The IEA is pleased to announce the founding of a new Technical Committee (TC) aimed at sharing experiences and increasing awareness of the informal work sector, which is estimated to include over 2 billion workers worldwide. The safety, health and productivity of workers outside the formal employment sectors have enormous potential for improvement and very little attention has been paid to them. The Informal Work TC includes people who have done research and interventions on various issues facing these workers on various continents around the world. People with similar experiences are welcome to join with the aim of forming special sessions at congresses, producing scientific papers and networking researchers.
The informal work sector is the part of any economy that is neither taxed nor monitored by any form of government. Although the informal sector makes up a significant portion of the economies in developing countries, it is sometimes stigmatized as troublesome and unmanageable. Although informal work is common in poorer countries the sector has grown in the developing world over the last decade. Migrant workers, whether legal or illegal, often find employment in such work . Typical types of work include home-based workers such as dependent subcontract workers, independent own account producers, and unpaid workers in family businesses as well as street vendors and gig workers. HFE specialists have had successes in this area and their work experiences can help others facing similar challenges.