A – Z of Home-Based Workers,
March 2020

An illustration poster outlining the different types of work done by home-based workers aimed at enhancing workers’ stories and understanding the wide variety of activities in the sector.

Working in Garment Supply Chains: A Homeworker’s Toolkit

Toolkit designed in response to a demand of HNSA’s membership. It aims to offer an understanding on global and domestic garment supply chains, the issues aced withing these supply chains and highlights existing legal instruments. The tool kit is meant for trainers and organisers.

How Homeworkers Can Use the OEC Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Suply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector

by Marlese von Broembsen and Sarah Orleans Reed This 2020 guide explains the OECD Guidelines for Multi-National Enterprises (MNEs) and MNEs’ responsibilities to workers in their supply chains. It contains provisions that relate specifically to homeworkers. This guidebook explains how the complaints process works, with examples, and suggests how homeworkers’ organizations might use the OECD Guidance as part of their advocacy strategies to secure decent work for homeworkers.

The Only School We Have – Organizing Experiences from Across the Informal Economy

A guidelines for building membership-based organizations. Success stories from around the world highlight the importance of mobilizing workers. (Also available in Spanish).

Organizing in the Informal Economy

Six booklets (also available in French, Portuguese and Spanish)

Developing Leadership and Business Skills for Informal Women Workers in Fair Trade

This series of training manuals aims to improve the financial independence and capacities of home-based women producers, particularly those involved in fair trade activities. It developed out of the trainings done in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda. The series goes through the steps of leadership development; cooperative and independent financing; and the broadening business skills such as product consistency and pricing:

Facilitator Guide: We are workers our homes are workplaces

A facilitator’s guide for home-based workers in Africa. These training materials were produced in collaboration with the Kenyan and Ugandan working groups.

Training posters: We are workers our homes are workplaces

To support trainings with local groups, facilitators can use these illustrated posters have been developed to go with the Guide.

With ‘Strength in Solidarity’ as its guiding principle, HomeNet South Asia pursues an agenda of empowerment for women, home-based workers across South Asia. It ensures that this agenda is responsive, democratic, and representative. These are the key areas it pursues initiatives and programmes in:

Using ILO Mechanisms to Implement the Labour Code of Homeworkers in Bulgaria

In 2009, Bulgaria ratified the ILO Home Work Convention (C177) and Recommendation (R184) – and amended its Labour Code. However, it has not enforced the legislation and according to the trade union, UNITY (TUSIW “Edinstvo”), the government argues that the legislation does not apply to homeworkers because they do not have contracts.

Trade Union of Self-Employed and Informal Workers “Unity” A letter to the ILO

In 2014, WIEGO assisted UNITY in writing a letter to the ILO, setting out its views. This letter is mentioned in the official report of the Committee of Experts, and in 2014, the Committee asked the Government of Bulgaria to respond to Unity’s allegations. The Bulgarian government was obliged to submit its next report on 1 September 2018.

The European Union’s Commodification of Bulgarian Homeworkers: Regulating informal labour in global production networks

by Marlese von Broembsen, August 2019
This paper interrogates the potential of contemporary international law instruments to realize decent work for homeworkers. It grounds the discussion with reference to data on homeworkers in Bulgaria.

Impact of COVID-19 on global supply chains in Latin America.
February, 2021.

ILO report analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chains in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Home-Based Workers in the World: A Statistical Profile

Globally, 260 million women and men are employed in home-based work, including 35 million in developed countries.

Statistical Brief on Home-Based Workers in Pakistan (2020)

In recent years, home-based work has grown in Pakistan. This growth is due to an increase in the number of women doing home-based work, while the number of men in home-based work has declined.

Home-Based Workers in Bangladesh a Statistical Profile

There are several million home-based workers in Bangladesh, who represent 5 percent of non-agricultural employment and 12 percent of agricultural employment.

Home-Based Workers in India: A Statistical Profile

Between 2011-12 and 2017-18, the number of home-based workers decreased significantly. The drop was greater than the drop in India’s total employment and was largely due to the significant decrease in the employment of women in home-based agricultural work.

Opportunities for Women Home-Based workers to Contribute to India’s Growth Story

India’s growth story is a paradox. While India has seen impressive growth in its Gross Domestic Product and per capita income, these gains have not been evenly distributed.


Comparison of Draft Codes on Social Security in India

The Second Draft Code on Social Security (2018) Vs The Third Draft Code on Social Security (2019) – A Comparison From the Perspective of Unorganised Sector Workers.

Empowering Home-Based Workers in India: Strategies and Solutions

Home-based workers produce goods or services for the market from within or around their own homes. In developed, developing and under-developed economies, home-based workers produce a wide range of goods and services. This study was undertaken in collaboration with the Harvard South Asia Institute (SAI) and the Tata Trusts on ‘Livelihood Creation in India’.

Ela Bhatt, the founder of SEWA and the pioneer of home-based workers movement traces the history of the movement.
Home-based workers united through song in different languages for HNI Launch.

Ugandan Home-Based Workers displaying traditional dance and attire.

Solidarity messages and song by COTRADO ALAC.

Messages of solidarity from HBWs from Vietnam, Philippines, IndonesiaCambodia, Laos and Thailand.

HomeNet South Asia takes us on a journey through the history of the HBWs movement.

The fast fashion mantra rules the global garment industry – spurning supply chains that crisscross the globe. Homeworkers sit at the bottom of these supply chains, taking up a range of jobs that contribute significantly to the end product. However, they remain invisible and command little bargaining power.

There are over 260 million home-based workers around the world and over 50 million of these reside in South Asia. In a fast-paced, globalized world, home-based workers – a majority of them women – have become integral to global and local economies. Yet, they remain invisible and unrecognized.

By Aidemi Artisans, a HomeNet Eastern Europe and Central Asia Affiliate in Kyrgyzstan
The Center of the Self Employed and Commercial Sector Workers Union in Georgia, affiliate of HomeNet Eastern Europe and Central Asia, shares home-based workers training online on creating earrings
Kurak Cholpon in Kyrgyztan