Statements related to COVID-19

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Official statements issued by StreetNet International, affiliates, and partners:

We urge the government to set up consultative and inclusive all stakeholders dialogue platforms (Informal Economy organisations included) in order to come up with transparent processes of formalisation and regularisation of the Informal Economy that is developmental and sustainable from community level to national level.

StreetNet International, representing over 690 000 street vendors, informal market vendors and hawkers in 54 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Eastern Europe, is deeply concerned about unprecedented pandemic COVID-19 and its rapid spread around the globe which has an enormous negative impact on one of the most vulnerable category of workers in informal economy. These are the workers who are usually not covered by labour laws or receiving social and health protections in their countries.

The criminalization and stigmatization of informal workers and traders must stop. Informal traders are also victims of Corona Virus and they want to prevent it, this is why they hid to the lockdown measures. Their right to food, work and life must be respected as they are equally citizens of Zimbabwe. We urge the COVID 19 task force to protect these innocent people and not treat them as criminals. We, therefore, call for collaborative efforts to fight the Coronavirus and not fight our people.

Street vendors and market traders are a crucial link to food security and basic necessities, especially for the poorest segments of society. Waste pickers / recyclers provide sanitation and solid waste services that contribute to public health, lower landfill costs and a healthier environment. Domestic workers are on the frontlines of meeting hygiene standards and providing care, including for the sick and elderly. Home-based workers keep supply chains running and are sewing masks and medical coveralls for the frontline workers. Economies everywhere depend on our work.