A report from local human rights NGOs Licadho and Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) claimed that the increasing levels of debt caused by taking loans from microfinance institutions (MFIs) is forcing rural families to sell off land.
The study also claimed that the sharp rise in debt had led to migration and human rights abuses such as child labour exploitation.
However, Bun Mony, the deputy chairman of the Cambodia Microfinance Association slammed the report. He denied that MFIs forced debtors to sell off assets, and warned that people were at risk from unscrupulous unlicensed money lenders.
The report said: “This form of lending has significantly boosted revenue for microfinance institutions and their foreign loan partners, but it has negatively impacted the security of people’s land ownership, especially in vulnerable communities.”