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Informal Economy Topic(s): Policies & Programmes in the Informal Economy

Policies & Programmes

Ahmedabad incense stick rollerInformal employment is a widespread feature of today’s global economy. On average, informal workers have lower earnings and face higher risks than formal workers. Policies should seek to increase the earnings and reduce the risks of the working poor in the informal economy.

Rethinking Formalization: The WIEGO Perspective

Formalization of the informal economy can take different forms: registration, taxation, organization and representation, legal and social protection, business incentives and support, and more. Formalization also means different things to different categories of the informal workforce. What is required is an approach to formalization of the informal economy which is comprehensive in design but context-specific in practice.

A comprehensive design for formalizing the informal economy is outlined in Box 1:

Home-Based Workers' Policies in Pakistan

Sindh Province Finalizes Policy

KARACHI, Sept 3: The Sindh government has prepared a final draft to legalise the rights of the home-based workers (HBWs), declaring them a ‘special category’ of workers, distinct from domestic workers. Read more.

Durban/eThekwini, South Africa Informal Economy Policy

In the 1990s, the city of Durban/eThekwini in South Africa established a department dedicated to street trader management and support and allocated resources to infrastructure development for traders.

Social & Legal Protection for the Informal Workforce

In development policy circles, two types of state protection for the informal workforce – especially the working poor – are actively under consideration: social protection and legal rights.

Waste Picker Video Series: Chronicle of a Fight for Inclusion

About the Series

(Text in Spanish follows the English version)

Documenting Policy & Organizational Practice

Work completed so far has focused on three sector groups: waste pickers, street traders and home-based workers. This work is largely driven by WIEGO’s sector specialists: Sonia Dias, Sally Roever, and Shalini Sinha.

Labour Law and Informal Workers: The WIEGO Perspective

Historically, around the world, the “employment relationship” has represented the cornerstone – the central legal concept – around which labour law and collective bargaining agreements have sought to recognize and protect the rights of workers.