Informal Employment – 12 Theses

«WIEGO Organization and Representation Program: Vision Statement for the International Organization of Workers in Informal Employment (Revised June 2001) | Main | Workers in the Informal Economy: Platform of Issues »

Informal employment
WIEGO Organization and Representation Program: Organization and Representation of Workers in Informal and Unprotected Employment – Twelve Theses

Prefacing Statement

Over the past two decades, the informal economy has expanded in most countries of the world, including developing, transition, and developed economies. Over the past decade or more, informal work is estimated to account for more than half of the new jobs in Latin American and over 80 percent of new jobs in Africa. As a result, the informal economy today accounts for a significant share of employment – from 10-30 percent in different developed countries to 55 percent in Latin America to 45-85 percent in different parts of Asia to nearly 80 percent in Africa – and is comprised of a wide range of informal work arrangements, both resilient old forms and emerging new forms. Continue reading


Organizing Informal Women Workers – Gallin and Horn

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Women workers
Organizing Informal Women Workers – by Dan Gallin and Pat Horn (2005)

A version of this paper was published in 2005 by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) within the framework of its Gender Policy Report. Dan Gallin is Chair of the Global Labour Institute and Pat Horn is coordinator of StreetNet, the international network of street and market vendors.

What are informal workers? To put it simply, they are workers whose rights are not recognized and who are therefore unable to exercise those rights. What is an informal economy? Again, to put it simply, it is an economy where no social rules apply, where the strong prevail by the sole virtue of their strength because they do not meet with organized opposition. Continue reading

Reinventing, Reimagining, Rebuilding – Labour Internationalism

ReinventingLabour is for people who organize, struggle, analyze, critique and strategize within and around the international labour movement. It is for people who seek a space to share ideas and resources regarding challenges and potentials to strengthen a vibrant, critical, plural and emancipatory movement of all kinds of working people everywhere – a movement intimately related to the new ‘global justice and solidarity movement’ (aka the anti- or alter-globalisation movement). Continue reading