Sunday, May 04, 2014

Australia is actually in the process of working out a deal with Cambodia to dump Australia's refugees in Cambodia.  Incredibly enough, this looks like it might actually be going through now.  (Reportedly the deal is close to being closed).

Amnesty International is not happy about it:
“Australia should be ending its offshore processing and detention of asylum seekers, not looking to outsource its refugee responsibilities to another, much poorer country,” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director.

“Cambodia should be aware of the serious risks around this arrangement and must consider whether it really is ready to participate. The country has only limited capacity to process asylum seeker claims and is still struggling to respect and protect the rights of its own citizens.”

The proposed agreement with Australia also comes at a time when the human rights situation in Cambodia has deteriorated to the point of crisis, a situation that Australia itself has criticized.


“Aside from being unlawful, it is perverse and shameful for Australia to be sending asylum seekers to a country where respect for their human rights cannot be guaranteed and which Australia itself has recently condemned for failing to respect human rights,” said Richard Bennett.


Dean said...

So is Australia's economy tanking so bad they need to do this? I heard that Ford and GM is moving its production out of Australia the next few years. It seems like a non-sensical idea to move refugees to Cambodia. Will Cambodia be able to handle an influx of people? Very interesting.

Joel said...

>>>So is Australia's economy tanking so bad they need to do this?

No, it absolutely is not. There is no sane reason why Australia needs to do this. It is just purely that the Australian people has a hostility to refugees, and so it is politically unpopular for Australian politicians to let in refugees. So they've launched this insane idea of shipping them over to Cambodia, despite the fact that Cambodia is probably one of the least suited places for these refugees to go. But the Cambodian government seems to be amenable to a certain amount of quid pro quo on the issue, and so an agreement has been reached.
It's absolutely insane in my opinion. Cambodia can't even take care of its own people.