The Northern Irishman dominated at the SSE Arena in Belfast on Saturday night, twice flooring his opponent but being made to settle for a points victory.
After edging the first few rounds Burnett pushed on and was well in control, although Haskins - defending his title for a third time - managed to hold on, twice beating the count when knocked to the canvas in rounds six and 11.
One judge bizarrely scored the fight at 118-108 in Haskins's favour, while the other two awarded it 119-107 to Burnett to the delight of the home crowd.
"I always knew I would be a world champion although I had to dig deep," Burnett told Sky Sports News. "I promised everyone that this belt would stay in Belfast and it has.
"Haskins made me work but I did it and it is my dream - I'm the champion of the world."