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Further details may exist on the talk page. A domestic worker, domestic helper, domestic servant, manservant or menial, is a person who works within the employer’s household. Some domestic helpers live within their employer’s household. In some cases, the contribution and skill of servants whose work encompassed complex management tasks in large households have been highly valued. However, for the most part, domestic work, while necessary, is demanding and undervalued. Although legislation protecting domestic workers is in place in many countries, it is often not extensively enforced. Servant is an older English word for “domestic worker”, though not all servants worked inside the home.

Domestic service, or the employment of people for wages in their employer’s residence, was sometimes simply called “service” and has often been part of a hierarchical system. The United Kingdom’s Master and Servant Act 1823 was the first of its kind and influenced the creation of domestic service laws in other nations, although legislation tended to favour employers. However, before the passing of such Acts servants, and workers in general, had no protection in law. The conditions faced by domestic workers have varied considerably throughout history and in the contemporary world. In July 2011, at the annual International Labour Conference, held by the ILO, conference delegates adopted the Convention on Domestic Workers by a vote of 396 to 16, with 63 abstentions. The Convention recognized domestic workers as workers with the same rights as other workers. On 26 April 2012, Uruguay was the first country to ratify the convention.

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