The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has announced it will develop a program to assist with the relocation and integration of refugees from Nauru to Cambodia.
The IOM made the announcement in a statement released today, which said the decision came at the request of Cambodia, Nauru and Australia.
The IOM said in the statement it believed the move was an “opportunity to improve conditions for all refugees in Cambodia.”
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton welcomed the announcement. “IOM has extensive experience in resettling people around the globe and its decision to facilitate the relocation and integration of refugees from Nauru who chose resettlement in Cambodia will smooth their resettlement path,” he said.
“Australia, Cambodia and Nauru continue to work closely to ensure the successful implementation of the MoU signed in September last year,” he added.
Under the government’s agreement, reached last year, Australia will pay Cambodia $40 million over four years, plus carry the costs of resettlement.
The agreement is conditional upon refugees volunteering to go to Cambodia and most have reportedly rejected the offer.
Minister Dutton confirmed in January that he would travel to Cambodia to continue talks on refugee resettlement.
But Greens leader Christine Milne said the resettlement in Cambodia, one of the least developed countries in the world, should not go ahead.
“We know that the money the Australian government spends in Cambodia will go straight into the back pockets of various people in the government, it’s a highly corrupt country,” she said in January.
Comment has been sought from the Immigration Minister.
– With AAP