Rights for the Entrepreneurial Poor

Zurich, Switzerland


Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images Reportage

On October 26, 2017, the Center for Human Rights Studies and the Center for Ethics at the University of Zurich hosted a conference on the legal and economic empowerment of the entrepreneurial poor. The conference specifically focused on informal workers, and examined the challenges to improving informal livelihoods from an interdisciplinary perspective. Specifically, the conference brought together philosophers, economists and legal and development scholars to engage on this topic. WIEGO International Coordinator Marty Chen was the keynote speaker at the conference.

Marty's address, entitled "Rights for the Entrepreneurial Poor: Reducing the Negatives, Increasing the Positives," highlighted the knowledge and experience of the WIEGO Network. She examined both the negative forces which undermine the rights and livelihoods of the entrepreneurial poor in the informal economy and the positive factors which could help increase the security and incomes of their livelihood activities. As illustrative cases, she focused on the situation and struggles of three groups of urban informal workers: home-based producers, street vendors and waste pickers.