International Labour Conference in Geneva generates heat on TRANSITIONING FROM THE INFORMAL TO THE FORMAL ECONOMY

More than 3000 delegates from 185 member countries of ILO are attending the   103rd Session of the International Labour Conference, the highest decision making body of the International Labour Organization which is meeting from 28th May and has chosen to address the issue of severe decent work deficit of the workers in the Informal Economy and has proposed to Recommend to the Governments a framework for action on facilitating transitions from the informal economy to the formal economy.

The proposal which are being hotly debated between representatives of Workers, Governments and Employers begins with reminding the world about the poor working conditions of informal workers particular in context of ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Declaration of Philadelphia 1944 and the Universal Declaration of Human rights 1948

The proposal calls for facilitating transitions to formal economy while ensuring that opportunities for livelihood and entrepreneurship are enhanced. The proposals cover all the economic activities by workers and economic units that are –in law or in practice-not covered or insufficiently covered by formal arrangements.

The conference has a large delegation of Street Vendors led by Pat Horn of Street Net International. National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) which has built up a movement of street vendors in India and is riding high on the success of getting enacted a Central Law for Street Vendors has been able to share and get incorporated experiences of street vendors and other informal workers in India .Mr Arbind Singh, Co-coordinator of National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) pointed out that besides organizing and representations, the informal workers need legal identity, financial services ,social protection and social dialogue.

While participating in tripartite meeting Mr. Arbind singh said that informal economy and decent work deficit owe primarily to poverty, lack of development, widespread unemployment in formal economy and lack of proper governance and resources to bring them in social net and in formal economy. Transition of informal to formal economy should be a continuous and dynamic process and not an event, he said.

Mr Arbind Singh also stressed that formalization should not mean costly registration and tax requirements without the rights, benefits or protection that should accompany formalization And unilateral decisions made by authorities preconditions that are difficult to meet Like residential or unrealistic educational and legal requirements for informal workers .He further said that we oppose the formalization which criminalizes/persecutes those who cannot achieve prescribed levels.

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