You are on page 1of 7

Board of

Directors

Renana Jhabvala SEWA, India (Chair)

Juliana Brown Afari StreetNet International, Ghana

Barbro Budin International Union of Food and Allied Workers (IUF/UITA), Switzerland

Debra Davis

Independent

Consultant, UK

(Treasurer)

Ravi Kanbur

Cornell University,

USA

Lin Lim

Independent

Consultant, Malaysia

William Steel ISSER, University of Ghana, Ghana

Jeemol Unni Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA), India

Carmen Vildoso Municipality of Lima, Peru

(IRMA), India Carmen Vildoso Municipality of Lima, Peru WIEGO statement for New York City Council hearing

WIEGO statement for New York City Council hearing on File # Int. 1303-2016 relating to expanding the number of available food vendor permits & other matters

October 25, 2016

[Speaker: Thomas Coggin, attorney of the High Court of South Africa and global co- coordinator of the International Research Group on Law and Urban Space, speaking on behalf of WIEGO.]

Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) is a global network of membership-based organizations of the urban working poor in the informal economy, spanning 84 countries. For twenty years, WIEGO has worked with organized street traders all over the world. Our testimony offers the global context for this bill.

It is now widely recognized that informal livelihoods and small-scale enterprises are here to stay. They form the broad base of urban employment not only in countries of the Global South but also increasingly in the Global North. Street traders represent as much as 24 per cent of total urban employment in some cities today.

Urban policy-makers and city planners throughout the world are now recognizing street vendors for the valuable economic contributions they make. Street vendors create their own employment; generate demand for larger enterprises including suppliers, wholesalers, and others; and provide affordable goods at convenient locations for residents of all socioeconomic classes. In other parts of the world, these and other small- scale livelihoods are referred to as “the people’s economy.”

Four international agreements issued in the past year-and-a-half demonstrate this recognition:

First, Sustainable Development Goals 1, 5, 8, and 11 commit nation-states to ensuring that all people, in particular the poor and vulnerable as well as women and migrant workers have equal rights to economic resources, safe and secure working environments and inclusive public spaces (Annex 1).

Second, the International Labour Organization’s Recommendation 204 (June 2015) recognizes the need for Member States to ensure the preservation and improvement of existing livelihoods, respect workers’ fundamental rights, and ensure opportunities for income security, livelihoods and entrepreneurship (Annex 2).

Third, the September 2016 report issued by the first-ever UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment identifies the need for a legal shift moving from stigmatization and criminalization of informal workers (such as street

Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, 79 John F. Kennedy Street Cambridge, MA 02138 U.S.A.

Tel: 617-496-7037 | Email: wiego@wiego.org www.wiego.org

Board of

Directors

Renana Jhabvala SEWA, India (Chair)

Juliana Brown Afari StreetNet International, Ghana

Barbro Budin International Union of Food and Allied Workers (IUF/UITA), Switzerland

Debra Davis

Independent

Consultant, UK

(Treasurer)

Ravi Kanbur

Cornell University,

USA

Lin Lim

Independent

Consultant, Malaysia

William Steel ISSER, University of Ghana, Ghana

Jeemol Unni Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA), India

Carmen Vildoso Municipality of Lima, Peru

(IRMA), India Carmen Vildoso Municipality of Lima, Peru vendors) to the assurance of rights and protection,

vendors) to the assurance of rights and protection, including regulated access to public space as workplaces (Annex 3).

And finally, the New Urban Agenda adopted in Quito, Ecuador just last week – commits UN Member States to prioritizing “equal access for all to public goods, as well as inclusive public spaces…where the needs of all inhabitants are met, recognizing the specific needs of those in vulnerable situations” (Pars 13a and 13b).

The New Urban Agenda also envisions equal access for all to economic and productive resources and opportunities (par. 14b), pledges that “no one be left behind” (par. 27), and commits to promoting inclusive public spaces that are multi-functional areas for social interaction and inclusion, as well as economic exchange. Directly supporting the inclusion of street vendors, the New Urban Agenda supports the provision of quality public spaces and streets “fostering local markets and commerce, both formal and informal.” And directly supporting street food vendors, it commits Member States to promote the “marketing of food to consumers in adequate and affordable ways.”

By expanding the number of food vending permits, and establishing a street vendor advisory board with the representation of street vendors on it, the bills before the New York City Council would bring New York into line with other cities in the world that recognize the economic, social and cultural importance of street food vending, and the need for inclusive urban planning practices.

Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, 79 John F. Kennedy Street Cambridge, MA 02138 U.S.A.

Tel: 617-496-7037 | Email: wiego@wiego.org www.wiego.org

Board of

Directors

Renana Jhabvala SEWA, India (Chair)

Juliana Brown Afari StreetNet International, Ghana

Barbro Budin International Union of Food and Allied Workers (IUF/UITA), Switzerland

Debra Davis

Independent

Consultant, UK

(Treasurer)

Ravi Kanbur

Cornell University,

USA

Lin Lim

Independent

Consultant, Malaysia

William Steel ISSER, University of Ghana, Ghana

Jeemol Unni Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA), India

Carmen Vildoso Municipality of Lima, Peru

(IRMA), India Carmen Vildoso Municipality of Lima, Peru Annex 1: Sustainable Development Goals (pars. 1.4, 5a,

Annex 1: Sustainable Development Goals (pars. 1.4, 5a, 8.8 and 11.7)

1.4. By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable,

have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance

5a. Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws

8.8. Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all

workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in

precarious employment

11.7. By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities

Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, 79 John F. Kennedy Street Cambridge, MA 02138 U.S.A.

Tel: 617-496-7037 | Email: wiego@wiego.org www.wiego.org

Board of

Directors

Renana Jhabvala SEWA, India (Chair)

Juliana Brown Afari StreetNet International, Ghana

Barbro Budin International Union of Food and Allied Workers (IUF/UITA), Switzerland

Debra Davis

Independent

Consultant, UK

(Treasurer)

Ravi Kanbur

Cornell University,

USA

Lin Lim

Independent

Consultant, Malaysia

William Steel ISSER, University of Ghana, Ghana

Jeemol Unni Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA), India

Carmen Vildoso Municipality of Lima, Peru

(IRMA), India Carmen Vildoso Municipality of Lima, Peru Annex 2: International Labour Organization Recommendation

Annex 2: International Labour Organization Recommendation No. 204 (Excerpts)

Preamble (page 4, par. 1) Recognizing the need for Members to take urgent and appropriate measures to enable the transition of workers and economic units from the informal to the formal economy, while ensuring the preservation and improvement of existing livelihoods during the transition

1. This Recommendation provides guidance to Members to:

(a) Facilitate the transition of workers and economic units from the informal to the formal economy, while respecting workers’ fundamental rights and ensuring opportunities for income security, livelihoods and entrepreneurship

Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, 79 John F. Kennedy Street Cambridge, MA 02138 U.S.A.

Tel: 617-496-7037 | Email: wiego@wiego.org www.wiego.org

Board of

Directors

Renana Jhabvala SEWA, India (Chair)

Juliana Brown Afari StreetNet International, Ghana

Barbro Budin International Union of Food and Allied Workers (IUF/UITA), Switzerland

Debra Davis

Independent

Consultant, UK

(Treasurer)

Ravi Kanbur

Cornell University,

USA

Lin Lim

Independent

Consultant, Malaysia

William Steel ISSER, University of Ghana, Ghana

Jeemol Unni Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA), India

Carmen Vildoso Municipality of Lima, Peru

(IRMA), India Carmen Vildoso Municipality of Lima, Peru Annex 3: UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel

Annex 3: UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment (Excerpt)

(Page 5) For informal workers, the legal shift involves moving from stigmatization and criminalization to the assurance of rights and protection. Actions that are being undertaken, often in response to collective action, include legal recognition as workers, regulated access to public space as workplaces, freedom of association and collective bargaining, and access to social protection.

Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, 79 John F. Kennedy Street Cambridge, MA 02138 U.S.A.

Tel: 617-496-7037 | Email: wiego@wiego.org www.wiego.org

Board of

Directors

Renana Jhabvala SEWA, India (Chair)

Juliana Brown Afari StreetNet International, Ghana

Barbro Budin International Union of Food and Allied Workers (IUF/UITA), Switzerland

Debra Davis

Independent

Consultant, UK

(Treasurer)

Ravi Kanbur

Cornell University,

USA

Lin Lim

Independent

Consultant, Malaysia

William Steel ISSER, University of Ghana, Ghana

Jeemol Unni Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA), India

Carmen Vildoso Municipality of Lima, Peru

Annex 4: The New Urban Agenda (Excerpts)

We envisage cities and human settlements that…

(Excerpts) We envisage cities and human settlements that… “Progressively achieve … equal access for all to

“Progressively achieve …equal access for all to public goods and quality services.” (Par. 13(a))

“Prioritize safe, inclusive, accessible, green and quality public spaceswhere the needs of all inhabitants are met, recognizing the specific needs of those in vulnerable situations.” (Par. 13(b))

14. To achieve our vision, we resolve to adopt a NUA guided by the following interlinked principles:

“Sustainable and inclusive urban economies, by…promoting full and productive employment and decent work for all, ensuring job creation and equal access for all to economic and productive resources and opportunities.” (Par. 14(b))

27. “We reaffirm our pledge that no one will be left behind, and commit to promote

equally shared opportunities and benefits that urbanization can offer, and enable all inhabitants, whether living in formal or informal settlements, to lead decent, dignified, and rewarding lives and to achieve their full human potential.”

37. “We commit to promote safe, inclusive, accessible, green and quality public

spacesthat are multi-functional areas for social interaction and inclusion, human health and well-being, economic exchange, and cultural expression and dialogue among a wide diversity of people and cultures.”

57. “We commit to promote, as appropriate, full and productive employment, decent

work for all, and livelihood opportunities in cities and human settlements, with special attention to the needs and potential of women, youth, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and local communities…particularly the poorest and those in vulnerable situations.”

59. “We commit to recognize the contribution of the working poor in the informal

economy, particularly women, including the unpaid, domestic, and migrant workers to the urban economies, taking into account national circumstances. Their livelihoods, working conditions and income security, legal and social protection, access to skills, assets and other support services, and voice and representation should be enhanced. A progressive transition of workers and economic units to the formal economy will be developed by adopting a balanced approach, combining incentives and compliance

Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, 79 John F. Kennedy Street Cambridge, MA 02138 U.S.A.

Tel: 617-496-7037 | Email: wiego@wiego.org www.wiego.org

Board of

Directors

Renana Jhabvala SEWA, India (Chair)

Juliana Brown Afari StreetNet International, Ghana

Barbro Budin International Union of Food and Allied Workers (IUF/UITA), Switzerland

Debra Davis

Independent

Consultant, UK

(Treasurer)

Ravi Kanbur

Cornell University,

USA

Lin Lim

Independent

Consultant, Malaysia

William Steel ISSER, University of Ghana, Ghana

Jeemol Unni Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA), India

Carmen Vildoso Municipality of Lima, Peru

(IRMA), India Carmen Vildoso Municipality of Lima, Peru measures, while promoting preservation and improvement of

measures, while promoting preservation and improvement of existing livelihoods. We will take into account the specific national circumstances, legislations, policies, practices, and priorities for the transition to the formal economy.”

92. “We will promote participatory age- and gender-responsive approaches at all stages of the urban and territorial policy and planning processes, from conceptualization to design, budgeting, implementation, evaluation, and review, rooted in new forms of direct partnership between governments at all levels and civil society, including through broad-based and well-resources permanent mechanisms and platforms for cooperation and consultation open to all.”

100. “We will support the provision of well-designed networks of…quality public spaces

and streets…fostering local markets and commerce, both formal and informal.

123. “We will promote…marketing of food to consumers in adequate and affordable

ways to reduce food losses and to prevent and reuse food waste.”

Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, 79 John F. Kennedy Street Cambridge, MA 02138 U.S.A.

Tel: 617-496-7037 | Email: wiego@wiego.org www.wiego.org