Informal work accounts for over 60% of all global employment and 90% of employment in developing countries, the International Labour Organization reported in 2018. While the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on informal workers is widely acknowledged, the distinct pathways of impacts and the recovery needs of this diverse global workforce are not sufficiently understood. As a result, policies to promote recovery risk exacerbating existing inequalities and leaving up to 2 billion informal workers behind.
This panel discussion will expose how the pandemic is impacting different categories of workers in cities across the world – home-based workers, domestic workers, street vendors and market traders, and waste pickers. Panelists will shine a light on how the pandemic’s impacts across occupations vary according to gender, and how these findings should inform policies for economic recovery. Representatives of informal workers from Lima, Peru and Bangkok, Thailand will join the panel to discuss what has changed more than one year into the pandemic and what national and municipal governments are doing right —and wrong — to support economic recovery in the informal economy.
Panelists will share insights from WIEGO’s in-depth study on the COVID-19 crisis and the informal economy, funded by IDRC. WIEGO will launch the Global Summary of Round 1 Findings and WIEGO Working Paper: Distinct Pathways of Impact and Recovery.