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August 30 , 2010

The Legal Empowerment Agenda

Poverty, Labour and the Informal Economy in Africa


Despite providing society with a set of crucial services, large groups of workers in the informal economy are subject to exclusion and discrimination, and their lives are characterised by various types of vulnerabilities and deprivations that result from the denial of social, economic, political and legal protection. Although not new to the development vocabulary, the informal economy has received renewed attention in recent years largely due to the ILO's 'decent work' agenda and various efforts to promote 'legal empowerment of the poor'. With an explicit focus on labour rights, the book focuses on a nuanced understanding of the regulatory and operational challenges and dilemmas related to implementing the two approaches in selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to analyzing structures and relations of power between the formal and the informal economies, the book critically discusses the work of governments, civil society organizations and the poor themselves to address the daily challenges of living in the informal economy.

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