Forgotten and exploited: The plight of migrant female domestic workers interrelated to human rights violation in Ethiopian towns

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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This study aims to investigate the experiences of migrant female domestic workers (FDWs) in relation to social exclusion, policy exclusion, and human rights violations in the studied area. The pragmatic paradigm, with an embedded design, was employed as the dominant approach. Convenience sampling was used to gather a sample of domestic workers who are not officially recorded. A total of 130 participants took part in the quantitative study, and 28 participated in the qualitative study. Quantitative data were analyzed using the SPSS software, while qualitative data were analyzed thematically. The results indicate that migrant FDWs are marginalized and excluded from the country’s labor laws, and the Council of Ministers has delayed issuing laws to protect them. As a result, most respondents do not have legally binding work contracts and instead have contractual arrangements that are drafted by brokers and favor employers. This leads to various human rights abuses, including the denial of the right to education and access to health care. In addition, employers were found to be reluctant to send their employees to school, and some even fired employees due to their illnesses. These experiences have led to mental health issues such as low self-esteem, feelings of despair and insecurity, and resentment toward employers and society at large. Therefore, it is recommended that the government and stakeholders take steps to advocate for the rights of FDWs and initiate programs to raise social awareness and inclusion in labor laws.