The recent case of Sharaz Kayani and his family has highlighted the discriminatory nature of Australia's migration policy.
A former Pakistani asylum seeker, now Australian citizen, Sharaz Kayani set himself alight outside Parliament House in Canberra as a protest at the rejection of his application to have his family join him in Australia.
Mr. Kayani came to Australia in 1996 as an asylum seeker fleeing persecution in Pakistan, where he feared for his family's safety because of his friendship with members of Pakistan's Ahmedi religious minority.
Two applications for his family to join him in Australia under the "split family" provisions of the humanitarian programme have been rejected on the ground that one of his daughters has a disability, cerebral palsy.
"The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirmed that all human rights and fundamental freedoms are universal and thus unreservedly include persons with disabilities. Every person is born equal and has the same rights to life and welfare, education and work, living independently and active participation in all aspects of society. Any direct discrimination or other negative discriminatory treatment of a disabled person is therefore a violation of his or her rights. The Conference called on Governments where necessary to adopt or adjust legislation to ensure access to these and other rights for disabled persons." (1)
The Australian Disability …