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《经济学人》:家政工作,释放女佣

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Domestic workers
家庭女佣

Free the maids
释放女佣

A new treaty aims to stop abuse
旨在禁止虐待的新条约

Jun 23rd 2011 | from the print edition

WITHOUT them many an economy would grind to a halt: the global army of between 50m and 100m domestic workers, most of them women and children. Yet tucked away in kitchens and nurseries, mainly in the Middle East and Asia, their wages often go unpaid, they are rarely granted any time off, and many face physical and sexual abuse.

全球约有五千万到一亿的家政服务大军,如果没有他们,许多经济都会慢慢停下来。他们中的大多数人是妇女和儿童。他们忙碌在中东和亚洲的一些国家的厨房和托儿所,他们常常拿不到应得的报酬,很少有假期,许多人经常遭遇肉体和性方面的虐待。

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) hopes to change all this with a new treaty adopted on June 16th at its annual conference. The Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers has been three years in the making. Its goal is to limit working hours, guarantee weekly days off, ensure a minimum wage and protect domestic workers from violent employers.

国际劳工组织6月16日在其年会上通过了一项新条约,希望藉此改变所有这一切。《家政工人体面工作协定》已酝酿三年。其目的在于:限制工人的工作时间,保证工人每周得到休息,确保最低工资,保护家政人员免受雇主暴力侵犯。

Only a few delegates—government officials as well as national representatives of employers and workers—voted against (Swaziland and a couple of employer groups, including the Confederation of British Industry), but there were some notable abstentions. Predictably, they included Malaysia. A series of abuse cases led Indonesia to ban its citizens from going to work there as maids from 2009 until May this year. More surprisingly, the British government, too, preferred not to vote either way. It said the treaty would be too onerous, particularly the parts regulating working hours and health and safety.

只有几个代表团——雇主、家政工人的政府官员或国家代表——投票反对(斯韦士兰和包括英国行业联合会在内的几个雇主小组),但也有几国弃权,颇为引人注目。其中包括马来西亚,这一点可以预见。因为马来西亚发生了一系列的虐待案件,印尼自2009年到今年5月,禁止本国公民去马来西来做仆工。最令人感到惊奇的是,英国政府也弃权了。他们认为这项条约太过苛刻,特别是那些涉及工作时间和健康安全方面的规定。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
treaty ['tri:ti]

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n. 条约,协定

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grind [graind]

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vt. 磨,碾碎,挤压,压迫
vi. 磨得吱吱

 
contrast ['kɔntræst,kən'træst]

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n. 差别,对比,对照物
v. 对比,成对照<

 
unnecessary [ʌn'nesisəri]

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adj. 不必要的,多余的

 
domestic [də'mestik]

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adj. 国内的,家庭的,驯养的
n. 家仆,

 
opposed [ə'pəuzd]

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adj. 反对的,敌对的 v. 和 ... 起冲突,反抗

 
initially [i'niʃəli]

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adv. 最初,开头

 
abuse [ə'bju:s,ə'bju:z]

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n. 滥用,恶习
vt. 滥用,辱骂,虐待

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guarantee [.gærən'ti:]

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n. 保证,保证书,担保,担保人,抵押品
vt

 
embarrassed [im'bærəst]

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adj. 尴尬的,局促不安的,拮据的

 


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