The Convention will ensure the provision of the same basic labour rights to workers who care for families and households as those available to other workers.
This includes a minimum wage, clear terms and conditions of employment, daily and weekly (at least 24-hours) rest time, restrictions on in-kind payments, and respect for the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Uruguay became the first country to ratify C189 in April 2012, following adoption by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in June 2011.
Philippines ratified it soon after in August 2012, thereby ensuring its passage into binding, international law.
"What domestic workers, trade unions and their allies have achieved is remarkable," says Marieke Koning, a policy advisor at the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) whose work on the 12 x 12 Campaign
has helped bring together all those involved.
To date, seven other countries – Bolivia, Italy, Germany, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Paraguay and South Africa have ratified C189.
Costa Rica has approved draft laws on its ratification and several other countries such as Belgium, Ecuador, Tanzania and Ireland have pledged their intent to do the same.
Other countries like Brazil, Philippines and Argentina, have passed significant new laws or regulations to improve the labour and social conditions of domestic workers.