It is common to find information about Brazilians who want to work as Au Pairs, but you never hear about foreigners being Au Pairs in Brazil. The reason is because this type of exchange is not possible according to Brazilian Legislation. This article will explain why Au Pairs are not common in Brazil.
Au Pair is one of the most traditional cultural exchange programs, because it permits an exchange student to live with a foreigner family, following their routine and habits. The Au Pair must help the family by taking care of their children and doing some household tasks. In Brazil, some exchange Agencies offer this program to Brazilians who wants to be Au Pairs, but this Agencies do not offer this type of program to foreigners who wishes to be Au Pairs in Brazil. How come this is the case in Brazil?
Au Pairs are not Included in Brazilian Legislation
The Brazilian Legislation does not specify anything about Au Pair exchange in the country, which means that, in Brazil, an Au Pair Visa doesn't exist and that this type of activity cannot be done by foreigners in the country. The activity is not regulated by legislation basically because Brazilians don't have the Au Pair culture.
The period of slavery in Brazil was long and profound. It influenced the country greatly and the habit of having someone else do the housework still persists. Even with the abolition of slavery, the practice has remained a normality for Brazilians, creating a culture of employing domestic workers in the country.
The issue of domestic workers has recently – in 2012 and 2013 – become a polemic issue in Brazil, since federal government has designated the same rights of regular workers to all domestic workers. This means that this type of work is still increasing in the country, giving little room for Au Pairs to enter.
Brazil Has the Biggest Population of Domestic Workers
According to a study made of 177 countries by ILO, the International Labor Organization, Brazil has 7.2 million domestic workers, 6.7 million of them are women and half a million are men. These numbers place Brazil at the top of the list of countries with the highest population of domestic workers of the world:
8. Saudi Arabia
10. United States
The study also reveals that 17% of women who work in Brazil perform domestic duties, but this percentage is not the highest presented in the study. Countries such as Argentina (18,3%), Uruguay (18,5%) and Costa Rica (17,3%) and countries from the Middle East, such as Kuwait (53,%), Bahrein (42,2%) and Qatar (38,9%) presented higher percentages of women as domestic workers.
The culture of domestic workers spread throughout Brazil, leaving no space for Au Pairs. The domestic workers are usually paid the federal minimum wage – which is not high – because there are a large number of domestic workers searching for work.