Other Informal Workers and the Law

The informal economy includes workers from many sectors, including garment workers, fish workers, agricultural workers, contract farmers, construction workers, and transportation workers. These workers support the world's growing economies in the same ways as workers in formal sectors, but they often live in economic insecurity and are excluded from social and labour protections, which have historically been governed through the employer-employee relationship. 

Workers in these sectors are often disproportionately poor and belong to social groups that experience discrimination. Many are women who support their households through informal livelihoods.

Women working at a construction site in India

Although specific challenges vary from sector to sector and country to country, there are consistent challenges in creating enabling legal and regulatory frameworks for workers in the informal economy. Some are:

- designing social protection schemes that include workers in the informal economy

-recognizing workers in the informal economy as workers

- ensuring all workers have safe and decent working conditions

- identifying strategies for monitoring employers' or contractors' compliance with the law in the absence of a formal workplace


Photo: Women working at a construction site in India

Resources

The resources on this site will help workers in other informal sectors, member-based organizations of workers in the informal economy, lawyers, researchers, advocates and policymakers understand some of the legal challenges around work in the informal economy and some models for addressing those challenges.

Publications

Laws on Other Sectors

Law Project Reports on Other Sectors

News on Other Sectors and the Law

More Information on Other Sectors