(Video) Nigeria’s informal economy: Domestic staff beaten and locked in Dog cage

What happened?

Abuse caught on film

A video seen on Instagram was shared on Twitter on Sunday, August 4th, 2019, showing a woman beating a boy with a belt, then locking him in a kennel built for Dogs. Click below to see the video.

Social Media Stats

The tweet was shared by the handle @enyola and so far has 154k views, 803 comments, 3,548 retweets, and 1,676 likes.


Has Law enforcement gotten involved?

The Rapid Response Squad (RRS), a unit of the Nigeria Police Force, responded to the tweet requesting for information that would lead to the apprehension of the woman in the video.

Reward for information offered

Twitter user @enyola has offered an undisclosed reward for any information leading to the location of the video and identity of the woman.


Have any leads been provided?

As of this writing, no known leads have been provided. Whoever recorded the video, assumed to be a neighbor, has not come forward with any information on where the home is located and who the woman is.

Nigeria's informal economy has a data problem

An informal economy is not monitored, taxed, or included in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) computations by Government. As a result, millions of workers in the informal sector are undocumented. This inevitably leads to exploitation and abuse. In May of 2019, Senator Magnus Abe (APC, Rivers) categorized Nigerian domestic workers as endangered and said they are stuck in dark places where "nobody is looking and no light shines."


What is the solution?

The public and private sector have to work together to ensure domestic workers in the informal sector are properly documented. The Ministry of Labor and Labor unions can join hands with data-capture firms in the private sector to make this a reality. The National Assembly also has to pass laws protecting the rights of domestic workers.

Section 65 of Nigeria's Labor act states the following:

"The Minister may make regulations providing for:

  • The engagement, repatriation or supervision of domestic servants;
  • The employment of women and domestic servants;
  • The housing accommodation and sanitary arrangement of domestic servants; and
  • The conditions of domestic service generally."

The act needs to be taken further with more specific language addressing verbal and physical abuse. The act also needs to be codified (written down in an official document).

Nigeria is yet to ratify ILO Convention 189

In 2011, the International Labor Organization (ILO) held its 100th session in Geneva where it formally adopted its 189th Convention. Dubbed the "Convention concerning decent work for domestic workers," this treaty marked the first set of global standards for domestic workers. It was voted on by ILO's members and called for, among other things, the same rights afforded to workers in the formal sector to be applicable to domestic workers.

Nigeria has been an ILO member since 1960 with Abuja playing host to the organization's branch office. ILO keeps a list of conventions and protocols not ratified by its members and you can click here to see Nigeria's list.


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