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Informal workers' need for social protection under spotlight in regional workshop in Hanoi

The need to find ways to provide social protection for South East Asia's informal workers is to be discussed at a regional workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam, this week.

The workshop, to be addressed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and to launch a five-year programme to address the issue by Oxfam, will highlight the issue of the 'missing middle,' the majority of populations not covered by social protection.

The ADB's principal social development specialist Sri Wening Handaynai will outline options for addressing finance gaps, using the social protection floors promoted by the International Labour Organization. She will touch on the role of civil society in promoting social protection.

Stephen Kidd, senior social policy advisor at Development Pathways, will also cover the politics of inclusive social protection schemes such as a non-means-tested 'citizen's pension,' and suggest that inclusive benefits have a broader political alliance behind them.

The workshop, entitled Regional Workshop on Inclusive and Equitable Social Protection for Marginalized Workes in ASEAN, is held 7th - 9th September. More details to follow. Handaynai and Kidd contributed to the 2016 publication Social Protection for Informal Workers in Asia, which suggested that Asia's growing workforce needs innovative solutions to reduce risks and ensure security for workers in vulnerable employment.