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Indentured Servitude in Hong Kong Abetted by Loan Firms

Sitting on a picnic blanket in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park with fellow Indonesian domestic workers on a Sunday in October, 34-year-old Arida is holding back tears.

Moneylenders have demanded she turn over almost all of her HK$3,740 ($483) monthly salary to pay debts totaling 11 times that amount that she incurred finding a job, she says. When she stopped paying in July after being told fees she had been charged are illegal in Hong Kong, debt collectors harassed her and the family that employs her as a live-in helper.