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Sri Lanka women selling kidneys to repay loans, says UN expert


AFP
COLOMBO
SRI Lankan war widows and women in former conflict zones are being forced to sell their kidneys to pay loan sharks, a UN expert said on Tuesday, urging government intervention.
Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, the UN's independent expert on effects of debt on human rights, said that debt collectors were also demanding sexual favours.
"Women are at times exposed to psychological and physical violence by these collectors ...," he said in a statement after a visit to the island nation.
"I have also learned of cases of borrowers who have tried to sell their kidneys for money to repay loans," he said without elaborating.
Sri Lanka is home to tens of thousands of war widows nine years after the 37-year civil conflict ended, many of them forced to use small"microfinance" loans to survive.
Local media reports have said that dozens of indebted women in the battle-scarred north, which is also in the grip of drought, have committed suicide.

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