WIEGO Digest

We need to listen to the workers: WIEGO partners conduct COVID-19 Global Impact Study
How are homeworkers managing unprecedented disruptions in global supply chains? How are workers in public spaces and private homes protecting themselves from COVID-19? What kinds of relief measures are actually reaching informal economy workers, if any, and what support do workers need to really restart and secure their livelihoods? WIEGO and our partners aim to centre the voices and experiences of informal economy workers in our 12-city, COVID-19 Global Impact Study.
WIEGO joins call for IMF to stop promoting austerity measures in the COVID-19 recovery period
The global economy stands at a crossroads between further decades of austerity and debt crises, or adopting a macroeconomic framework compatible with fighting inequality, pursuing climate justice, realizing human rights and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Ahead of the 2020 International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings, WIEGO joined 500 civil society organizations and academics in calling on the IMF to close the dark chapter on IMF-conditioned austerity for good.
Reaching the 'missing middle': Social protection for informal workers in COVID-19

While formal workers were buffered to some extent by employment-based social protection and the poorest were able to access pre-existing government social assistance,  the ‘missing middle’ - including informal economy workers - were often not covered by any protection programmes. WIEGO shares key lessons from social protection responses by governments and workers’ organizations to COVID-19.

Using learnings from the Ebola crisis

Vandi Lansana (National Vice President of the Sierra Leone Traders’ Union) explains how his organization used learnings from the Ebola crisis to prepare and adapt to the COVID-19 crisis. By taking proactive steps to re-organize markets, ensure access to handwashing facilities, market traders in Sierra Leone have shown that they can safely operate during the pandemic.

Do no harm: Why harassment of informal workers hurts public health and economic recovery
Preserving public health and improving sanitation are often used as a pretext for the displacement & repression of the poor. With their lives and livelihoods already under threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic, informal economy workers in Accra, Mexico City and beyond call on governments to stop inflicting harm and to start dialogue.
New Publications & Resources
Re-Released: Informal Workers in Mexico: A Statistical Snapshot
Using the quarterly survey of the National Statistical Institute of Mexico, INEGI, this statistical brief provides data on the size, composition, sex, education, ages, and income for six worker groups (domestic workers, home-based workers, market traders, street vendors, informal construction workers and informal transport workers). Data is provided for three geographical areas: Mexico City, Urban Mexico and Mexico. Now available in Spanish!
The history of the domestic workers’ movement in Mexico: CACEH, the Union and recent events (in Spanish)
Natalia Torres traces a 20-year timeline of the struggles, advocacy and victories of domestic workers in Mexico. The resource document places specific focus on the Centro de Capacitación para Empleadas del Hogar (CACEH) and the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadoras y Trabajadores del Hogar (SINACTRAHO), and how their advocacy led to changes in Mexican labour law, a pilot program to incorporate domestic workers into the social security system and the ratification of ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers.
Reducing Waste in Costal Cities through Inclusive Recycling (ReWCC): Baseline Study on Waste Pickers at the Mbeubeuss Landfill (in French)
This study offers a glimpse into the waste management system at the Mbeubeuss landfill and addresses a number of topics including waste pickers’ working conditions, the structure of waste picker organizations and the important role of waste pickers within the waste management system.
HomeNet South Asia Launches Toolkit for Homeworkers in Garment Supply Chains
The Working in Garment Supply Chains: A Homeworker’s Toolkit, developed in partnership with WIEGO, aims to offer an understanding on global and domestic garment supply chains, the issues faced within these supply chains and highlights existing legal instruments. It also presents good practices from the field and focuses on existing gaps. This toolkit is meant for trainers and organisers who are looking to train homeworkers in South Asia.
WIEGO News and External Publications
Join WIEGO, IDWF, ITUC and our allies in marking the Global Day of Action on Care
WIEGO is joining the Global Day of Action on Care on 29 October 2020, calling on governments to invest in public health and care as part of economic recovery plans to ensure job creation, fair wages, decent working conditions, and to close gender gaps in labour-force participation. Join WIEGO, International Domestic Workers Federation and trade unions on this Global Day of Action in demanding investments in care from governments.
The Struggle of Waste Pickers in Colombia: From being considered trash, to being recognised as workers
In a Special Issue of the Anti-Trafficking Review, WIEGO’s Federico Parra highlights the strategies waste pickers in Colombia used to successfully demand their rights, and the tensions and contradictions surrounding the formalisation of waste pickers as public service providers of recycling. The Special Issues is currently open access.
Upcoming Events
WEBINAR: Women, Informal Work & COVID-19: Data-based Policy Considerations
Date: October 21, 2020
Time: 2:00-3:30pm South African time (8:00-9:30am EST) What impact is COVID-19 having on the livelihoods of women informal workers in South Africa? What can be done from a policy perspective? This online panel discussion, co-hosted by UN-Women and WIEGO, will bring together first-hand accounts from worker leaders at the centre of the crisis, data analysis from national surveys and other research to distill policy learnings, especially as they pertain to women and informal economy workers.

The panel will be chaired by Jacqueline Utamuriza-Nzisabira of UN Women. Panelists include:
  • Myrtle Witbooi, General Secretary of the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union and President of the International Domestic Workers Federation;
  • Rosheda Muller. President of the South African Informal Traders Alliance;
  • Michael Rogan, Interim Urban Policies Programme Director at WIEGO and Associate Professor at Rhodes University;
  • Thuli Moyo, Legal Researcher at Asiye eTafuleni.
Past Events

In September, WIEGO Team members continued to bring their expertise to several webinars and online discussions. Access video recordings and presentations (where available) from these online events below: 

  • Marlese von Broembsen participated in the virtual discussion, “Responsible Business Conduct for Children: Strengthening EU Policy Measures to Address Business Impact on Children’s Rights in Business Operations and Supply Chains” (organized by the German Presidency of the Council of the EU and UNICEF)
  • Marty Chen spoke on the panel titled, “Policy Responses to the Employment Effects of COVID-19 in the Global South: What Have We Learnt So Far?" during the UNU-WIDER Jobs and Development Conference (hosted by World Bank, the Institute of Labour Economics, the Network on Jobs and Development and UNU-WIDER)
  • Marlese von Broembsen participated in a panel discussion on the key demands to regulate global supply chains as part of a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), "Global Supply Chains in Times of COVID-19" (organized by The Global Labour University).
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