8-9 July 2011
On behalf of StreetNet International, I would like to send you a greetings message and to thank you all for participating in this New Manifesto campaigns planning workshop. This is the second of three regional workshops that are taking place in 2011: the first was in March in Buenos Aires for South and Central America, organized by SIVARA, Argentina; and the third will be in just 10 days time in Nairobi, Kenya, for the African region and organized by KENASVIT.
The New Manifesto campaign is a very exciting plan to develop a grassroots consultation with members and potential members of StreetNet affiliates in order to bring together a set of demands, in a “New Manifesto” of street and market vendors and cross-border traders, throughout the world. In this way, the New Manifesto will have legitimacy at local, national, regional and international level and we hope it will prove a powerful lobbying tool to persuade governments and other actors to give voice and representation to informal workers.
Street vendors around the world are demanding recognition of the right to trade; integration into the tax system, in accordance with progressive principles, the extension of social security to informal workers and the setting up of statutory negotiating forums with local governments.
There are many more direct and daily issues, in particular harassment and confiscation of goods, arbitrary taxes and fines and sometimes evictions, destruction of property and police brutality. Instead of recognizing that informal traders, the great majority of whom are women, are trying to make an honest living, they are often treated as little better than criminal. The StreetNet New Manifesto will be living proof that all around the world, street vendors are demanding respect and justice- hence our StreetNet slogan – nothing for us without us!
NASVI’s campaign and media work is an example to all StreetNet affiliates. Their campaign for the implementation of the national policy on urban vendors, dating from 2004 and revised in 2009, has been used to organize vendors and strengthen existing organizations. This work has been accompanied by vigorous media coverage and a legal literacy campaign to strengthen the legal skills of the member organizations and to build strong linkages with supportive lawyers to defend the rights of street vendors. For these reasons, StreetNet Is delighted that NASVI agreed to host this workshop and are sure it will be a wonderful opportunity for the Asian affiliates to learn more about NASVI’s campaigns and to exchange and plan for the New Manifesto.