Complaint against AusAID for complicity in human rights violations in Cambodia

Families resettled by the AusAID-funded Cambodian railway rehabilitation project have filed a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission alleging that they have suffered serious violations of their human rights as a result of resettlement under the project. The complaint, which was submitted by Equitable Cambodia and Inclusive Development International with legal assistance from the Human Rights Law Centre, claims that the Australian Government failed to uphold its international human rights obligations by providing significant funding to the project without taking sufficient measures to safeguard against breaches of human rights.

The Railway project affects at least 4164 families who live alongside the dilapidated railway tracks. At least 1200 families are required to relocate in order to make way for the project, resulting in highly foreseeable violations of human rights. The complaint focuses largely on breaches of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, as children in particular are bearing the brunt of displacement.