Australia and Cambodia ink refugee deal

Australia and Cambodia ink refugee deal

Written by Bella Dalima

26 Sep, 2014 | 10:56 pm

The Governments of Australia and Cambodia inked a refugee deal at Phnom Penh on Friday.

The Memorandum of Understanding will see genuine refugees sent to Cambodia from Australian-run Detention Centre on Nauru as early as the end of the year.

Speaking to News1st earlier in the day Immigration Correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald, Sarah Whyte said that the 157  Sri Lankan asylum seekers who are currently detained in Nauru could be among the 1000 refugees sent to Cambodia, if they are evaluated as refugees.

Australian-based ABC reported that few details of the deal are known but it has already been widely criticised because Cambodia is one of the poorest nations in the region.

Former Chief Justice of the Family Court, Alistair Nicholson, the spokesman for the alliance, said Cambodian Non-Government Organisations have advised the plan would overwhelm an already struggling welfare sector and exploit one of the poorest nations in south-east Asia.

The criticism comes despite Cambodia and Australia keeping details of the agreement secret.

Human Rights Watch said the agreement does not meet Australia’s commitment to send refugees to a “safe third country” and will undermine refugee protection in the region.


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