23 Oct 2014

Human rights lawyer fears for Nauru refugees

8:29 pm on 23 October 2014

An Australian human rights advocate says he fears some asylum seekers on Nauru will agree to be resettled in Cambodia out of desperation.

Cambodian government officials are expected to travel to Nauru as early as this week to tell refugees what life would be like in Cambodia, after Cambodia signed a resettlement deal with Australia.

But the director of legal advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre in Australia, Daniel Webb, says he has no confidence that the officials' advice will be objective.

He says the refugees on Nauru are languishing in terrible conditions and are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

"The effect of those harsh conditions might be that it will pressure people to accept a resettlement deal in Cambodia that really I don't think is going to give them the certainty, the safety and the security that they need and deserve in order to be able to move on with their lives."

Daniel Webb says the refugees on Nauru must be given independent legal advice to make an informed decision.

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