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Australian Cross Disability Alliance

MEDIA RELEASE
Monday 31st August 2015
Discrimination against people with disability who apply for
Australian Permanent Residency
The Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) disapproves of aspects of Australias migration
policy which explicitly discriminates against people who live with medical conditions and
disabilities. The ACDA believes that the way in which people with disability are assessed when
applying for Australian permanent residency is evidence of this ableism.
People who wish to migrate to Australia are currently subject to the health requirement assessment
as outlined in the Migration Act 1958. The Migration Act, however, is exempt from the provisions of
the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. This has a severe impact on people with disability as it
results in disability being viewed, and assessed, through a medical lens. Consequently, people
with disability are routinely denied Australian permanent residency because of the perceived cost
that has been attributed to their disability or impairment.
NEDA, is aware of countless cases where people with a disability, or individuals with a family
member living with disability, have had their visa application rejected because they failed to meet
the health requirements, said National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) President Suresh Rajan.
Many of these people have been working, paying taxes or full university fees, and contributing
greatly to our multicultural community for a number of years, only to be kicked out of the country
because their disability and worth is reduced to a percentage and measured by an economic
formula. They are deemed a potential cost to the Australian community.
NEDA in reluctant to comment on individual cases, however does state that a number of their
constituents are desperate and may soon be forced to leave the country. One recent example of
this is the case of Dr Siyat Abdi. Details of his case were covered in the SBS report that can be
accessed
here.
(http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/08/18/blind-kenyan-father-orderedleave-australia).
These discriminatory policies not only contradict Australias commitment to human rights
legislation, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, but they also
have a profound impact on people and families who have been living in our communities, working
and contributing to a diverse Australia, all of whom call Australia home, said Mr Dwayne Cranfield,
NEDA CEO.
The ACDA will be engaging with relevant ministers and the Government in regards to this issue,
and will be strongly advocating for legislative change that promotes a more inclusive and fair
process, and eliminates the discrimination against people with disability within Australian migration
policy.
Media Release Contact Person: Mr Suresh Rajan (NEDA) on 0413 436 001
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