What is Convention No. 189?

In 2011, a new International Labour Organization Convention (treaty) specifically covering the rights of domestic workers came into force. Ratifying Convention No. 189 is important because it obliges governments to bring their national laws and enforcement in line with the recognition of domestic workers as deserving of the same labour law rights and protection accorded to most workers.

The Importance of Conventions

International labour standards are legal instruments drawn up by the ILO and its constituents (governments, employers and workers) which lay down basic principles and rights at work. They are either Conventions, which are legally binding international treaties that may be ratified by member States, or Recommendations, which serve as non-binding guidelines. Once a Convention is ratified by a country it generally comes into force one year after the date of ratification. Countries commit themselves to applying the principles of any Convention they ratify in their national law and practices and reporting back on its application at regular intervals.