Domestic Servant Child Workers

Child domestic work can be defined as the engagement of a child less than 18 years of age in doing domestic everyday jobs in another’s household, regardless of the amount wages. According to surveys supported by ILO and UNICEF in 2005–06, Bangladesh has  more than  720,000 child  domestic  workers,  and  more  than three-quarters of them are girls. The common tasks for domestic girl workers are washing dishes,  cooking,  serving  food,  washing  clothes,  babysitting  for  their  employers’ children, and cleaning floors. Among boys, the most  common tasks are purchasing daily essentials, cleaning floors, raising cattle and gardening. Almost all child domestic workers live at their employers’ homes and work seven days a week at an average 10 to 12 hours per day and find three meals a day. More than 90% said that they received. Some kind of medical treatment when they were sick, though one-third reported that they had to work while they were ill and only 37.5% of employers said they had given them time off due  to illness. Among them only  11% find opportunity of going to school.  The parents of 80% of these  children  had no  formal education,  and the parents of only 6% had primary level education or above (UNICEF 2009). 


Child domestic workers are highly vulnerable to abuse. A qualitative study of 80 child domestic workers in Dhaka found that half of the girls and one-third of the boys considered themselves  to  be physically abused  by  their employers  ( servants of other families. Blanchet (1996) realized that many employers locked their domestic  servants  inside  their homes  because  of fears  that they  would steal  from them, reveal private household matters, and develop networks that would empower.Them to challenge their employers’ authority.