Silvia Borelli

The different forms of exploitation in homecare work

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Taking inspiration from European Court of Human Rights’ case law, since 2011 Italian criminal code expressly punishes labour exploitation. Italy has also been the first European country to ratify the ILO Convention on domestic work. Nevertheless, domestic workers (and in particular, homecare workers) still face several forms of labour exploitation. In the essay, the author examines all these forms, arguing that a certain level of legal exploitation is necessary for the existence of the DIY welfare, in which families have to find a solution to their care problems by themselves. Consequently, the cases of exploitation punished by the criminal code shrink. Besides, focusing mainly on the criminally relevant cases does not prevent and correct the underlying structural conditions of labour exploitation.


  • Care
  • Domestic work
  • Labour exploitation


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