News National Cambodia asylum deal imminent

Cambodia asylum deal imminent

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One-thousand refugees from the Nauru detention centre may be sent to Cambodia in a controversial deal between the Australian and Cambodian governments.

Sources have told Fairfax media that the two countries have been negotiating the resettlement for months in a deal that could be signed as early as this week.

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The move would see see a 1500 per cent increase in the number of refugees the country manages, with only 68 recognised refugees and 12 asylum seekers in Cambodia currently.

Joyce Chia, from the University of NSW’s Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law said the proposed deal was “a flawed deal” for all sides and that refugees should be settled in Australia.

“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,” said Dr Chia.

According to the UN, 45 per cent of the Cambodian population lives in poverty.

A spokesperson for Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that no agreement had been made, while a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that there was “no further update on the status” of discussions with Cambodia.