Workshop on the informal sector during Covid-19

PSI’s affiliates in Egypt held a virtual meeting on 23 June 2021, to discuss the conditions of the informal sector, particularly in light of the pandemic. The workshop brought together 20 participants from the affiliated unions, public figures and labor experts.

The workshop was a continuation of the activity of the affiliated unions in 2020. A workshop was held in December 2020 to identify the problems and obstacles facing the informal sector, especially in light of the current crises. The workshop was mainly dedicated to the presentation and discussion of the study on the conditions of the informal sector prepared by Ms. Rahma Refaat, activist, labor lawyer and legal expert. She was followed by two speakers, Mr. Elhamy Al-Marghani, economic and social expert, who spoke about the informal economy and the rights of informal labor, and Mr. Hosni Ahmed, expert in informal sector affairs, who presented some practical solutions to the problems of the sector.

A number of recommendations were concluded after the discussion and interventions of the participants, such as Mr. Kamal Abu Aita, former Minister of Manpower, Mr. Talal Shukr, labor training expert, Ms. Hana Obeid, researcher at Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies, and others. Among these recommendations: the need to provide effective mechanisms to register workers in the informal sector with the Ministry of Manpower, the need to form and register active trade unions for informal workers, the need to find new measures to ensure the protection of their rights and the importance to integrate the gender dimension in the study of their conditions. Finally, it was agreed to organize a number of future workshops with specific segments of the sector to identify their problems.