Domestics under fire: ILO
About one-third of the 52.6 million domestic workers around the world are not protected by their country's labour laws, according to the International Labour Organisation .
Cooks, maids, caregivers and other household staff face significant discrimination when it comes to minimum wages and working hours, according to the report, even as the ranks of domestic workers has rapidly grown.
Though many countries in Latin America, Africa and the West have extended protection to domestic workers, most countries in the Middle East and Asia are yet to do so.
Women make up the majority in this sector, and 7.5% of the world's employed women work in homes as domestics.
More than one-third of women staff have no right to maternity leave and maternity cash benefits, a problem that exists especially in Asia and the Middle East.
"Combined with the lack of rights, the extreme dependency on an employer and the isolated and unprotected nature of domestic work can render them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse," said Sandra Polaski, the ILO's deputy director-general.
The report was issued as countries are in the process of signing the 2011 UN convention on domestic work, which sets standards on working hours, wages and union activities.
Asia accounts for 41% of the world's domestic workers, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean with 37%.