Informal Employment and Health Conditions in Dhaka’s Plastic Recycling and Processing Industry

  • Ronny Staffeld
  • Elmar Kulke
Part of the Contributions to Statistics book series (CONTRIB.STAT.)


The urban economy of mega-cities located in developing countries is often characterized by the dominance of informal activities. In some urban agglomerations more than two-thirds of the workforce is engaged in this labour segment (ILO 2002a). However, the phenomenon of informal employment is not restricted to a specific economic branch or industry but encompasses a broad spectrum of diverse groups of workers and enterprises. It includes self-employed survival activities, such as street vendors, shoe shiners or garbage collectors (c.f. Hansen 2004; Rouse 2006; Wilson et al. 2006), as well as paid domestic workers employed by middle or high income group families or informal production-oriented activities taking place in small and medium backyard factories (c.f. Kamete 2004; Kulke and Staffeld 2009). Furthermore, millions of employees in formal enterprises located in special economic or export processing zones work under conditions of informal employment (Kabeer and Mahmud 2004; Staffeld 2007; Kilian et al. 2010). It is important to note here that informal employment is not only a phenomenon of developing countries, but also exists in the industrialized world, e.g. in the form of the employment of illegal, unprotected migrants on plantations or as domestic workers (c.f. ILO 2002a: 26ff; Cyrus 2008).


Injection Moulding Domestic Worker Plastic Waste Informal Economy Informal Employment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany

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