A large proportion of the 4.3 million migrant workers in Latin America and the Caribbean survive by working in the informal economy or in irregular conditions. An invisible wall that is necessary to bring down, together with discrimination and xenophobia.
El Salvador is debating reforms of the country’s privatised pension system, which could introduce changes so that it will no longer discriminate against women.
Argentina’s new conservative government has already laid off 20,000 public employees since early December. Analysts have described the phenomenon as a “purge” of “militants” who supported the last administration, facilitated by the precarious employment conditions in the public sector, despite the steps taken to provide greater job stability over the last decade.
Though the Kenyan government has demonstrated a commitment to lift its youth out of poverty, particularly those in the informal settlements, projects designed for youth continue to be crippled by rampant corruption.
Above and beyond the uncertainty about the direction that Argentina’s economy will take after the Oct. 25 presidential elections, the government’s main social programmes, which have helped bring down poverty levels in the last decade, are definitely here to stay, no matter who is elected.
David Kamau is a small-scale maize farmer in Nyeri, Central Kenya, some 153 kms from the capital Nairobi. He recently diversified into carrot farming but is still not making a profit.
For many young Zimbabweans like 19-year-old Shelton Mbariro, running an unlicensed, backyard handmade shoe business has become a way to escape unemployment in this southern African nation.
Zimbabwe’s extensive informal sector could help boost government revenue if regularised, but this won’t happen unless the government creates incentives for the informal sector to register, economists say.
At the age of 22, Franco finally landed his first job, although he is not on any payroll and receives no labour benefits. He is part of Argentina’s informal economy, where one out of three workers are employed – a proportion the government aims to reduce by means of a new law.
Tracy Chikwari, a 36-year-old single mother of two and informal furniture dealer in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, is all smiles as she talks about her flourishing business.
Behind “yerba mate”, a caffeinated herbal brew that is popular in Argentina and neighbouring countries, lies a shameful reality: the dismal labour and living conditions of the workers who harvest the leaves of the bush used to make the infusion.