Target: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Goal: Retract new refugee agreement between Australia and Cambodia
The Australian government should rethink its new agreement to ship refugees trying to reach Australia to Cambodia. Respect for the human rights of these refugees cannot be adequately assured in Cambodia; this deal therefore violates international human rights law. The new agreement was signed in late September and is set to go into effect immediately. The Australian government is putting short-term political interests ahead of the human rights of these desperate refugees who are in need of safety and security to start a new life.
The refugees, who are primarily from the Middle East, are seeking asylum from a region stricken with war, violence, and daily human rights abuses. Brutal and oppressive Cambodia is no place for these vulnerable and desperate refugees who are only seeking a better life for themselves.
From the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s where the communist government murdered millions of its own people to today, poverty-stricken and repressive Cambodia has a long and troubling human rights history. The most recent example came earlier in the year, when security forces brutally cracked down on striking workers and activists protesting forced evictions and land grabs by the government. Recently, the United Nations condemned Cambodia’s human rights record. Apparently, this is not of concern to the Australian government.
There has been a noticeable lack of transparency by both sides in regards to the terms of the deal. Neither citizenry was allowed to help decide the terms of the deal or even contribute ideas or objections. Despite this fact, the Australian government will relocate refugees, including children, to a very unstable country. Sign this petition to urge the Australian government to revisit this horrendous deal.
Dear Prime Minister Abbott,
The recent refugee agreement struck between your government and the government of Cambodia is very worrying to me. Cambodia has a long and troubling human rights history. The most recent example came earlier in the year, when security forces brutally cracked down on striking workers and activists protesting forced evictions and land grabs by the government. This is hardly the environment to which vulnerable refugees should be sent. I ask that you immediately revisit this deal.
The most distressing part of this deal to me is the fact that children, the most vulnerable of these refugees, will be thrown into a country where little can be done to support them. The support systems required to provide children with adequate nutrition and education do not exist in Cambodia. I ask that you and your government do all that you can to secure the futures of these desperate refugees.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Adam.J.W.C. via Wikipedia Commons