WIEGO's Law Programme aims to challenge mainstream assumptions about law and informal workers -- namely that informal workers operate outside the law, or that their work is criminal -- at multiple levels. One important way we do this is by engaging in global agenda-setting processes.
For example, in 2016, we participated in the United Nations Secretary General’s High Level Panel (UN HLP) for Women’s Economic Empowerment, which was created to define an actionable agenda for improving economic outcomes for women in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. WIEGO’s Law Programme contributed to the UN HLP in several ways: including by producing a policy brief on Eliminating Legal Barriers from the Perspective of the Informal Economy, participating in roundtable discussions and regional consultations, and serving on the working group on legal barriers.
The World Bank’s 2017 Law, Justice and Development week’s ‘key messages’ included four key points from UNHLP WEE working group on legal barriers that we served on, including: “Create an enabling legal environment for informal (and agricultural) workers, extending workers’ rights and entitlements and recognizing rights to secure housing and land tenure and access to public space, raw materials, natural resources, transport and basic infrastructures and services”.
In 2017, the Law Programme convened a panel at the Labour Law Research Network Conference in Toronto. Three of the papers are published in the September 2018 edition of the International Journal for Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations (Vol. 34, Issue 3):
- Marlese von Broembsen, "Constitutionalizing Labour Rights: Informal Homeworkers in Global Value Chains" (pp. 257–280)
- Pamhidzai Bamu, "A Pluralistic Approach to Organizing Migrant Domestic Workers: The Case of the Zimbabwe- South Africa Global Care Chain" (pp. 313–344)
- Shelley Marshall, "A Comparison of Four Experiments in Extending Labour Regulation to Non-Standard and Informal Workers" (pp. 281–311)
Pamhidzai Bamu was invited to participate in an initiative organized by the Oxford Human Rights Hub, the University of Kent and the ILO under the rubric of “A Better Future for Women at Work: Legal and Policy Perspectives.” She contributed a book chapter: "Extending occupational health and safety law to informal workers: The case of street vendors in South Africa".