Agosto 24, 2021


Copy right: Anita Pouchard Serra


About 2 billion workers are located in the informal economy worldwide. However, despite the size and importance of this sector, and in particular in the global South, the impact of the crisis on, and the actions from, informal workers have been given little visibility. This special issue tries to address this gap by focusing on the responses that were targeted at, or came from, the sector itself. It presents a range of cases studies from Latin America and Africa, in sectors as diverse as domestic and care workers, waste pickers, migrants and refugees.


Three contributions focus on domestic workers; one is a global comparison between Africa and Latin America (Acciari and Castel-Branco), and two are local case studies from Nigeria (Osiki) and Argentina (Romero). Despite the varied locations, they all consistently show that the Covid-19 crisis has worsened pre-existing inequalities and vulnerabilities in the labour market. And because of long-standing exclusions from social protection, governments’ responses were often inadequate in addressing the unique challenges faced by domestic workers. We then move to Mexico, where Toledo presents us with a situation of humanitarian crisis faced by migrant and refugees and specific barriers in accessing care during the period of pandemic. Finally, the pieces by Guimarães and Gomes from Brazil, and Heredia from Argentina, discuss some policy innovations and attempts at the local and/or national level to include informal workers in emergency responses. They show the opportunities and limitations of these policies, and suggest ways forward to rethink a more equal and inclusive system of social protection.




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About Louisa Acciari

Louisa Acciari

Dr Louisa Acciari is Research Fellow and Co-director of the Centre for Gender and Disaster at the University College London (UK), and Research Associate of IDWF and A-id. She coordinated the data collection and analysis for IDWF Covid-19 impact studies. Email: Recent publications include: Acciari, L.; Britez, J. C.; Morales, A. C.
(2021) Right to Health, Right to Live: Domestic Workers Facing the Covid-19 Crisis in Latin America, Gender & Development; and Acciari, L. (2021) Practicing Intersectionality: Brazilian Domestic Workers’ Strategies of Alliance Building and Identity Mobilising, Latin American Research Review.

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