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Informal Economy & WIEGO
Occupational Group(s): Street Vendors

Urban Informal Workers & The Green Economy

A large proportion of those threatened by climate change are concentrated in urban centres in low-/middle-income countries.1 The urban poor – the majority of whom work informally – are at significant risk from the increased intensity and frequency of storms, flooding, landslides, heat waves and constraints on fresh water associated with climate change.2  Also, as climate change drives increasing numbers of rural poor into cities, the urban working poor face increasing competition.

Kenya National Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (KENASVIT)

The Kenya National Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (KENASVIT) was formed in 2005 to bring together street vendors, traders and other types of informal workers from 12 towns in Kenya. The Alliance has over 6,000 members in 175 local associations that form the seven urban alliances: Mombasa, Machakos, Migori, Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret and Nairobi. KENASVIT plans to expand its activities to 17 towns. Eight towns have already shown interest, with a target of over 1,000 members per town.

Constitutional Court Rules that Street Traders in Johannesburg Can Return to Work.

Date: 11 December, 2013

In October 2013, thousands of Johannesburg informal traders were surprised by a large-scale city initiative to remove all informal traders from the city’s business district (CBD) – regardless of whether the traders had permission to trade or not. Traders were forcibly removed with little or no warning, and their goods were confiscated.

International Street Vendors Day

14 November, 2013

Street vendor
November 14 is International Street Vendors Day, a day to celebrate the incredible contributions made by street vendors to their local communities and to national development.

Urban attitudes and responses to street vendors vary around the globe, but everywhere they are at the heart of the debate about formalizing the informal economy.

Accra Street Traders Make Their Concerns Heard by Municipal Officials

In March 2013, a Policy Dialogue was held in Accra, Ghana between informal street traders and officials from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the Ga East Municipal Assembly. Facilitated by WIEGO, the policy dialogue centred on the theme Ensuring Optimal Involvement of the Urban Informal Sector in National Economic Development. It was deemed a success in bringing the traders’ concerns to the attention of the authorities and sparking opportunities to engage further.

World Urban Forum 6: Inclusive Cities = Sustainable and Vibrant Cities

Heliodora, a Street Vendor from New York City, was a delegate at this year's World Urban ForumWIEGO and Inclusive Cities delegates attended the World Urban Forum 6 in Naples, Italy 1-7 September 2012, to deliver an important message to urban officials and planners: including informal workers in municipal

NASVI Campaigns for Police Accountability in Light of Mumbai Evictions

January 2013

The National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) has launched a nationwide “anti-police terror campaign” after a street vendor in Mumbai died during a police raid on 11 January. According to news reports, more than 4,500 hawkers were evicted over a three-day stretch in Mumbai.

Urban Renewal, Heritage Sites & Urban Livelihoods: Devi-Ben, Street Vendor

Reflections on an Exposure Visit by Marty Chen

These are the reflections of Marty Chen, WIEGO’s International Coordinator, following an Exposure-Dialogue Programme held January 27-February 1, 2013 in Ahmedabad, India, as part of WIEGO’s Law & Informality project. During the Exposure, Marty and Michael Piore of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were guests of Devi-ben.