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

Organizations

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.

Recognizing that combining forces can amplify their visibility, voice and power, organizations are increasingly uniting into federations and networks nationally, regionally and globally.

Organizing in the Informal Economy

waste pickers demonstratingOrganizing gives the poorest segments of the working class – those working in the informal economy, and especially women – a way to be seen and heard by decision makers with the power to affect their lives.

Organizing & Organizations

“Not being organized is one of the biggest poverty indicators. 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.”

Ratification by Countries of Domestic Workers' Convention (C189)

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

Waste Picker Video Series: Chronicle of a Fight for Inclusion

About the Series

This series of audiovisual materials provides information about the process of inclusion of waste pickers into the waste management system in Bogota at the local level, and in Colombia at the national level. It includes short videos—with information on waste pickers' situation and their claims, as well as education materials—that WIEGO has produced to disseminate how this process of inclusion has taken place in order to reach out to every municipality in Colombia and to all waste pickers in the world interested in knowing more about this experience.

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!" 

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 & 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.