StreetNet International commissions action research on street vendors in the World Cup host cities

Starting in May 2011, StreetNet International, in partnership with the CUT Brazil and the Gaspar Garcia Centre for Human Rights, has commissioned a research project to identify and record the main demands of the different street vendors` associations in the 12 World Cup host cities. The research will also seek to highlight the potential impact of the World Cup on the livelihoods of street vendors.

This project is being undertaken within the framework of the World Class Cities for All Campaign, launched by StreetNet International in association with other social movements prior to the World Cup in South Africa. In South Africa, despite promises of consultation and dialogue, in many host cities, street vendors found they were subject to harassment and evictions and they were banned from selling around the stadiums and fan parks. So instead of the World Cup offering opportunities for the urban poor, it resulted in a net decrease in their incomes.

"This World Cup is not for us poor people" is a series of interviews with street vendors from South Africa which highlights the extremely precarious livelihoods of the street vendors, the majority of whom are women seeking to earn an honest living in order to support their children. The issue of the rights of street vendors, and their exclusion during the World Cup, has been supported by many other organizations, including members of Nelson Mandela`s group of Elders.

Once this first phase of the research has been completed, StreetNet and the CUT will host a workshop in October to review the results, and discuss next steps with the street vendors` organizations and their allies. It is hoped to develop a set of demands to the local municipalities to ensure that mechanisms for consultation and dialogue are established, that were possible social solidarity economy organizations are given trading spaces in the stadiums and fan parks. Another possibility is to develop a code of conduct to present to FIFA and which would govern relations between street vendors and FIFA. For more information, contact stnet@iafrica.org

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NewsBox, 2 - 15 March 2015

NewsBox

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