Written by Bella Dalima
25 Sep, 2014 | 9:06 pm
International media reports say Australia has confirmed it will sign a deal with Cambodia to resettle refugees in the South East Asian nation.
Australia’s Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, who was to sign the deal in Cambodia on Thursday, said only those who choose to go to Cambodia would be resettled there.
Accordingly, Sri Lankan refugees currently in Australian too will be eligible for resettlement in Cambodia. The deal follows an announcement by Morrison Wednesday on legislation to re-introduce temporary protection visas.
International media reports say the deal has drawn immediate criticism from rights groups who say it will not afford refugees sufficient protection. They accuse Australia of failing to meet its international obligations by sending refugees to an impoverished nation, ill-equipped to handle them.
Under current policy, asylum-seekers who arrive in Australia by boat are detained and processed offshore.If found to be refugees, they are resettled outside Australia.
Meanwhile, Australia will reintroduce a controversial temporary visa system to deal with a huge backlog of asylum seekers.
Scott Morrison said;
[quote]These are temporary visas. They do not provide a path to permanent protection visas. That is very clear in our arrangements. Any and all new illegal arrivals will continue to be transferred to Manus Island or Nauru for offshore processing and resettlement and this policy will apply in all such cases without exception as it is a necessary part of our border protection regime.[/quote]
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