Australia to transfer refugees from Nauru to Cambodia

Apr 17, 2015 (LBO) – A charter flight will carry the first group of asylum seekers from Nauru to Cambodia next Monday, under an agreement entered into between Australia and Cambodia, Media reports said.

Whether Sri Lankans are among the first group of refugees who will be transferred from Nauru to Cambodia is not known yet, the report said.

Under this agreement, its reported that, Cambodia will receive a 40 million Australian dollars as a resettlement grant from the Australian government.

A fact sheet distributed by the Australian government among the refugees in Nauru, who will eventually be transferred to Cambodia stated that it is a safe country where the police maintains law and order and doesn’t have the problems of violent crimes and stray dogs.

The fact sheet has this to say about Cambodian health system. “Health System in Cambodia is of good quality for the region, with many hospitals and doctors treating both Cambodians and foreigners.

The fact sheet also makes many promises to those who wish to settle in Cambodia including cash in hand and in the bank to start the life in Cambodia, health insurance, place to stay, access to education, income support, language training and help to find permanent education.

Media and activists groups have criticized that the Australian government is attempting to project a rosy picture of Cambodia. And the ground reality is far worse.

Contrary to what is stated in the fact sheet, the Australian government’s own travel advisory warns travelers on multiple health risks in Cambodia, including water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases including dengue fever, hepatitis, tuberculosis, typhoid and rabies.

The travel advisory further states that health and medical services in Cambodia are generally of a very poor quality and very limited in the services they can provide.

Outside Phnom Penh there are almost no medical facilities equipped to deal with medical emergencies.

The United States, State Department has issued a sever warning on the country’s crime situation.

“Cambodia has a high crime rate, including street crime. Military weapons and explosives are readily available to criminals despite authorities’ efforts to collect and destroy such weapons. Armed robberies occur frequently.”

Meanwhile, many human rights and international agencies have criticized the agreement between Cambodia and Australia to resettle refugees in Cambodia.

“It has been stated that Australia is shirking its responsibilities and international obligations.”