Press Room

Are you a journalist seeking expert comment on informal economy issues or WIEGO's work? This page is for you.


Contact (English): Nicole Pryor, or +64 27 239 2575 (NZT)
Contact (Spanish): Graciela Mora, or +506 8358 5592 (UTC/GMT -6 HOURS)

If you cannot reach Nicole or Graciela, contact (English, Spanish, French) Kendra Hughes,

(For non-media requests or general comments, visit Contact Us.)


Check out our latest News & Events and our Blog.

Media statements & interview opportunities

Connect with experts and informal workers globally

Through our vast and growing network, WIEGO has contact with informal worker organizations and experts in countries on almost every continent. We also have designated teams on the ground in several Asian, African and Latin American cities. We can help arrange an interview.

Press Release, November 8, 2023: Waste pickers procure government support to improve their resilience to climate change

Comunicado de Imprensa, 8 de Novembro de 2023: Catadores e catadoras obtêm apoio governamental para aumentar sua resiliência às mudanças climáticas​​​​​​​

Press Release, November 7, 2023: Waste pickers bearing brunt of extreme weather events

Comunicado de Imprensa, 7 de Novembro de 2023: Catado res e catado ras de materiais recicláveis sofrem o impacto de eventos climáticos extremos

Press Release, January 16, 2023: At World Economic Forum: Schwab Foundation Awards WIEGO as Social Innovator of the Year 2023

Press Release, February 9, 2022: WIEGO calls for an end to forced evictions of informal workers in Accra

Press Release, December 8, 2021: Study Shows Stalled COVID-19 Recovery Leaves Workers in Informal Employment Hungry, No Govt Relief

Press Release, Tuesday, November 9, 2021: New calculator reveals the amount of equivalent CO2 mitigated by waste picker activity

Press Release, Monday, November 8, 2021: Garment workers from production countries call for new EU supply chain directive to stop exploitative working conditions

Press Release, January 27, 2021: New Report on NYC Street Vendors and Canners Reveals Depth of COVID Exclusion on Informal Workforce

Press Release, November 25, 2020: Locked down, then locked out: Informal workers face a stark recovery (in Spanish)

Press Release, June 16, 2020: Ghana waste pickers say closure threatens survival and demand government support

Press Release, May 26, 2020: Informal workers can help stop COVID-19 infection spread in Peru and throughout Latin America (in Spanish)

Informal workers are being severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak across the globe. WIEGO experts can provide essential insights into the crisis, its impact on poor informal workers and the informal economy, and what needs to be done now and in the longer term.  

COVID-19 media resources & experts

Between 23 March and 8 April 2020, WIEGO conducted a rapid assessment with informal worker leaders and others who work closely with them to understand how COVID-19 and the related public health measures are impacting informal workers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This PDF document contains details of what we learned.

WIEGO MEDIA STATEMENT - MAY 1, 2020: The world’s 2 billion informal workers can tell us what they need to endure COVID-19 crisis 

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA: En todo el mundo, dos mil millones de trabajadoras y trabajadores en empleo informal deben hacer frente a la crisis de la COVID-19

WIEGO Experts

Sally Roever, International Coordinator (English/Spanish / based in USA) 

  • Speciality areas: economic impact of pandemic and response on informal workers (globally), what this emergency reveals about inequality, how organizations are responding globally, how governments can and should response 

Laura Alfers, Social Protection Programme Director (English / based in South Africa)

  • Specialty areas: social protection for working poor, emergency cash grants, health policy and issues for access to healthcare, occupational health & safety for informal workers

Marty Chen, Senior Advisor (English / based in USA)

  • Specialty areas: impact on informal workers in India, size and composition of informal employment, global movement of informal workers, livelihoods, inequality, poverty alleviation

Marlese von Broembsen, Director, Law Programme (English/ based in South Africa)

  • Specialty areas: law and informal workers, human rights law, administrative justice, garment workers in global supply chains

Sonia Dias, Waste Pickers Sector Specialist (Portuguese/English / based in Brazil)

  • Specialty areas:  preventing infection during solid waste management, informal recycling, recycling cooperatives, dump closures, livelihoods and waste, gender dynamics in waste work

Mike Rogan, Director, Urban Policies Programme (English / South Africa)

  •  Specialty areas: measurement of informal employment, inequality and informality, tax justice, the informal economy in South Africa, poverty and informality, 

Shalini Sinha: India Country Representative (English/Hindi / based in Delhi)

  • Specialty areas: Home-based workers, South Asia, India's informal economy

We have teams on the ground working with in our Focal Cities (Accra, Dakar, Delhi, Lima and Mexico City) as well as in South Africa and with waste pickers in Colombia and Brazil.

COVID-19 and Informal Workers: What you need to know

  • The majority of workers in the world (61 per cent globally and 90 per cent in developing countries) are informal workers who lack labour, legal and social and protection, including, often, access to health insurance and health care.
  • In the Global South, where public health systems are weak and informal employment is widespread, governments need to take action now to protect both the health and the income of the most vulnerable populations, including the working poor and their communities.
  • Informal workers and their families depend on their daily earnings to survive. In normal times, informal workers struggle to meet their basic survival needs.
  • Construction workers, domestic workers, street vendors, home-based workers, transport workers and waste pickers and “gig economy” workers--two billion workers in the world are informally employed
  • Stopping work and staying home becomes mandatory in many places, income replacement measures - such as basic income - from the state becomes critical to survival for informal workers and their families. Such measures must go beyond the targeting the very poor and the unemployed and also help the working poor in informal occupations.

Stay up to date on WIEGO's response to the COVID-19 Crisis.


The best experts on the informal economy are often those who work in it. WIEGO is a network of informal worker organizations - we can help connect you to interviews with workers affected by local, national and international occurrences.

WIEGO has a team of research experts who can speak knowledgeably about:

- informal economy issues, trends and informal workers' rights (to legal and social protection, to safe and secure livelihoods)

- taxation and taxing informal workers

- statistics in the informal economy 

- waste and waste picking, ocean plastic waste

- street and market vendors

- home-based work, garment workers, global value chains

- collective bargaining in the informal economy

- formalizing the informal economy and the future of work

- gender issues in informal employment, including violence, harassment, child care and health care- non-standard work in developed countries

Fast facts on the informal economy

Questions about what we do and why? Here are some fast facts.

Accra Street Vendor
Street vendor in Accra: Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images Reportage


Informal Economy FAQs (also in French/Spanish)

Street Vendor FAQs (also in French)

Waste Picker FAQs (also in French)

61% of the world's workers work informally


Find statistics on the informal economy and its 2 BILLION workers worldwide!

Waste pickers in Brazil strategizing at a workshop
Waste pickers in Brazil strategizing at a workshop. Photo: Sonia Dias



Looking to get it straight? Read here to separate the myths from the facts.


Find infographics that explain key ideas about informal work, including for these sectors:

Waste picker Infographic


Waste pickers contribute significantly to cities and the environment. Download the full infographic in English or Spanish. Please contact for this infographic.



Homebased Worker Infographic



Home-based workers earn just $1-3 a day. Download the full infographic in French and Spanish. Please contact for this infographic.


Street Vendors Infographic




Street vendors are the lifeblood of cities globally. Download these key figures. Please contact for this infographic.

Homeworkers Infographic


Homeworkers are some of the world's most vulnerable workers.  Please contact for this infographic.


Amazing images of informal workers can be accessed and used for free thanks to a generous grant from the Hewlett Foundation. Hewlett partnered with WIEGO with Getty photographers to capture informal workers from six cities around the globe in 2015. See images of empowerment and licensing info.



Watch this short video to understand the informal economy, “Organizing for Change,” and check out our YouTube page for more videos on wide-ranging topics.

Informal Economy Topic