Bangkok – The rapid rise of tiny loans aimed at helping poor Cambodians has led to more debt, with many borrowers forced to sell land, migrate or put their children to work, human rights groups said on Wednesday.
The Southeast Asian nation has about 2.4 million borrowers with $5.4 billion in outstanding microloans, and among the world’s biggest average loan sizes, according to a report from human rights groups Licadho and Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT).
High interest rates, the use of land titles as collateral, and pressure to repay loans have led to a “predatory form of lending” by microfinance institutions (MFIs), they said.
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