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Australia-Cambodia refugee deal poses threat to minorities

26 September 2014

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is deeply alarmed by the Australian government's decision to resettle refugees in Cambodia, which has a track record of deporting ethnic minorities, including Uighurs from China and Montagnards from Vietnam, back to their home countries.

On Friday, the Australian and Cambodian governments signed a new Memorandum of Understanding, which could see over 1,000 people -- mostly from South Asia and the Middle East - relocated to Cambodia from detention centres in Nauru.

‘This deal risks a direct violation of the Australian government's obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention to protect individuals fleeing persecution,' said Mark Lattimer, Executive Director of MRG.

‘Australia should be setting a regional standard for the protection of minorities and other vulnerable individuals, instead of shifting the responsibility to a less developed country that lacks both the capacity and the political will to adequately safeguard refugees.'

The new deal could have a devastating impact on minorities, which constitute a significant portion of asylum seekers in Australia, including Hazaras from Afghanistan, Tamils from Sri Lanka, and Rohingya Muslims from Burma. Read more...

MRG Blog

“The Endorois decision” – Four years on, the Endorois still await action by the Government of Kenya

Rebecca Marlin is currently the Legal Fellow at Minority Rights Group International (MRG) in London. During her time at MRG she will be working extensively with the Endorois to achieve implementation of the 2010 African Commission decision granting them rights to Lake Bogoria. Read more...


Europe: Minorities are protected, but by whom?

Alexandra Veloy, MRG’s Fundraising Intern, muses on the shifting patterns of minority rights protection in Europe. Read more...

MRG Documentary films

Dead on Paper - New MRG documentary

Dead on paper

In this compelling new film a group of Egyptian Baha'is tell their story of arbitrary arrests and violence, their legal battle for recognition, and their enduring faith, in spite of the fact that the government does not recognize their religion.

Watch a trailer on MRG's YouTube channel.

For more information, or to organise a screening of the film contact Sarah El Ashmawy - sarah.elashmawy@mrgmail.org.

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