Cambodian groups call for detail on refugee deal

September 28, 2014
Protesters against the Australian government's 'deal' to dump refugees in Cambodia, outside the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh

The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee(CHRAC), a coalition of 21 NGOs, issued the statement below on September 26 in response to the deal with the Australian government to resettle asylum seekers in the impoverished south-east Asian nation.

* * *

CHRAC is urgently calling for the Australian government to release much needed information regarding this deal that has allegedly been struck between the two governments, including:

* The number of refugees that will be resettled from Nauru, Papua New Guinea and other offshore detention centers?
• What will the selection process of the refugees be? How will the government ensure these refugees are making the decision to resettle in Cambodia in a truly voluntary manner?
• How much money has been promised to the Cambodian government in return for the resettlement of these refugees? What mechanisms are in place to ensure that the money will not be lost through corruption and bribery?
• What will happen to the refugees once they arrive in Cambodia? Will they simply be moving from one offshore detention center to another form of detention?
* How will the Australian government ensure that the Cambodian government meets its obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention and the other international human rights instruments that the Cambodian government has willingly ratified but has shown a lack of willingness to implement?

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