Rights of Domestic Workers in India: A Critical Analysis of Efforts of the National Human Rights Commission of India

  • Y. S. R. Murthy


The National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) has been entrusted with a wide mandate in relation to safeguarding the basic human rights of people in India under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. The Commission’s mandate covers, among other groups, the rights of domestic workers. Its strategy, over the last two decades, has primarily focused on addressing bonded labour, child labour, exploitation of migrant domestic workers, etc. Rights of domestic workers in India bring into sharp focus India’s obligations under the Indian Constitution and international conventions and other commitments. This chapter seeks to outline some of the challenges with regard to the protection of the rights of domestic workers and also undertake a critical appraisal of how the NHRC acquitted itself in protecting their rights in the last 23 years or so.


  1. du Toit, D. (2011). Domestic worker’s convention: A breakthrough in human rights. Law Democracy and Development, 15, 4.Google Scholar
  2. Finn, D. Bonded labour in India. In Topical research digest: Human rights and contemporary slavery.Google Scholar
  3. International Labour Organisation. (2007). Toolkit for mainstreaming employment and decent work. Geneva: ILO.Google Scholar
  4. Law to regulate working condition of domestic workers demanded. (2016). Indian Express, December 1, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2017, from
  5. Kaga, M. (2012). Domestic work is real work. Repoliticizing the discourse on gender, citizenship, and global injustices (DPU Working Paper No. 147). Development Planning Unit.Google Scholar
  6. Ministry of Women and Child Development. (2014). Violence against maid servants. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from
  7. National Human Rights Commission. Cases related to children/women. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from
  8. NHRC. (2010–2011). Child labour, know your rights series.Google Scholar
  9. NHRC. Annual report 1993–94.Google Scholar
  10. NHRC. Annual report 1995–96.Google Scholar
  11. NHRC. (2015). NHRC notices to governments of Tamil Nadu and Kerala over reports of trafficking of children. Retrieved June 15, 2015, from
  12. Rao, J., Assessing child domestic labour in India. UNICEF India. Retrieved July 16, 2017, from
  13. Report IV (1). (2010). Decent work for domestic workers, (1st ed.). Geneva: International Labour Office.Google Scholar
  14. Sampath, G. (2017, July 14). It’s not help, it’s work. The Hindu.Google Scholar
  15. Singh, S. (2013). No progress on law to protect domestic helps. Times of India, October 30, 2013.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. S. R. Murthy
    • 1
  1. 1.Jindal Global Law School, Centre for Human Rights StudiesO.P. Jindal Global UniversitySonipatIndia

Personalised recommendations