Street Traders

Street traders in India

A street trader is broadly defined as a person who offers goods for sale to the public without having a permanent built-up structure from which to sell. Street traders may be stationary or mobile. A large share of the global informal workforce operates on city streets, on sidewalks, and in other public spaces. While not all street vendors work without licences or legal protection, the majority do. Most traders locate themselves at strategic points with heavy human traffic, while others walk from one place to the other. Traders settle in streets spontaneously without any official allocation. While many local authorities view street trader sites as temporary, the street traders view them as permanent. Many countries in Asia and Africa have declared street vending illegal, usually on the grounds of impeding traffic or posing a threat to public health. Yet some actions that support street vendors have been successfully implemented in various contexts.

Read more in the gTKP Urban Mobility Topic Information Sheet on Street Traders.