An important reason behind the heightened concern for social protection for the informal economy is its rapid expansion with poor working conditions and low-wage operations. Informal workers lack income and social security, and job security. Informal enterprises are survivalist in nature and face several challenges including inadequate access to infrastructure, services, and finance. Also, skills training and business development support is often totally absent.
The call to extend social protection to the informal economy is consistent with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 target 1.2 to reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions. And, SDG 1.3 to implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measure for all including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable. Social protection contributes to poverty reduction by transferring resources to those living in extreme poverty, enabling the beneficiaries to generate income, protect their assets and accumulate human capital. It also contributes to achievement of SDG 8 particularly target 8.5 to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value; and target 8.8 to protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.