Introduction of Legislative Bill for the protection of Street Vendors’ Rights

Webinar Date : November 02, 2020 at 7:00 PM
Webinar Moderator: Dr. Nadeem ul Haq (Vice Chancellor PIDE)
Webinar Speaker : Sania Nishtar: Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety to the PM of Pakistan, with the status of Federal Minister, & BISP Chirperson, Syed Zeeshan Ali Naqvi: Deputy Mayor, Islamabad. Zia Banday: A Development Consultant & Initiator of Street Vendors Protection Project, Ahmed Bashir: Author of Street Vendors’ Protection Bill and Partner, Ahmed Bashir & Associates, Umer Gilani: Partner, Law & Policy Chambers, Naveed Abbasi: President, Khokha Association Islamabad

Jabri Faroosh or Thelewala, the vernacular term for ‘Street Vendors’, have remained the integral part of the urban economy around the world. Not only the provider of a range of goods and services to middle and low income mass segment of the society, but this economic niche is also a major employment purveyor of urban poor. However, this socioeconomic contribution has not saved them from the harassment, extortion and eviction at the hands of local authorities. They equally find little empathy from the elite or relief from the courts. With insignificant mobilization power, street vendors remain at the mercy of formal regulators and informal grabbers of urban space. An effort is initiated by a group of development practitioners in Islamabad for protecting the street vending rights through a legislative process. As per conservative estimates, street vendors number anywhere around 15,000 to 25,000 in Islamabad. A legislative bill and strive for its subsequent implementation may provide some sigh of relief to this hapless and wretched segment of the society.