Famed Mexican film director Alfonso Cuarón is backing a campaign to support the rights of domestic workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cuarón joins Marcelina Bautista, head of the Center for Support and Training for Domestic Employees (CACEH), in an effort to raise awareness about the plight of domestic workers and advocating that they continue to be paid during the health crisis.
The campaign is called “Care for those who care for you,” and has the support of the United Nations.
“It is not a matter of charity, it is not a favor, it is a right that domestic workers deserve at this time, and we ask for this solidarity from employers so that they continue to pay them, and give them the right to quarantine with wages intact,” Bautista said.
Mexico has an estimated 2.4 million domestic workers; 98% of them do not have a contract and 96% do not receive social security benefits.
Cuarón has long been a supporter of the rights of such workers. His Academy Award-winning film Roma depicted the plight of a maid in Mexico City, and he has been associated with CACEH since late 2018, shortly after the film was released.
“It is our responsibility as employers to pay their wages in this time of uncertainty,” Cuarón said in a press release issued Tuesday. “The objective of this campaign is to remember how important it is to take care of those who care for us and the respect that the workers deserve.”
The Ministry of Health (IMSS) is launching a pilot program to encourage employers to register their domestic employees with IMSS, which allows them to enjoy health, retirement and childcare benefits.
IMSS director Zoé Robledo announced yesterday that through the program 22,300 domestic workers, 72% female and with an average monthly salary of 4,975 pesos (around US $223), have registered with the federal health ministry.