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Behind Closed Doors: Experiences of Latin American Domestic Workers in the UK

This report by Latin American Women's Rights Service presents the experiences of Latin American domestic workers in the UK.

Latin American women are overrepresented in domestic work in the UK, a highly feminised and unregulated sector where work is seen as unproductive and unskilled, and where the workforce is virtually invisible.

Drawing from 12 in-depth interviews, this study outlines the characteristics of the sector. It highlights the high levels of isolation, exploitation and abuse that are endemic within it, and looks into the specific ways these affect women workers in the Latin American community. It also provides recommendations for policy change.

Key findings

  • All participants experienced an increase to their working hours, leading to little to no time off.
  • All women experienced breaches of verbal agreements.
  • 10 out of 12 participants worked at least 12 hours per day, the longest working day being 17 hours per day. 
  • At least one participant experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • All participants felt they did not have the option of changing their working conditions.
  • All participants related signs of isolation and an inability or fear of seeking help.
  • 50% of the participants were victims of trafficking for labour exploitation.

Read the full report

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20 October 2023

Behind Closed Doors: Experiences of Latin American Domestic Workers in the UK

About Latin American Women's Rights Service

The Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS) is a feminist and human rights organisation run by and for Latin American migrant women living in the UK. It supports women who are exposed to violations of their fundamental human rights, facing violence against women and girls, exploitation in low-paid sectors, trafficking, and enduring severe poverty and deprivation. It also actively advocates for women’s rights, migrants' rights and the rights of ethnic minorities at local, national and EU levels, working with sister organisations in the women, migrant, anti-trafficking and racial justice sectors, as well as networks and campaigns, to tackle the vulnerabilities faced by Latin American women, who are affected by intersectional layers of discrimination.