Cambodian deal to resettle asylum seekers imminent
A controversial deal to allow Australia to send refugees to Cambodia is imminent and could be signed as early as this week, sources have told Fairfax Media.
The Australian and Cambodian governments have been negotiating for months over a deal to resettle up to 1000 refugees from the Australian-run detention centre on Nauru in Cambodia.
Cambodia has no infrastructure for resettling refugees, or government services to assist them. The UN says 45 per cent of the country’s population lives in poverty. As well, Cambodia is a Buddhist country and almost all the refugees on Nauru are Muslim and don’t speak Khmer.
#migration #asile #expulsion #Cambodge #Australie cc @cdb_77 @reka
“Cambodia is a poor country, a developing country, with no history of resettling refugees, or established capacity for that. This is not a long-term solution,” Dr Chia said.
There is also concern Australia is using its economic influence to coerce Cambodia into accepting its refugees.
Australia is one of Cambodia’s largest aid benefactors. In a dramatically reduced aid budget for 2014-15, the budget for ’’cross regional programs’’ was more than doubled from $309 million to $686 million. Labor accused the government of running a “slush fund” to buy off Cambodian co-operation.