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Friday, April 1, 2011

Transnational Development Clinic to Host Panel Discussion on Street Vendor Rights

On April 7, 2011, the Transnational Development Clinic at Yale Law School will host a panel discussion on the conditions and legal challenges faced by street vendors around the world. Titled “Taking Back the Streets: Street Vendor Rights from New Delhi to New York,” the panel will feature speakers from the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in India and the Urban Justice Center in New York. It begins at 12 noon in Room 129 and is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served. The event is supported by the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund at Yale Law School.

“Street vending provides livelihoods for an increasing number of people worldwide. At the same time, the discourse of modernity is frequently deployed to marginalize vendors, and legal regimes that unreasonably restrict the activities of the informal sector threaten to deprive many vendors of their livelihoods,” said Megan Corrarino ’12, part of a Transnational Development Clinic team that has been working with SEWA on a comparative survey of street vending laws in more than 30 jurisdictions worldwide. The survey will help SEWA and other street vendor representatives advocate for legislation that will advance and protect vendors’ rights to earn a living. 

In January, with the support of the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund at Yale Law School, Corrarino and fellow team members Robby Braun ’11 and Tienmu Ma ’12, along with clinical professors Muneer Ahmad and Laurel Fletcher, conducted a work trip to India, where they met with stakeholders, including vendors, representatives of vendors’ unions, and local officials. The students will present key findings from the trip and their report at the April 7 event.

In addition, panelists Renana Jhabvala (SEWA) and Sean Basinski and Lei Bai (Street Vendor Project, Urban Justice Center) will provide detailed overviews of how laws, street vendor empowerment campaigns, and transnational advocacy efforts affect street vendors in India and New York.