrants employed in the domestic work sector are essential workers in the COVID-19 response, due to the important roles they play in the care of children, sick, and dependent people, as well as the maintenance of homes, which helps prevent the spread of the virus. However, despite their enormous contribution to the functioning of households and the economy, they tend to be one of the groups most affected by the crisis.
Traditionally, domestic work has been considered precarious due to poor or even exploitative working conditions, such as long working hours, low wages, informal conditions, little-to-no social protection, and a tendency to live with their employers. A 2018 report released by UN Women found that the Caribbean region has high levels of informal working conditions among domestic workers, with 90% of domestic workers employed informally. Specifically, the following states had particularly informal work situations for domestic workers: Haiti (99%), Dominican Republic (96.5%), Jamaica (92%) and Guyana (94.9%).