This thoroughly researched volume surveys the nature and extent of ‘informal’ work in Asia, which is a powerful and under-studied force in the region.
After over half a century of development, even in the fast growing economies of Asia, the formal sector, and industrial jobs have grown rather slowly, and most non-agricultural employment growth has occurred in the informal economy. At the same time as this, there has been a feminization of informal workers and growth in subcontracted homework.
Drawing on detailed case studies carried out in five Asian countries – two low income (India and Pakistan) and three middle income (Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines) – where subcontracted production, usually by women and children working out of home, is now widespread, this insightful book acknowledges that home-based work is the source of income diversification for poor families, but is also the source of exploitation of vulnerable workers and child labour as firms attempt to contain costs.
This wide-ranging and accessible survey, edited by key specialists in this field, along with an impressive team of contributors, examines the social protection needs of these workers arguing convincingly for public action to promote such work and protect these workers as a possible new labour intensive growth strategy in developing countries.