Of Informal Sector Labourers
Informal Economy: Challenges for Trade Unions
Published Year: 2005
Published by: Democratic
Confederation of Nepalese Trade Unions (DECONT)
& Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)
Price: Not mentioned
sector labor has always been a matter of debate in many
national and international forums. But this issue has
never been taken seriously in Nepal. In a number of cases
even labor relations experts in Nepal are not sure about
how workers in the informal sectors are contributing to
the national economy. The officials at the Department
of Labour and Trade Unionist often seem untroubled about
the plight of informal sector workers.
Even though the total contributions
of informal sector in the national economy are over 50
per cent; it has always remained unnoticed in the national
In fact, the informal economic activities
are not a new phenomenon. They have been in practice for
many decades. Development experts and economists admit
that an adequate focus is yet to be laid on these areas
even in the developed countries.
The International Labor Organization
(ILO), the only international organization that is expected
to address the problems relating to the informal sector
laborers, has failed to play a role in institutionalizing
the contributions of laborers in informal sector across
There is a greater degree of confusion
about the informal sector laborer in the country. Even
trade unions have not dared brought forward their official
views about the informal sector.
The issue of informal sector economy
has been a challenge since long. The role of the government
in addressing the problem (relating to the components)
of informal sector economy is very insignificant.
Neither official trade unions have brought
forward their institutional views nor do concerned officials
have any interests in this regard.
The issue of informal sector had remained
untouched since long. Having realized this, the Democratic
Confederation of Nepalese Trade Unions (DECONT) has tried
to address this issue through its publication.
The book entitled "The Informal
Economy Challenges for Trade Union" is all about
the informal sector economy that at least help draw some
ideas about how informal sector dominates the overall
The book consists of five different
chapters such as the informal economy, Nepal's informal
economy, DECONT's policy, Strategy and Activities to Address
the Informal Economy, Dent work in the informal economy:
the role of trade unions and reflections on a third way.
The first chapter deals with the dynamics
of the informal sector economy. The second chapter is
about Nepal's informal economy, which gives the background
of informal sector, overall employment scenario and status
of legal protection for the informal sector workers. A
vivid description of informal sector labour in Nepal helps
inderstand how people in informal sector have been contributing
to the national economy.
The book also offers an overall employment
scenario. It states that "a very few studies have
been carried out to analyze the Nepalese employment trend".
Those that are available have not been able to do so in
a holistic manner, producing more segregated data than
The book also contains the issue relating
to the widening informal employment.
Above all the book gives overall information
about the informal sector labour in Nepal. The efforts
of publisher and researchers should be appreciated. However,
it is surprising the name of author of the book has not
been mentioned anywhere.
Even though the book contains lots of
information about the informal sector economy, the subject
matter and the issues raised in the book are based on
the assumptions of the DECONT.
Undoubtedly, the DECONT has done a tremendous
job in protecting the rights of labourers across the country,
but it would not be essential to focus on the DECONT's
activities alone. Keeping these lapses aside, the book
contains a great value in understanding the dynamics of
informal sector economy in the country. The cooperation
of the FES for such publication should be appreciated.
Source: Friday Supplement, The
Rising Nepal (24 March 2006)