Print

MEDIA Release Aug 2, 2016

The National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) is yet again incensed by the blatant discrimination the Government is dishing out to people with disabilities who are attempting to migrate to Australia.  

Suresh Rajan, NEDA President said: “We continue to see people and their families from all backgrounds being discriminated against because of illness or disability”.

Within the space of a week NEDA has become aware of two families facing deportation based solely on the disability of a child. “It is just heartbreaking” continued Mr Rajan.

“The fact that the migration act is excluded from our commitments to the Convention on the Rights of People with Disability (CRPD) is deplorable” said Mr. Rajan. “This policy impacts profoundly on families: last week it was the Tippett family, this week it is Biswajit Banik, his wife Sarmin Sayeed, and their 12-year-old son with autism, Arkojeet”.

“This family have lived in Australia for over 9 years. Dr. Banik is an academic at Monash University and Dr Sayeed is a GP; both have contributed greatly to the rich fabric of the Australian society”, stated NEDA CEO, Dwayne Cranfield. “They are being forced to leave Australia because of their son’s diagnosis of "mild autism", with the Government determining Arkojeet to be a potential financial burden to the Australian healthcare system.”

More on this story can be found in the below news articles:

http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/monash-university-academic-denied-permanent-residency-because-of-autistic-son-20160730-gqhb16.html

http://thestringer.com.au/australia-has-signed-but-flaunts-the-un-convention-on-the-rights-of-disabled-persons-12094#.V57gM1R961t

“These heartbreaking stories of migration related disability discrimination are just the tip of the iceberg”, said Mr Cranfield, “unfortunately, they provide us with a glimpse into the systemic injustices faced by migrants with disabilities and their families when they attempt to navigate the Australian migration system”.      

“These families come to Australia with real dreams and aspirations, they work hard, pay their taxes, and contribute greatly to our local communities. And what do we do in return? We treat them unfairly and inhumanely all because we have a system that ‘measures’ disability through an outdated, arbitrary and discriminatory lens” stated NEDA President Suresh Rajan.

NEDA’s position in this regard is supported by Down Syndrome Australia. DSA President Angus Graham stated “It is has been our long-running battle to end this discrimination, and organisations like ours and NEDA will continue to bring this to the public’s attention and advocate for these people”.

NEDA strongly urges you to sign and share the Banik family’s change.org petition, which can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/the-minister-of-the-immigration-and-border-protection-please-don-t-send-banik-family-away-from-their-home-just-because-arko-has-mild-autism

For further information please contact NEDA CEO Mr Dwayne Cranfield on: 02 62626867 or NEDA President Mr Suresh Rajan on: 0413436001.