Other Informal Workers and the Law
The informal economy includes workers from many sectors, including garment workers, fish workers, agricultural workers, contract farmers, construction workers, and transportation workers. These workers support the world's growing economies in the same ways as workers in formal sectors, but they often live in economic insecurity and are excluded from social and labour protections, which have historically been governed through the employer-employee relationship.
Workers in these sectors are often disproportionately poor and belong to social groups that experience discrimination. Many are women who support their households through informal livelihoods.
Although specific challenges vary from sector to sector and country to country, there are consistent challenges in creating enabling legal and regulatory frameworks for workers in the informal economy. Some are:
- designing social protection schemes that include workers in the informal economy
-recognizing workers in the informal economy as workers
- ensuring all workers have safe and decent working conditions
- identifying strategies for monitoring employers' or contractors' compliance with the law in the absence of a formal workplace
Photo: Women working at a construction site in India
The resources on this site will help workers in other informal sectors, member-based organizations of workers in the informal economy, lawyers, researchers, advocates and policymakers understand some of the legal challenges around work in the informal economy and some models for addressing those challenges.
Laws on Other Sectors
Law Project Reports on Other Sectors
- Report from 2011 Consultation with Head Porters (Kayayei) in Ghana
- The Informal Sector in Ghana (includes a section on head porters)
- Fish Workers in India
- Forest Workers in India
- Report on Contract Farming in Thailand
News on Other Sectors and the Law
- "Ghana: Israeli Mining Company in Big Trouble - for Flouting Ghana's Labour Law" (AllAfrica, 26 Aug. 2013)
- "Stronger Labor Law in Bangladesh After Garment Company Collapse" (Reuters, 15 July 2013)
- "Bangladesh Unions Reject New Labour Laws for Garment Workers" (Straits Times, 13 June 2013)
More Information on Other Sectors
- WIEGO Occupational Group Page on Other Sectors (with dedicated pages for construction workers, garment workers, smallholder farmers, and transport workers)