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Our History

Kalayaan is a registered charity in England and Wales (no. 1146596) and a registered company in England and Wales (no. 7968872). Kalayaan was formally established in 1987 by domestic workers and their supporters. At that time migrant domestic workers in the UK were not recognised within the immigration rules and were brought into the UK informally by their employers.

The only proof of the way they entered was usually a stamp in their passport which read ‘visa to work with.’ and which named the employer. There would be no issue with immigration while the worker remained with their employer but if they left (usually due to unpaid wages or poor treatment) there was no formal recognition of how they entered or their status in the UK leaving them in a vulnerable and precarious position.

Kalayaan was formed to campaign for the formal recognition of migrant domestic workers in the UK within the immigration rules on the basis that without this migrant domestic workers would never be able to challenge any mistreatment or to enforce their rights.

After 10 years of work and campaigning the rule permitting migrant domestic workers to change employers was specifically introduced in 1998 to provide a mechanism for migrant domestic workers to escape exploitative and/or abusive working circumstances without jeopardising their immigration status.

Since then Kalayaan has continued to work with migrant domestic workers in the UK to support them to access their rights and to lobby for the maintenance and improvement of their access to justice. We are regulated by the OISC to give immigration advice to level 3 and we also give basic employment advice. We work closely with solicitors to whom we refer on matters which are beyond our level of expertise.

We work with the Workers Educational Association and with volunteer teachers to deliver English classes on Sundays and we are First Responders able (with their consent) to make referrals of individuals identified as trafficked into the National Referral Mechanism. We use our experience of working with migrant domestic workers in the UK to push to improve the rights of this group of workers.

Contact Us

St Francis of Assisi Community Centre
13 Hippodrome Place London W11 4SF

T 0207 243 2942

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About Us

Kalayaan was established in 1987 to provide advice, advocacy and support services in the UK for migrant domestic workers. We are NOT involved in helping people to come to the UK from another country. Migrant domestic workers are people who have entered the UK legally with an employer on a domestic worker visa to work in a private household.

The information in this website is for general guidance on your rights and responsibilities as a domestic worker in the UK and is not intended as legal advice on specific situations and should not be relied on as a source of legal advice. If you need more details on your rights or legal advice about what action to take, please contact Kalayaan or a solicitor.

Kalayaan endeavours to ensure the content of this website is accurate and up to date but does not accept any liability any loss, damage or inconvenience arising as a consequence of any use of or the inability to use any information on this website.

Kalayaan accepts no responsibility for the contents of linked websites. Links should not be taken as endorsement of any kind. Kalayaan has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

Content on this site is protected by copyright. The copyright owner is Kalayaan. You may not make alterations or additions to the material on this site, or use it for commercial purposes.