Street vendors’ self-help strategies highlight cities’ neglect of how the other half survive
About 2.5 billion people, or half of the global labour force, work in the informal economy, the International Labour Organisation estimates. In developing Asian countries, more than 50% of the urban labour force is in informal work. Street vending is the most visible form of this. Yet no accurate statistics on street vendors are available.
Official planning documents do not include informal trading activities; they are “off the map”. This invisibility largely stems from state rules that consider street vending illegal. Amid the harsh policies, street vendors devise ways to cope with poverty and their insecure livelihood.