The United Nations’ Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reportedly criticised recent developments in Australia’s asylum seeker policy, claiming that new government plans—coursing into action this week—”violate asylum seeker children’s rights”, according to SBS.
This week, reports emerged over the government’s preparation to offer resettlement for asylum seekers in Nauru to Cambodia – with the first charter flight scheduled for tomorrow. The plan has received criticism due to Cambodia’s perceived lack of ability to handle a surge in asylum seekers. UNICEF has also criticised the move, saying that the transfer from Nauru to Cambodia could be considered a violation of children’s rights. A UNICEF spokesperson said that there was an implicit “expectation” for signatories of “the rights of the child” to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of children.
Member for Cambodian parliament Son Chhay has also told Australian media that asylum seeker resettlements may disturb social and religious relations in Cambodia, labelling the move as a “disgusting game”, according to news.com.au.
Reports have also emerged over the alleged deportation of asylum seeker families from Darwin to Nauru this morning, reportedly including at least one three-month-old baby.
A “Welcome Refugees” rally was held in Sydney today, with protesters gathering in support of asylum seekers and refugees, and campaigning for the closure of the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres.
Large numbers at #WelcomeRefugees rally Belmore Park #CloseManus #CloseNauru pic.twitter.com/kVzjzLbnw7
— RAC Sydney (@rac_sydney) April 19, 2015
Sydney is doing it right. Marching band & massive turnout to choose love & welcome over fear & hate #welcomerefugees. pic.twitter.com/6KOgQbANtr
— Marcus Campbell (@M_arcusC) April 19, 2015
Lead image by Tang Chhin Sothy via Getty Images.