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Refugee Settlement Arrangement



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Scott Morrison MP

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

Refugee Settlement Arrangement, Joint Press Statement Friday, 26 September 2014

The Cambodian and Australian Governments are pleased to announce a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provides settlement and integration support in Cambodia for refugees.

The MOU was signed in Phnom Penh by Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Interior, His Excellency Sar Kheng and Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon. Scott Morrison on 26 September 2014.

The MOU between Cambodia and Australia will offer settlement of refugees in the Kingdom of Cambodia on a voluntary basis and in conformity with the Refugees Convention. The number and timing of Refugees settlement will be determined by Cambodia.

His Excellency Sar Kheng stated that "Cambodia is signatory to the 1951 Refugees Convention and 1967 Protocol related to Refugees and also it has a sub-decree No. 224 on Procedure for Recognition as a Refugee or Providing Asylum Rights to Foreigners in the Kingdom of Cambodia dated 17 December 2009. Therefore, offering the settlement of refugees is considered a humanitarian activity which will help them start a new life in accordance with Cambodian laws".

Mr. Morrison welcomed the Royal Government of Cambodia's decision to provide settlement outcomes to refugees: "a number of those found to be in genuine need of protection will now have the opportunity and support to re-establish their lives free from persecution."

"As a party to the Refugees Convention, Cambodia, while making countless efforts to develop the country after the civil war, is demonstrating its ability and willingness to contribute positively to this humanitarian issue," Minister Morrison added.

Under this MOU, Australia will use its expertise and experience to assist Cambodia to strengthen settlement support provided to refugees in Cambodia. As part of this commitment, Australia will bear the direct costs of the arrangement, including initial support to refugees, and relevant capacity building for Cambodia to ensure it has the appropriate resources to receive and integrate the refugees successfully.

Both governments are working closely to ensure the smooth and successful implementation of this arrangement in cooperation with UNHCR.

The Australian Government will facilitate and assist Cambodian officers in providing information on the Cambodian situation to refugees prior to their consideration to resettle in Cambodia.

In order to ensure an effective and positive implementation of the resettlement program, Cambodia and Australia have agreed to undertake an initial trial arrangement with a small group of refugees which will be followed by further resettlement in accordance with the Cambodia's capacity.

Please refer to the following link to view the MOU.