Informal economy in Asia and the Pacific

Street vegetable vendors in India.

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In many developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region the informal economy constitutes a substantial and important portion of the labour force. The “informal economy” refers to all economic activities by workers that are – in law or in practice – not covered (or insufficiently covered) by formal employment arrangements. Although it is hard to generalize about the quality and nature of informal employment, the characteristics include a lack of protection for non-payment of wages, retrenchment without notice or compensation, unsatisfactory occupational health and safety conditions and an absence of social benefits such as pensions, sick pay and health insurance.