GEFONT/NEST in Nepal, an affiliate of StreetNet, organised a two day “Negotiation Training" workshop for NEST members in Kathmandu on December 20-21 2011. Altogether 41 NEST members, including 18 women, from different districts of Nepal participated in the training. The training was facilitated by Bidur Karki-GEFONT and Naryan Neupane, Chairman of NEST. On the first day the topics included trade union rights and the rights and responsibilities of union members together with a discussion of the main problems confronting street vendors. On the second day, the participants discussed collective bargaining in the context of the informal economy. The training was inaugurated by Umesh Upadhyaya, Secretary General of GEFONT.
The main problems identified during the discussion included:
- Lack of secure work place.
- Gender discrimination.
- Unhealthy competition among different unions.
- Impact of international trade on street-vendors.
- Lack of proper laws and poor implementation of existing laws.
- Corruption on the part of the Municipal officers.
- Street vendors are treated as second class citizens.
- Lack of social security.
- Lack of facilities of drinking water and toilets.
- Lack of Identity- cards.
- Lack of alternative employment or work places.
- Lack of training.
- Lack of knowledge about rights.
- No child care centres.
- Sexual harassment of women.
It is expected that during 2012 these problems will be reviewed in order to draft a New Manifesto for Nepal and proposals for improved regulations and legislation for informal street vendors.