Rethinking informal Economy in the Arab Region: a Human Rights-Based Approach

The three-day workshop is an ILO - UN Development Group collaboration towards improving social and economic rights in the Arab region. While countries are looking at sound socio-economic policies that take into consideration the evolving situation in the region, the ILO and UNDP believe there is a need to keep high on the agenda the issue of informal economy.

Summary

The exclusion of segments of society by the rent based economy, and the incapacity to create decent job opportunities were some of the driving forces of the youth-led movements across the Arab region calling for democracy and social justice. The three-day workshop is an ILO - UN Development Group collaboration towards improving social and economic rights in the Arab region. While countries are looking at sound socio-economic policies that take into consideration the evolving situation in the region, the ILO and UNDP believe there is a need to keep high on the agenda the issue of informal economy. This workshop provides an opportunity to better explore the different dimensions of the informal economy in Arab states with a specific focus on the link with gender equality, workers’ rights, governance and strategies and tactics to promote formalization.

Objectives

  • Lay the ground for the establishment of a regional community of practice on informality of employment in Arab States that is evidence and rights based;
  • Identify priority areas of action for increased accountability, collective action, and empowerment of civil society actors to promote innovative solutions to support the realization of rights for people engaged in the informal sector;
  • Identify priority areas of action for advancing the knowledge base on informal employment in the region including statistics; and
  • Explore potential areas for joint action and better coordination of initiatives for improving the situation of workers in the informal economy, including legal inclusion, social protection, representation and collective voice.

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