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Livelihood of 1.6 billion informal workers worldwide at risk: ILO

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  • Published
    5th May, 2020


Approximately 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy, nearly half of the global workforce, are in immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed because of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has warned in its report


  • As the world grapples with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable workers in the informal sector at global level have been hit hard.
  • As vendors working in close quarters and or as frontline care-workers in households, many are particularly vulnerable to contracting the virus.
  • Countries that had full lockdown measures primarily enforced three measures on social distancing, according to the ILO report:
    • Mandatory workplace closure
    • Mandatory internal travel controls
    • Mandatory shutdown of public transport
  • Partial lockdown measures, according to the report, meant that at least one of the above three measures were mandatory.
  • While necessary phases of lockdown are threatening livelihoods in the informal economy, government relief efforts are frequently only reaching formal workers and businesses.
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