Apr 30, 2014

Cambodia not a safe place for Australian refugees — or anyone else

The Australian government appears to have struck a deal with Cambodia to house 100 refugees in exchange for a massive increase in foreign aid. But Cambodia is far from a safe place to settle.

Michael Sainsbury — Freelance correspondent in Asia and <em>Little Red Blog</em> Editor

Michael Sainsbury

Freelance correspondent in Asia and Little Red Blog Editor

On January 3 this year, men from Cambodia’s security forces opened fire on striking garment workers in the nation’s capital of Phnom Penh, killing at least five unarmed people and injuring dozens of others. The workers were protesting for an increase in the country’s minimum wage for factory workers, who toil in sweatshop conditions, from US$80 to US$160 — per month.

Yesterday, the Cambodian government edged closer to a deal under which Australia’s government would send refugees to the country for resettlement. The Cambodian government has agreed in principle but is still “studying” Australia’s proposal, The Phnom Penh Post reported.

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14 thoughts on “Cambodia not a safe place for Australian refugees — or anyone else

  1. cairns50

    how disgusting is it that we are even thinking of sending refugees to this country

    the military shot around 6 or more of there own citizens recently for simply asking for better wages and working conditions in a garment factory

    sending refugees to cambodia is even worse than sending them to Manus or Nauru if that is possible

  2. MJPC

    What an Orwellian society Australia has become in less than 12 months:
    It’s not poverty, it’s safety! Of course, I should have known!
    Safety when the residents of Gulag Manus were attacked by locals, using sticks and machete’s? Safe that a refugee under protective custody was killed by a guard? Safety when a report into the incident is being refused access for public scrutiny?
    People don’t have to be fundamentalist to become terrorists, this government is going out of the way to create them through their actions.

  3. paddy

    Unbelievable stuff. Or at least it should be.
    Even a couple of years ago, I’d never have dreamt we could sink so low, as to send refugees to Cambodia.

    I fear there will be a terrible reckoning for Australia’s shameful recent history on asylum seekers.

  4. Bill Hilliger

    The next thing that this government will attempt is to send boat people to Iraq and Palestine.

  5. morebento

    Bill well we are doing this already by sending them back to Iraq / Afghanistan

  6. graybul

    Australian Immigration / Humanitarian Policy . . . From Hell hole too close . . . to Hell Hole further away!!

  7. klewso

    I want to know how much is this “new deal” – “selling off” these people – going to cost us, to get Cambodia to take them?

  8. Jaybuoy

    aid for trade.. we are about to withhold aid funding from a destitute country in the top ten of pariah states unless they take some refugees from us .. who the fuck are we..?

  9. Jan Forrester

    Poor fellow my country.

  10. Graeski

    The thing is, the people in this country who support the current government approach to asylum seekers – and going by the last election, that’s the great majority of us – just don’t care. As far as they are concerned asylum seekers committed the cardinal sin of getting on the boats in the first place and absolutely everything that happens to them thereafter – no matter how horrific and no matter how complicit we are in bringing those events about – is a direct result of their own actions … and therefore we don’t have to worry about it.

    Articles such as this are dismissed as just faggoty-liberal-bleeding-heart-leftist hysteria.

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