The time has come for law enforcement and municipalities in the country to respect the rights of informal traders and treat these individuals with respect.

These are the sentiments of Human rights lawyer and consultant John Nakuta who spoke on the ill-treatment often meted out to informal traders whilst launching the operational guidelines for the Code of Conduct compiled for Namibia's informal economy. 

Nakuta says that it is time that Informal traders be given the same treatment as their formal counterparts stressing that informal economy operators are not criminals but honest people who are trying to make ends meet. 

Nakuta believes the Code of Conduct will bring changes such as the need for mutual respect between informal traders, law enforcement agencies as well local authorities. It will also reduce the gap between informal and formal operators. 

The book comprises five pillars, namely education and training for informal traders, consultation and participation, and recognition for the contribution of the Informal economy to the national coffers. 

Additionally, the book will be a catalyst in helping traders transition to a formal level of doing business and infuse progressive notions of human rights in response to challenges in the informal economy.

The Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Lucia Iipumbu indicated that the Informal Trader sector is the biggest contributor to employment in the country. 

The Ministry, she says, is busy creating ways to assist informal operators in formalising their operations.

The Deputy Director of Fredrick-Ebert Stiftung Patrick Schneider said the book remains a work in progress and serves as a blueprint for the code of conduct compiled for the country

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The Namibian