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25 Feb 2022

International Lawyers Assisting Workers Network (ILAW Network)

Global Labour Rights Reporter highlights efforts & developments on protection of rights of workers in informal economy

"Global Labour Rights Reporter Volume 2, Issue 1. Protection of the Rights of Workers in the Informal Economy", Feb 2022

In most regions of the developing world, modern industrial jobs have never been the norm; rather, informal employment, most of which is self-employment..., always has, and likely will be the norm. The ILO has estimated that over 60 per cent of the global workforce, or 2 billion people, laboured in the informal economy pre-pandemic. The sizable majority, 64 per cent, is self-employed. Globally, informal work has been growing and significantly outstrips formal employment. Even in countries with robust economic growth, informal employment has been growing more rapidly than formal employment.

Workers from marginalised groups tend to be disproportionately represented in the informal economy, whether women, racial or ethnic minorities, migrants, persons with disabilities and others. This is very often the result of deliberate public policies choices that serve to exclude these workers from formal jobs with legal recognition and protection of their labour rights... The number of workers in the informal economy increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic...

The articles and interviews in this issue of the Global Labour Rights Reporter attempt to highlight the ways in which workers in the informal economy, and their legal advocates, have been fighting to ensure the protection of and respect for their rights for workers through a variety of strategies and arrangements, both inside and outside of labour law, and the complications that arise in these efforts...