chapter  3
19 Pages

Social Protection in the Urban Informal Sector in Sri Lanka

Siri Hettige

Formal sector employment is the exception rather than the rule in many developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America; only a few people work either in formally organised private firms or in the state sector (Bromley 1978; Sethuraman 1981). While formal sector employment usually offers job security and various forms of social protection both during and after employment, informal sector employment in urban and rural areas offers a low, variable and unstable income and no social protection. This makes wage workers and the self-employed in the informal sector vulnerable to poverty, illness and socio-economic risks such as indebtedness (Hettige 1990; Marga Institute 1979).