Regulating for Decent INFORMAL Work

Geneva, Switzerland

 The International Labour Organization (ILO) hosted the 6th Conference of the Regulating for Decent Work Network in July 2019. WIEGO organized a special session during the conference under the theme “The Social Contract for Workers in the 21st Century”.


The focus of the WIEGO special session was on regulating decent work and promoting a social contract for informal workers, especially self-employed and dependent contractors (e.g. homeworkers).

This differs from regulating decent work and promoting a social contract for wage workers (formal and informal). For informal self-employed or dependant contract workers, it is relations with the state and the dominant market players, not with employers, that must be regulated.

WIEGO prepared three conference papers to present at the session, which will be chaired by WIEGO Senior Advisor Marty Chen:

Realizing Rights for Homeworkers: An Analysis of Governance Mechanisms by Marlese Von Broembsen and Jenna Harvey

Collective Bargaining by Informal Workers: Bargaining Partners, Issues and Processes by Jane Barrett

Social Dialogue Towards More Inclusive Social Protection: Informal Workers & the Struggle for a New Social Contract by Laura Alfers and Rachel Moussié

Listen to the WIEGO Panel

Read more: Abstract: A 21st Century Social Contract for Informal Workers: An Enabling Policy Environment, Legal & Social Protections and Public Services Through Collective Bargaining

Additional participation

Marlese von Broembsen, WIEGO's Law Programme Director, also presented a paper called "The Commodification of Labour in the EU: Homeworkers in Global Production Networks in Bulgaria" at the ILO Special Session on the Home as Workplace. Listen:

She also participated in a roundtable discussion on the Future of Work in Africa following the launch of a short film on conditions in the Lesotho garment sector called Rethabile’s Story.