The first group of asylum seekers on Nauru will be sent to Cambodia in coming days as part of a $40 million government resettlement deal, The Guardian Australia claims.
The resettlement deal was finalised in Canberra last month between Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng.
According to the report, immigration staff have handed asylum seekers leaflets offering them the voluntary resettlement in Cambodia.
“The opportunity to settle in Cambodia is now available to you,” the letter reads.
“The first flight from Nauru to Cambodia for refugees will be as soon as 20 April 2015.
“Moving to Cambodia provides an opportunity for you and your family to start a new life in a safe country, free from persecution and violence, and build your future.”
The International Monetary Fund ranks Cambodia’s economy 113th out of 187 countries, based on its gross domestic product.
Many aid organisations have slammed the deal because of Cambodia’s history of human rights abuses, corruption and widespread poverty.
According to one man living on Nauru, asylum seekers balked at the offer after hearing of Cambodia’s poor economy.
The resettlement deal is a cornerstone of the Abbott government’s policy not to resettle asylum seekers in Australia.
Refugees who do take the voluntary offer will reportedly be offered a case worker, income support, language training and health insurance.
A spokesman for the International Organisation for Migration based in Geneva confirmed it would send a an official to Nauru in coming days with the “expectation of possible movement”.