Chapter 2: Self-employment and social contracts from the perspective of the informal self-employed
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In today's global economy, around 60 per cent of all workers are informally employed and 44 per cent are self-employed. For the self-employed, the relationships that matter most for a new social contract are their relationships with government (both national and local) and with owners of capital (as suppliers, buyers and competitors). This chapter will interrogate these relationships - and the social contract that should govern them - from the perspective of the informal self-employed. To ground the analysis, this chapter will focus on three occupational groups of urban informal workers – home-based workers who need tenure and basic infrastructure services for their homes-cum-workplaces, street vendors who need a secure space to vend in central locations and waste pickers who need access to waste and places to sort, store and process reclaimed waste.The chapter concludes with a roadmap for promoting a new social contract for the informal self-employed, including legal recognition and visibility in official statistics for informal workers and representation of informal worker organizations in the negotiations for a new social contract.