For Informal Workers: COVID-19 Crisis Resources

Waste picker in Portland, Oregon looks at WIEGO safety materials

Find information designed to help keep informal workers safer as they work during the COVID-19 pandemic AND information to assist informal worker organizations and allies in advocacy efforts.



Working in Public Space manual cover thumbnail
WIEGO's Worker Education Materials





Common Demands of MBO Partners in WIEGO's COVID-19 Crisis Study

The organizations of informal workers which took part in the WIEGO-led 12-city COVID-19 Crisis and the Informal Economy study are calling for continuing relief, inclusive recovery and longer-term reforms for informal workers going forward. These demands, with concrete examples, has been categorized into a common framework. This “Summary of Demands” is intended to support these and other organizations of informal workers in their on-going struggles - their advocacy and negotiations - for a full and just recovery and for a “better deal” in the future for informal workers.

Summary      Download

Statistics on the informal economy

The first-ever global estimates on the size of informal employment, published by the ILO in 2018, show 61% of all workers are informally employed. That’s 2 billion workers worldwide—whether self-employed, wage workers, casual day labourers or dependent contractors. 

Informal employment as per cent of total employment by region (excluding developed countries)

Region %
Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding Southern Africa) 92
Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole 89
Southern Asia 88
East and South-eastern Asia (excluding China) 77
Middle East and North Africa 68
Latin America and the Caribbean 54
Eastern Europe and Central Asia 37

Looking for the size of YOUR COUNTRY’s informal workforce?

Country data on informality are found at Appendix B, Table B1 (pages 85-90) in Women and Men in the Informal Economy, 3rd edition (PDF, 10Mb).

WIEGO has completed comprehensive data on informal workers in urban areas of these countries:


Social Protection Responses to COVID-19
Informal worker Iris Lamiorkor runs a snack stand at Kwame Nkrumah Circle Market in Accra, Ghana. (Photo: Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images Reportage)
Informal Economy Topic