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

Pakistan's Home-based Workers Build Voice & Visibility

This is one in a series of WIEGO Network impact stories. View all impact stories.

Home-Based worker, Pakistan


Waste Picker Video Series: Chronicle of a Fight for Inclusion

About the Series

(Text in Spanish follows the English version)

Ratification by Countries of Domestic Workers' Convention (C189)

These countries have ratified the Domestic Workers Convention 2011 (C189) and Recommendation (No. 201):



Informal workers are increasingly forming or joining organizations to fight for their rights, enhance their bargaining power, increase their economic power and improve their livelihoods. Their membership-based organizations (MBOs) take many forms: trade unions, cooperatives, informal associations or self-help groups.

Combining forces can raise visibility and amplify their voice and power. Recognizing this, organizations are increasingly uniting into federations and networks -- nationally, regionally and globally.

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!" 

ILO Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers Adopted!

Domestic Workers Organizing at ILO 2011

History was made June 16, 2011 when governments, employers and workers from around the world adopted the Convention and accompanying Recommendation on Decent Work for Domestic Workers at the 100th International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

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, presentation  at the March 2008 international conference on waste pickers in Bogota, Colombia

Nohra Padilla Awarded Goldman Environmental Prize

Nohra Padilla, Waste picker from Colombia, Recipient of 2013 Goldman Envrionmental Award

Unfazed by powerful political opponents and a pervasive culture of violence, Nohra Padilla organized Colombia’s marginalized waste pickers into unions and made informal recyclers a legitimate part of Bogota's urban waste management.