Press Room

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

MEDIA REQUESTS: Media@wiego.org  

Contact Demetria Tsoutouras: Mobile (Canada):  +613 882 3364

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

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.

JUNE 16 PRESS RELEASE: Ghana waste pickers say closure threatens survival and demand government support

MAY 26, 2020 PRESS STATEMENT: 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 PDFdocument 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 Italy) 

  • 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

CITIES
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.

EXPERTISE

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
 

NEWS 

Check out our latest News & Events and our Blog.
 

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.

INFOGRAPHICS

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 media@wiego.org 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 media@wiego.org for this infographic.

 

Street Vendors Infographic

 

 

 

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

Homeworkers Infographic

 

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

 

 

 

 

PHOTOS

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.

KAYAYEI IN ACCRA

Videos

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
Language