Disabled? Sorry We Can't Afford It: Australia's Position on Refugees and Migrants with Disabilities. (Women with Disabilities)

By Young, Kylie; Finlay, Eloise | Women in Action, August 2001 | Go to article overview

Disabled? Sorry We Can't Afford It: Australia's Position on Refugees and Migrants with Disabilities. (Women with Disabilities)


Young, Kylie, Finlay, Eloise, Women in Action


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 Discrimination Act aims to ensure that people are not discriminated against on the grounds of disability. However, the Social Security Act and the Migration Act are exempt from incorporating these guidelines into their policies and practices. This exemption allows the government to legally discriminate against people with a disability who wish to migrate or seek asylum in the country. This is despite the Australian Government being signatory to many of the United Nations Conventions which all aim to provide protection for people with disabilities.

As part of its humanitarian programme, the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs has policies designed to reunite families where one or more family members have already migrated to Australia, and to provide asylum to those who need it.

However regardless of family relationship or individual circumstance applicants must also undergo comprehensive and stringent health checks to assess their suitability as migrants or asylum seekers. These regulations are designed in such a way that often, people with disabilities are rejected on health grounds. According to the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, these requirements ensure that risks to public health are minimised and that public expenditure on health and community services is contained. (2)

Any person wishing to enter Australia whether as a migrant or refugee seeking asylum must undergo an examination by a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth who carries out medical and radiological examinations.

These stringent tests categorise people according to their health status without taking into consideration many of the reasons why they seek to come to Australia. People are not seen within the context of their experience, and no attention is paid to the uniqueness and the contribution each one can make to a society. Instead they are judged on the grounds of cost and perceived burden on our health systems.

The Australian Government ensures that people continue to be discriminated against and have their human rights abused under the guise of protecting Australia. The Government is therefore failing in their humanitarian obligations to provide asylum to those who require it.

By continuing to be medicalised these people are treated as different from the norm, and therefore do not enjoy the same rights as others. They are divided into various diagnostic groups, in effect locating the disability "problem" within the individual. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Disabled? Sorry We Can't Afford It: Australia's Position on Refugees and Migrants with Disabilities. (Women with Disabilities)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.