Breaking the Chains of Poverty through Microfinance

An outline of the various activities of the International Labor Organization
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This paper highlights the faith of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in microfinance as a valuable tool to reduce poverty and eliminate child labor and debt bondage. The paper gives the following description of some of the ILO programs:

  • International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC) helped 17 year old Juan Carlos to get out of his job as a quarry laborer and get back into school;
  • Social Finance Program expresses the ILOs' intention to examine and assess financial instruments and institutions from the point of view of their contribution to the goal of decent work;
  • In Ecuador, the IPEC program seeks to eliminate child labor in the gold mines in Bella Rica, using microfinance to help families develop alternate sources of income;
  • In the United Republic of Tanzania, the ILO partners with the Conservation, Hotels, Domestic and Allied Workers Union (CHODAWU) to address the problem of domestic child workers, using microfinance and other tools;
  • ILO is also very active in the area of remittances by migrant workers;
  • It has worked to develop microfinance techniques to assist in the difficult situation of debt bondage;
  • It has helped 150,000 sex workers in Bangladesh to access financial services and gain financial independence.