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Informal Economy Topic(s): Organizing & Organizations in the Informal Economy

Informal Hawkers and Vendors Association of Ghana (IHVAG)

The Informal Hawkers and Vendors Association of Ghana (IHVAG) was formed in 2003, and registered in 2005. It was formerly called StreetNet Ghana. Currently, there are over 6,000 members, who work in street and market trading; approximately two-thirds of the members are women. The organization has six branches in two cities, and is governed by an executive committee of five women and two men. 

Worker Education & Capacity Building Resources

These resources from WIEGO and partners can be downloaded and shared for free.The Only School We Have

Protection for Homeworkers in Thailand

Thai shoemakerHomeNet Thailand and its supportive partners, including WIEGO, played an essential role in winning legislative protection for home-based workers.

Waste & Gender: Rethinking Relations for Empowerment

by Deia de Brito, with Sonia Diaswoman waste picker

Little research exists about gender relations and divisions among waste pickers. A collaborative project involving waste pickers in Latin America seeks to shed light on the multiple levels of discrimination that women waste pickers face and their needs.

Organizing & Organizations

“The first step out of poverty is organization. Organizing allows us to become social actors ... we can engage in stable transactions, build convergence of interests and access social protection.”

Bernardo Toro, in a March 2008 presentation

Domestic Workers – Progress and Ongoing Struggle

Domestic Workers

WIEGO's Chris Bonner, Barbro Budin and Karin Pape capture the process of forming the International Domestic Workers' Federation (IDWF) in 2013 and the domestic workers' jubilation in this Global Labour Column article: "Yes we did it!" 

Informal Workers Organizing Internationally

Timeline of Key Events

THE 1970s
1972 – Founding of SEWA

THE 1980s
1983 – SEWA affiliates with International Union of Food and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF)
1988 – Founding of Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Household Workers (CONLACTRAHO)
1989 – Founding of National Network of Homeworkers (PATAMABA) Philippines

Recent Initiatives to Promote Organizing

A portion of the information on this web page has been adapted from Bonner, Christine and Dave Spooner, 2011. “Organizing in the Informal Economy: A Challenge for Trade Unions,” in International Politics and Society, IPG 2/11.

International Recognition for Informal Workers