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‘I Can’t Feed My Family, But We Are On The Frontline Of Coronavirus Crisis.’

April 22, 2020

Domestic workers make up one group that’s been affected most by the economic shutdown around the world. Many have suddenly been laid off by the families they work for. And since many have travelled abroad to find work, they have found themselves jobless and stranded in a foreign country, often going for years without seeing their children.

The BBC’s Ivana Davidovic hears from Lydia, a Ugandan woman in the US who has lost her job as a home care worker to elderly and disabled; Michelle, a Filipino woman in the UK, who had been a victim of modern day slavery. Just as she thought her life was stabilising, she lost all of her income and can’t support her four children, who she has not seen since 2014.

Simy in Kerala, India, is scared she will lose her house as a loan was secured on it which she and her husband cannot repay now. And Eugenica is stuck in Manilla, after her Hong Kong employers fired her because she wanted to go out and buy some food during lockdown, as they were not providing enough for her to eat.

Claire Hobden from the International Labour Organisation explains that only three countries – Spain, Argentina and France – have tried to protect their domestic workers legislatively, with limited success.

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