Najat El Mekkaoui, Yeganeh Forouheshfar, Asma Ben Hassen, Nidhal Ben Cheikh, and Jacob Emont

Informality is prevalent in Tunisia, limiting the access of a large share of the population to social safety nets. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated more than ever the importance of an inclusive and stable social protection system. Meanwhile, informal workers have been disproportionately affected by the health crisis, hence, extending social security coverage to workers in the informal sector is vital. This paper provides a brief overview of the existing social protection schemes and programs in Tunisia and aims to analyze challenges and opportunities for the extension of social protection to informal workers in the labor market, through studying the main characteristics of Tunisia’s informal workforce and also the characteristics of those informal workers who have transitioned to formality. Finally, we provide policy recommendations tailored to Tunisia’s current situation.

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