The domestic worker sector is largely supported by migrant workers mostly women who are an alternative source of cheap labour. ILO estimates that theree are 11.5 million migrant domestic workers representing 17.2 per cent of all domestic workers globally. In other words, nearly one in five domestic workers in the world is an international migrant. Women workers from lower income countries are increasingly finding work opportunities in the sector, often for low wages and poor working conditions, and with little legal protection. Zimbabwean women are moving to other countries to work as domestic workers with a majority being in South Africa and Botswana. These are usually illegal migrants and are at a disadvantage and prone to abuse in the workplace. DWAZ therefore offers support to these workers hence its membership in other countries. Members network and receive trainings to empower and capacity build them. DWAZ also advocates and lobby’s for the rights of the migrant workers.
In 2016, Zimbabwean women where trafficked to Kuwait under the Kafala system. Some even never made it back home whilst majority were emotional, financially and physically abused. The women where trafficked under the disguise of being domestic workers. Migration has therefore resulted in greater cases of human trafficking with the majority of the victims being women and girls. Human trafficking in Zimbabwe is both local and international. The sector has become so vulnerable and unsuspecting women continuously find themselves trapped in trafficking webs. DWAZ is therefore concerned about women and girls trafficking as domestic workers. The organisation is therefore involved in curtailing the trafficking of domestic workers. They have worked with government and other related organisations in addressing issues of human trafficking.
It is common practise in the country to engage underage girls as ‘helpers’ at home in return for ‘care’. The legal age for employment in Zimbabwe for apprenticeship is 16 years, whilst for general employment its 18years. However, a number of under age children are being employed as domestic workers with 90% of these being girls. Majority are abused and under paid whilst also working under unfavourable conditions. This leaves the children very vulnerable as majority cannot even defend themselves. DWAZ is concerned about cases of child domestic labour. They work in partnership with other organisation to fight child domestic labour. They also create awareness on the criminality of child labour a form of child abuse.