RN-DWR Mission Statement

Around the world, domestic workers are organizing and lobbying to win rights, respect and recognition. The mission of the RN-DWR is to support these efforts by promoting domestic worker rights in the academic and activist communities, strengthening domestic workers’ organizing efforts through organizing strategy and policy analysis, and meeting the research needs of domestic worker organizations through principled research, and broad publication and dissemination of results. Our main partner in this mission is the International Domestic Workers’ Federation (IDWF).


Goals and Objectives

  1. Create and disseminate a body of literature and knowledge on paid domestic work and the organizing strategies of domestic workers
  2. Document, compare and assess the organizing strategies of domestic workers
  3. Collaborate with domestic workers’ organizations in developing a research agenda and make research accessible to domestic workers and their organizations.


RN-DWR Principles

As a network that conducts research on paid domestic labour in cooperation with domestic workers, the RN-DWR aims to support their rights as well as gaining respect and recognition. We coordinate and conduct our research based on the following principles:

  • Conducting meaningful, quality research that meets the needs of domestic worker organizing efforts
  • Remaining accountable to domestic workers by consulting representatives of the International Domestic Workers’ Federation (IDWF) and other domestic workers’ organizations
  • Presenting, publishing and disseminating research results to promote domestic workers’ activities and campaigns for rights
  • Making research results accessible to domestic workers and their organizations
  • Conducting research in a principled way that respects and supports the empowerment of domestic workers
  • Building a community of like-minded researchers in the field
  • Cultivating trusting, communicative relationships with researchers and representatives of IDWF and domestic workers’ organizations.


Origination of the RN-DWR

Around the world numerous researchers are involved in research on paid domestic work, frequently in collaboration with domestic workers and their organizations. These research efforts are barely connected. Therefore, researchers affiliated with the International Center for Development and Decent Work, the Global Labour University, and the International Domestic Workers Federation and other individuals have started the RN-DWR initiative in 2009.

During meetings we established that we shared a commitment not only to researching domestic work, but also to the domestic workers’ rights and collaboration with domestic workers and their organizations. On this basis, the RN-DWR was constituted in December 2010 at a workshop hosted by the Dutch trade union FNV Bondgenoten, with a decision to officially launch the Domestic Worker Research Network at the International Labour Conference in June 2011.

In 2014 we published the manual: ’We want to be the protagonists of our own stories’. A manual on how domestic workers and researchers can jointly conduct research. Kassel: Kassel University Press (free download: www.uni-kassel.de/go/rn-dwr). The manual is a result of a collaborative research project of the network on the social security needs of domestic workers.