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1 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY FOR INFORMAL WORKERS “Social Protection in Africa: Sharing Experiences on the Informal Economy” EC & AU Commission Capacity.

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Presentation on theme: "1 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY FOR INFORMAL WORKERS “Social Protection in Africa: Sharing Experiences on the Informal Economy” EC & AU Commission Capacity."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY FOR INFORMAL WORKERS “Social Protection in Africa: Sharing Experiences on the Informal Economy” EC & AU Commission Capacity Building Workshop March 2011, Nairobi, Kenya. Masuma Mamdani IHI

2 WIEGO A global research and advocacy network, working in some 40 countries, promoting and advancing the interests of poorer informal workers, especially women Informal work is normal and not residual Does NOT represent MBOs, works with, builds & strengthens networks of informal worker organisations (MBOs). Gives MBOs visibility, recognition and validity 2

3 EXPANDED DEFINITION OF THE INFORMAL ECONOMY (IE) IE - the diversified set of economic activities, enterprises, and workers that are not regulated or protected by the state. IE (or informal employment) includes: –Self-employment in informal enterprises: self-employed persons in small unregistered or unincorporated enterprises, including:  employers  own account operators  unpaid contributing family workers –Wage employment in informal jobs: wage workers without social protection through their work who are employed by formal or informal firms (and their contractors), by households, or by no fixed employer, including:  non-standard employees of informal enterprises  non-standard employees of formal enterprises  casual or day labourers  industrial outworkers (also called homeworkers) Notes: 1. WIEGO promoted this expanded definition in collaboration with the ILO and the International Expert Group on Informal Sector Statistics (the Delhi Group): it was endorsed by the International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) in T he elements of this expanded definition that were not included in the earlier ICLS 1993 definition of “ informal sector ” are in italics

4 Informal Sector: employment and production that takes place in small, unincorporated and unregistered enterprises ((ICLS 1993). Informal Employment: broader definition that includes informal employment inside and outside informal enterprises (whether carried out for formal sector enterprises or households (ICLS 2003)

5 SEGMENTED LABOR MARKETS/ EMPLOYMENT STRUCTURES What do we mean by ‘segmentation’? Constraints exist which prevent individuals from moving into better employment opportunities (or improving the quality of existing employment) What causes ‘segmentation’? Discrimination, social norms, unequal wealth/assets, unpaid care responsibilities, lack of credit, lack of public goods/services, and more, etc Why does ‘segmentation’ matter? Reinforces existing patterns of poverty and social exclusion. Issue of equity: gender, racial, caste segmentation. Issue of basic rights and the choices available to individuals. In summary: a social justice issue


7 WORKING POOR IN THE INFORMAL ECONOMY In Unregulated Factories: garment makers shoe makers In Small Workshops: scrap metal recyclers shoe makers weavers garment makers and embroiderers paper-bag makers On Streets or In Open Spaces: street vendors push-cart vendors garbage collectors roadside barbers construction workers In Fields, Pastures, and Forests: small farmers agricultural labourers shepherds forest gatherers At Home: garment workers embroiderers shoemakers artisans or craft producers assemblers of electronic parts

8 EMPLOYMENT, INFORMALITY, POVERTY Employment - the most important way in which the benefits of growth can be shared. Most of the world’s poor – especially in developing countries – are working. Informal rather than formal employment is on the rise. The vast majority of the working poor – those who earn less than US$ 1 per day - earn their living in the informal economy where: –average earnings are low –risks are high Poverty reduction is not possible without a)Increasing formal employment opportunities AND b)Increasing the assets and earnings AND reducing the risks of those who work in the informal economy.

9 INSTITUTIONAL REFORMS There is a need to address the following: Institutional “ mismatch ” : existing means of legal and social protections vs. reality of work today Policy biases & Power imbalances: in favor of capital vs. labor + larger firms vs. micro firms + formal labor vs. informal labor Downloading of risks: from lead firms -> suppliers -> intermediaries -> dependent workers and producers at the bottom of production and distribution chains

10 POLICY AND INSTITUTIONAL REFORM: THROUGH DIALOGUE AND NEGOTIATION Key stakeholders: government, private sector, civil society (trade unions + MBOs of working poor + NGOs working on labor and employment issues) Tripartite dialogues and negotiations: should include MBOs of working poor as well as trade unions, employer associations, and government Multi-partite initiatives: initiatives involving multiple relevant stakeholders – such as Fair Trade and Ethical Trade initiatives and the Global Compact - should be encouraged and supported Multi-partite reform processes: policy and legal reform processes should involve all relevant stakeholders including representatives of MBOs of the working poor

11 Social Protection: The Context Vast majority of poor who work informally: – precarious & high risk exposure –have no social security coverage to protect against short term risks or life-time contingencies –cannot afford private insurance, have little access to social insurance Poorer people live and work in poor communities, where it is hard to insure against risk In developing countries: –state systems of social insurance do not target informal workers, wage employed or self-employed –state systems of social assistance for poorer and vulnerable people do not target able bodied people of working age

12 SOCIAL PROTECTION: DIFFERENT STRATEGIES FOR DIFFERENT SECTORS Evidence from a) value chain research and b) risk analysis of place of work and c) analyses of existing social protection schemes: different elements of the ‘welfare mix’ may be more or less appropriate for different types of workers

13 SOCIAL PROTECTION: DIFFERENT STRATEGIES FOR DIFFERENT SECTORS Domestic workers: more potential for integrating into existing labour policy and legislation in line with ‘extend social protection’ campaign Street and market vendors : Focus on local government (not national government) policies Encourage infrastructural service delivery to reduce risk AND increase productivity AND protect both informal workers and the public

14 SOCIAL PROTECTION: DIFFERENT STRATEGIES FOR DIFFERENT SECTORS Industrial outworkers : Encourage infrastructural delivery to private homes Extend employer/ owner-of- capital insurance to include private homes Integrate social protection for informal workers into trade agreements/ codes of conduct Waste-pickers: negotiate with municipalities/private sector for provision of safety equipment and reduction of hazards at the place of work provide access for workers to local government/private sector social provision – health services and health insurance, training courses, educational bursaries

15 MAINSTREAMING SOCIAL PROTECTION FOR INFORMAL WORKERS: THE CASE OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY (OHS) VISION The integration of the working conditions and health status of poorer informal workers, and The inclusion of informal work places, into the discipline and practice of occupational health and safety

16 OHS FOR INFORMAL WORKERS How to re-think OHS as a more inclusive discipline, for different types of informal workers? What institutional reform would be necessary – at national and local government level - to reach more workers? How can informal workers be integrated in inclusive and sustainable platforms for negotiation and policy development?

17 OHS FOR INFORMAL WORKERS: THE VISION - HOW? Voice: Support/assist MBOs of informal workers in shaping focused demands for OHS interventions and in negotiating for policy change and implementation Visibility: Integrate module on OHS for informal workers into Labour Force Surveys; improve the country-based statistics on occupational hazards and injuries to regulating bodies such as the ILO Validity: Modify legal and institutional barriers to the inclusion of informal workers; develop a model for expanded and integrated curriculum for OHS for informal workers into mainstream public health schools

18 OHS PROGRAMME DESIGN Africa (Ghana, Tanzania), Asia (two sites in India), Latin America – Brazil, Peru Focus on different occupational groups – including street vendors, homebased workers, informal recycling workers, domestic workers, agricultural workers, seaweed farmers

19 RESEARCH Understanding the Context –Paper 1: Size and Shape of the Informal Economy –Paper 2: Institutional Mapping and Analysis Participatory research on risks and hazards with MBOs Focus groups discussions, mobility mapping, time and motion studies, household/ enterprise interviews, photography, health checklists 19

20 IMPROVING DATA ABOUT RISKS AND HAZARDS IN INFORMAL WORK Improved statistics on occupational injury and disease for informal workers -Work with National Statistics Bodies -Labour force survey modules – pilot in two countries -Identify gaps in procedures for accident reporting 20

21 TANZANIA: DATA ON OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES Available data on occupational injuries are hugely underestimated Reporting is limited to the workers covered by the system- those largely working in the formal sector - does not include most of those working in the informal sector, as well as in the agricultural sector

22 TANZANIA: DATA SYSTEMS Opportunities for strengthening the routine collection and monitoring of progress, structure and scale of the informal economy as well as pertinent OHS indicators (through targeted (and nested) questions in periodic surveys (HBS, LFS, DHS, census) at national, as well as at district/council level? Coordination of ongoing data collection activities? Strengthening the role of Municipalities or Councils at the Local Government (LG) level in the management of OHS - facilitate information as well as provide national and local decision makers with insights into the complexity of OHS affairs.

23 Limited capacity to enforce the many laws and regulations and ensure H&S at the workplace : few inspectors, lack of other trained staff, transport facilities and other essential resource: around 4,000 workplaces are registered out of an estimated total of 50,000 workplaces in mainland Tanzania Environmental hazards are widespread, especially in the informal sector and in small and medium-sized companies where the majority of the work force is employed. Workers are often unaware about OHS issues and remain unprotected from occupational accidents and diseases

24 Tanzania Existing labour laws are designed to cover most Tanzanian workers, including many of those in the informal economy. However, informal sector workers on the whole, still tend not to benefit from the legislation. Need to enhance the implementation of the labour laws - in the formal and the informal economy => calls for an effective labour administration and inspection service.

25 TANZANIA Many protective laws, policies, programmes & projects, Involving multiple state and non-state actors Scattered, ill-coordinated and the general impact of these has been limited. It is therefore not just about building new systems and new programmes. It is also about assessing the effectiveness or rather weaknesses of existing systems and programmes. The issue is not always of more money but better use of available resources

26 SURVEY OF OHS SYSTEMS IN EA Legislation and Government authorities are relatively well developed, the implementation of legislation is weak, and the legal and particularly practical coverage of services is currently low. Regulations may stipulate comprehensive content for services, the practical content may often be very narrow, including only health examinations and curative general health services, based on the public health system. Preventive activities are under-developed with weak systems for recognition and registration of occupational diseases and injuries. There are substantial needs to develop financial systems for OHS by obligating employers to invest more in OHS and to organize alternative public service provision opportunities for the informal sector, agriculture and the self-employed. (Rantanen and Lehtinen, 2010)

27 POOR OPERATORS LACK INCENTIVE TO MAINTAIN CLEAN WORKING ENVIRONMENTS Street Net Ghana Alliance: survey of 20 chop bars (informal eating establishment): Bar operators on average spent around US$ 1,142 annually on water, refuse removal, use of toilets, cleaning equipment, employee health certificates & fire fighting equipment How to make OHS more affordable for informal businesses?

28 GHANA & TANZANIA: INSTITUTIONAL ANALYSIS Local Government (LG) is an important player in determining workplace conditions, with specific links to both formal and informal sector employments, and administration related issues LG is not effective in maintaining an acceptable work environment: –General lack of resources –Institutional Issues

29 OHS Multi-disciplinary and inter-sectoral- addressed by a range of legislation under different departments / ministries and organisations.

30 GHANA & TANZANIA: INSTITUTIONAL PROBLEMS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT Lack of horizontal coordination between local government departments that have jurisdiction over various aspects of health and safety Problematic vertical alignments between LG and national govt Lack of institutionalised communication between LG and informal workers Poor dissemination of public information (laws, policies, regulations, by-laws…) Insufficient regulation of privatised services

31 INTERVENTIONS: PREVENTION OF RISKS, IMPROVING WORK CONDITIONS Participatory health screenings on morbidity and risk Development of prototypes of improved equipment Assessment of impact of new/ modified equipment Exchanging good practices between countries; and between national, regional and international organisations & networks of informal workers

32 Sharing the learning Diagnostic workshops between workers and those who control OHS Multiple stakeholder policy dialogue Integrating the learning into MBO planning and strategy Development of accessible materials on organising around OHS issues Regional meetings to share the learning Papers at international policy conferences Articles in influential journals Influence on OHS curriculum 32

33 TOWARDS SUSTAINED INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE: KEY ENABLING CONDITIONS Representative Voice omore and stronger organizations of the working poor in the informal economy orepresentation of such organizations in relevant policy-making, rule-setting, and collective bargaining institutions and processes at all levels Official Visibility oimproved labor force and other economic statistics that measure all economic units and workers - including their earnings + contribution to GDP oanalysis and dissemination of these data to policy-makers, advocates of informal workers, and organizations of working poor in informal economy oresearch on the characteristics and situation of informal workers odocumentation of promising examples of policy, regulator, legal, and programmatic interventions in support of informal workers Legal and Policy Validity –legal identity and rights of informal workers as workers, asset holders, and citizens –legal recognition of the member-based organizations of informal workers –legal empowerment through inclusive legal and policy reform processes and appropriate legal and policy reforms A LONG TERM PROCESS


35 Women in Informal Employment Globalising and Organising1 35

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