This report by the Commissioner for the Administration and the Protection of Human Rights (Cyprus Ombudsman) details the situation of foreign domestic workers (FDW) living and working in the Republic of Cyprus. In most cases, these are women who come from third countries and extremely difficult economic conditions and who migrate autonomously, with the aim of improving their and their families’ living standards. The report focuses on the vulnerability of this group, factoring in their migrant status, their gender, and their economic status. The Commissioner found that in absence of a protective legal framework, these factors can result in exploitation, sub-standard living and working conditions, and a range of human rights violations, including of Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights that safeguards freedom from slavery and forced servitude.
Existing literature and publications on the experiences of FDW has so far not systematically identitfied the specific challenges that FDW face in the Republic of Cyprus. This report fills this gap by drawing conclusions from the experiences of 150 FDW, who are currently employed in private households in Cyprus.