Structuring of informal economy, focus of ILO seminar

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Ministry of Social Protection (MOSP) Labour Department and the International Labour Organization (ILO) today continued its workshop with stakeholders, on the formalization of the informal economy, at Tower Suites, Georgetown.

Rainer Pritzer, International Labour Organisation.

The two-day workshop aims to facilitate the transition of workers and economic units from the informal to the formal economy while respecting their fundamental rights and ensuring opportunities for income security, livelihoods and entrepreneurship.

ILO Representative, Rainer Pritzer highlighted that the ILO invited representatives from Jamaica, St. Lucia, Belize, Dominica and Suriname to share their experiences and knowledge on the subject.

“We all …have a similar objective of protecting, assisting, and guiding the workforce. Over the next two days, we will concentrate on those who are usually neglected. We as the ILO, we also want to promote the exchange of experience among our members,” Pritzer posited.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary of MOSP, Lorene Baird explained the workshop is crucial, particularly in the light of the fact there are persons within the informal economy of the islands affected by the recent hurricanes.

“In many cases, persons in the informal sector do not benefit

Lorene Baird, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Protection.

from social security schemes, health and safety programs and maternity benefits and have limited or no protection by labour legislation,” she said.

Baird disclosed that the Social Protection Ministry and the Government are working towards improving those areas for persons in Guyana.

“We should be cognizant also that inclusive development is not possible unless rights and opportunities are extended to workers in the informal economy.”

A previous workshop on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in the informal economy was hosted by the Social Protection Ministry and the ILO. The session focused on the training of trainers from the agriculture, construction and services sectors on ways to conduct sensitisation programmes in the various informal sectors.


By: Crystal Stoll

Rainer Pritzer, ILO Representative making a presentation to stakeholders at the informal economy workshop.