City Council draws up a comprehensive plan to tackle the situation of street vendors

17/09/2015 14:29 h

Regina Navarro

City Council has produced a report evaluating the position of street vendors in the city. The objective is to provide help for them to break loose from their irregular situation.

Teams of City Council educators for public places carried out an analysis of the situation between April and August, interviewing 213 people in order to get a complete picture of their situation. The results showed 83% of those interviewed live in Barcelona and on average stay around 4 years.

During the presentation of the report, the Deputy Mayor for Social Rights, Laia Ortiz, explained that street vendors have “a poor link to municipal services and resources”. In fact only 9% use social services centres and 38% use the Catalan public healthcare system and emergency services if necessary.

The report points to the need for “a social response to this phenomenon, particularly in terms of strengthening inclusive programmes by supporting employment, and the intensification of assistance in regularisation”. Ortiz highlighted that “these are immigrants in an irregular situation who do not have a regulated alternative means to earn a living and no mafias have been identified behind the phenomena, rather solidarity networks for mutually helping one another”.

Now an analysis has been made, work is underway to draw up a comprehensive plan to include social action, in relation to stable and regular city commerce and safety in public places.

A snapshot of the city’s street vendors

Based on the surveys carried out, 4 areas have been identified in which street vendors operate. Namely, the sale of souvenirs, cans of beer, fake products and items salvaged from public refuse containers.

Practically the entire collective of street vendors is made up of young and middle aged men originating from Pakistan, Senegal and the African continent in general.