Informal Economy During the Pandemic

Covid-19 has created many barriers for workers, especially inside the informal economy, due to the global pandemic measures. Waste pickers in particular, who are usually excluded from social protection schemes and whose livelihoods depend on waste collection, could not benefit and perform business-as-usual, due to the strict pandemic policies. In addition to the restrictions, which waste pickers were hugely financially affected from, the aftermath of the lockdowns in 2021 was even worse.
Most waste pickers have not returned to work yet and for those who have, their income now is below the pre-pandemic levels. According to recent research, waste pickers’ earnings today, are less than 75% of their pre-covid earnings in mid-2021.
And while the income of scavengers has decreased, the health and social dangers that they face daily at work are continuously increasing.