International Networks

International Co-ordinating Committee (ICC) for Organising in the Informal Economy

The ICC was formed as the organising committee for the Conference “Organising in the Informal Economy: Combining our Efforts” which was held in Ahmedabad, India, from 3rd-5th of December, 2003.

Prior to the conference in Ahmedabad and the formation of the ICC, a series of regional meetings were held bringing together organisations of informal workers. These were held under the auspices of Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), working with partners such as Committee for Asian Women (CAW), Homenet Thailand, International Restructuring Education Network Europe (IRENE), Programa Laboral de Desarrollo (PLADES), International Federation of Workers’ Education Associations (IFWEA), Streetnet International, Fundación por los Derechos Humanos en el Trabajo, War on Want, Organización Regional Interamericana de Trabajadores de la Confederación Internacional de Organizaciones Sindicales Libres ORIT/ICFTU, Workers Education Association of Zambia, and the Harvard Trade Union Program.

The ICC is comprised of the following organisations:

StreetNet International, SEWA India, the Trades Union Congress of Ghana (GTUC), Homenet Thailand and the Nigeria Labour Congress. Following the first Conference, it was agreed to add representation from Americas to the organising committee which resulted in the addition of ORIT/ICFTU and CROC (Mexico) to the ICC.

A priority was to ensure increased representation and discussion of workers in the informal economy at the International Labour Conference in 2004 and to draw up a plan of action for building informal economy organisation.

In 2005 the ILO/STEP, ILO/ACTRAV and ICC held a workshop in Senegal on social protection for informal economy workers.

An ICC delegation attended the 2006 International Conference in Geneva to build the representation of informal economy workers. A meeting on Organising Workers in the Informal Economy was held on 5th June 2006.

The Second ICC Conference “Combining our Efforts” was convened by the Ghana Trade Union Congress in September, 2006, in Accra Ghana. The conference resolved that the Accra process of combining the collective efforts to organise workers in the informal economy should be sustained by:

  • A third international conference on organizing workers in the informal economy convened in 2009 in Mexico;
  • Regional conferences be held towards international conference in Mexico 2009;
  • The plan to produce a handbook in 2007 as a guide to organisers for organizing in the informal economy to proceed as planned;
  • A trade union educators’ forum to be convened for organising in the informal economy, coinciding with the 2007 international congress of IFWEA (International Federation of Workers Education Associations) from 28 November to 2 December 2007 in Ahmedabad, India;
  • All informal economy workers’ organizations, trade unions, national trade union centres, global union federations and research institutions, continue networking for the promotion of organization of workers in the informal economy;
  • All participating organisations continue to raise funds for the next conference;
  • That organisations participating in the Accra conference lobby and advocate for these objectives at the Vienna conference to launch a new international trade union confederation in November 2006;
  • The members of the ICC should continue to coordinate activities towards the 2009 Mexico conference.
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NewsBox, 2 - 15 March 2015


ZIMBABWE. First Lady`s Empathy On Vendors Misunderstood. All Africa (13 March 2015). She reminded the police officers that some of them had qualified to join the force because their mothers had sent them to school from the proceeds of street vending.

UK. Street traders` petition passes 5,000 mark. Essex County Standard (13 March 2015) by Andrea Collitt. The petition, seeking the right for the street traders to stay where they are, had 5,000 signatures by Wednesday.

SINGAPORE. Year-long SG50 festivities to highlight hawker food, local music. Channel News Asia (12 March 2015). The Minister for Culture, Community and Youth said it is important to celebrate Singapore`s heritage and culture, adding that the idea of a "distinctive Singaporean culture" is still relatively new and evolving.

MEXICO. Tacos are on credit as street vendors in Mexico use apps. The Globe and Mail (12 March 2015) by Patricia Laya. In Mexico city, known for its sprawling street markets, consumers are shunning cash and opting for credit cards they swipe on merchants` smartphones to pay for everything from shoes to tacos.

INDIA. Vendor goods being seized under anti-sabotage measures: HC told. Zee News (8 March 2015). An association for street vendors has alleged before Delhi High Court that goods of roadside sellers were being seized by police as part of its "anti- sabotage measures", which the organisation has dubbed as a "fresh modus operandi" to harass squatters.

INDIA. Asi Permission Awaited For Building Shops. NewsHub (7 March 2015). The Vellore Corporation is waiting for permission from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to go ahead with the construction of shops for street vendors on the old fish market premises on Anna Salai.

AFRICA. Why Africa`s Booming Cities Need More Autonomy in Urban Planning. City Lab (3 March 2015) Sam Sturgis.  According to the article, the bond was going to fund a new market hall, where street vendors could sell their goods in a more formal exchange.

StreetNet International

StreetNet International is an alliance of street vendors. It was launched in Durban, South Africa, in November 2002.

Membership-based organizations (unions, co-operatives or associations) directly organizing street vendors, market vendors and/or hawkers among their members, are entitled to affiliate to StreetNet International.

The aim of StreetNet is to promote the exchange of information and ideas on critical issues facing street vendors, market vendors and hawkers (i.e. mobile vendors) and on practical organizing and advocacy strategies