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A new cooperation action between France and Mexico aims to professionalize the domestic employment sector and make it more inclusive and equitable.

Mexico has no less than 2.5 million domestic employees, most are indigenous women or women who have come from poor rural areas. There are no contracts for their working conditions… The days are long, the pay is very low, and there is no social security coverage.

But the future could prove more promising for these precarious female workers. In any case, this is the objective of the “Decent Work” MoU signed on 19 December between the Minister of Labor, Luisa María Alcalde, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves le Drian, and AFD’s Regional Director, Jean-Baptiste Sabatié, in the presence of the Mexican President, Andrès Manuel Lopez Obrador, and the Mexican Chancellor, Marcelo Ebrard.
 
This agreement marks a further step in the partnership between AFD and the Ministry of Labor via the “Formalization and Professionalization of Domestic Work” facility. 

Simplified procedure

Thanks to this program, within the next two years, domestic employees, most of whom are in a precarious situation, will be able to register their contracts and find out about their rights on a web platform. A certification reference base will be created, combined with a directory of competences. Employers will be encouraged to formalize employment via a communication campaign and targeted incentives. 

Finally, the public authorities should be extending access to social protection systems (health and retirement), which are currently implemented on a small scale, by linking them to the digital platform. The CESU (Cheques for Universal Employment Services) system in France is also one of the references often cited as an example.

“100% social link”

The purpose of this cooperation and this peer-to-peer dialogue is to help the Ministry of Labor prepare a more ambitious program, which could eventually be extended to farm workers. This is what Jean-Baptiste Sabatié points out: “This close relationship with the Ministry is a sign of confidence. It allows us to be involved in a major Government initiative to make the labor market more inclusive, more equitable and more respectful of the working conditions of women. This approach is fully in line with AFD's 100% social link objective.” A public policy loan for decent work combined with technical cooperation should also give impetus to these dynamics, which are fully in tune with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the UN.