PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) — As the Cambodian government prepares to receive the first group of refugees from the island nation of Nauru, an Australian Senate committee hearing on conditions of the interned refugees has found alarming reports of child sex abuse. The Australian immigration department has received numerous reports of abuse of children over the past few months.
According to new data released by the Australian government, the island nation is the home of 124 detained children and 126 women. Men outnumber the total combined detainee population of children and women. Men account for 489 of detainees.
Refugees expected to arrive in Phnom Penh shortly include an Iranian couple, an Iranian man and a Rohingya man.
The resettlement plan has been rebuked by human rights groups. They cite Cambodia’s lack of facilities to settle refugees here, as well as Cambodia’s poor record of treating asylum seekers who attempt to enter the country and seek refugee status.
Cambodian officials agreed to receive the refugees when Cambodian and Australian authorities reached a $30-million deal that would send volunteers from the Nauru asylum detention camp to Cambodia.