Development of Convention 189 and Recommendation 201

Although the first ILO resolution concerning the conditions of employment of domestic workers was adopted as early as 1948, the road towards the adoption of Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189) and Recommendation (No. 201) concretely dates back to 2008, when the ILO Governing Body decided to include the setting of standards on decent work for domestic workers in the agenda of the 2010 ILO Conference.

The first step was to map the state of law and practice concerning domestic workers across the world: this information was compiled in Report IV(1), which was sent to Member States in 2009. The comments submitted in reply were published in Report IV(2) . Together, these two documents informed the discussions at the 2010 Conference.

Following the 2010 Conference, the Domestic Workers Committee produced Report IV(1), containing the proposed conclusions of the discussions. It provided the first draft for a convention and a recommendation. Once again, constituents were invited to comment, and their feedback were synthesized in Report IV(2A). A revised version of the proposed convention and recommendation (Report IV(2B)) was published in March 2011, a few months before the Conference.

In June 2011, ILO delegates adopted by an overwhelming majority the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189) and Recommendation (No. 201), a historical set of international standards aimed at improving the working conditions of tens of millions of domestic workers worldwide.

The highly active participation and engagement of governments, employers and workers, including domestic workers themselves, during the standard setting process has resulted in instruments that have a true potential for creating change in the lives of domestic workers.

More on the adoption of Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189) and Recommendation (No. 201):