The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) has criticised the spending of $55.5 million to send just four refugees to Cambodia to prevent them seeking asylum in Australia as “morally repugnant”.


“The Australian Government’s  decision to spend $55 million to send just four confirmed refugees to one of the world’s least developed countries, is in breach of Australia’s international obligations, financially unsustainable for the Australian taxpayer and sets a morally repugnant precedent,” RCOA chief executive officer Paul Power said.


“It’s being called a deal but it’s perverse policy in the extreme. The four refugees now being sent to Cambodia, were faced with an impossible choice: live on Nauru with no prospects of work and threats to their safety and psychological wellbeing or go to Cambodia, where there safety or wellbeing cannot be assured.”


“There are more than 17 million refugees in the world today and another 35 million displaced people. The precedent Australia is setting here is completely unsustainable and a clear indication of how perverse the refugee policy has become in Australia,” Mr Power said.



Media contact: Tim O’Connor 0488 035 535