Helping those that help us: Challenges faced by foreign domestic workers in the Republic of Cyprus

PRIO Report

Hadjigeorgiou, Athanasia (2020) Helping those that help us: Challenges faced by foreign domestic workers in the Republic of Cyprus, PRIO Cyprus Centre Report, 2. Nicosia: PRIO Cyprus Centre.

​This report describes the living and working conditions experienced by foreign domestic workers (FDW) in the Republic of Cyprus (Republic or RoC). It focuses on four main challenges faced by FDW, namely: their poor working conditions, problems related to their remuneration, the increased likelihood that they will be victims of (unreported and unpunished) abuse and the serious restrictions imposed on their private and family lives. Despite the RoC's relatively open entry policy to FDW, the conditions they experience when they start working are in dire need of improvement. This is technically due to gaps and problems in the law, but is also itself a consequence of a series of underlying factors. Among these are a lack of rights awareness within the FDW community and a massive power imbalance between employers and employees, sustained through biased, even discriminatory, State policies and practices. The report concludes with recommendations that can introduce improvements at the legal and institutional levels, and others that can empower FDW and bring social change more directly.  

Section 2 provides an overview of the research methodology and Section 3 describes the legal framework regulating the rights of FDW in the Republic. Section 4 discusses the challenges faced by FDW in the country, while Section 5 delves into the factors that exacerbate the poor living and working conditions described in the previous part. Finally, Section 6 lists recommendations, the implementation of which could result in positive legal, institutional and social changes. 

Authors

Athanasia Hadjigeorgiou

Athanasia Hadjigeorgiou

External Consultant