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From 8 to 15 June 2005, the over 3000 delegates to the annual International Labour Conference in Geneva were invited to participate in the ILO's first knowledge fair. The Fair featured:

  • Exhibition of good practices
    An exhibit of photos and text capturing over 30 good practices in relation to decent work and the informal economy. For the most part, these are initiatives at country level designed to combat poverty and to present practical ways of improving the lives of men and women.
  • Newspapers
    Three issues of a Fair newspaper that reported on other current initiatives on the informal economy.
  • Model of change
    Multimedia presentation of the "Model of change" for the informal economy.
  • Panels
    Panel discussions involving the Employer and Worker Vice-Chairpersons of the ILO Governing Body, academics and ILO staff.
  • Handicrafts
    A display of handicrafts from projects in Cambodia, Mongolia and Thailand, along with items fashioned from urban waste in Tanzania, illustratrating how creativity can translate into livelihoods.
  • The Informal Economy Resource Database
    Demonstrations of the ILO Informal Economy Resource Database.
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The exhibit highlights initiatives taken by the ILO in partnership with governments, trade unions, employers' organizations and NGOs in relation to:

  • the policy environment,
  • building and strengthening representation,
  • expanding market access and jobs, and
  • improving conditions and social protection - all with goal of decent work for everyone.

The "informal economy" - economic activities that are in law or in practice not covered, or are insufficiently covered, by formal arrangements - is growing in many countries. For some, the informal economy evokes entrepreneurial spirit and creativity, but for others it means survival activities trapped in dead-end poverty. Both views converge around ideas of governance. Decent work and productive employment are a shared goal for all men and women, no matter where they are active

Event organized by Policy Integration Department

Funded by the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom

Last update: 3 September 2005^ top