Approval of VISA for Eliza Fonseka
NEDA is pleased to hear that the Minister for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), Mr. Peter Dutton MP, has approved a visa for young Eliza Fonseka thus allowing her to stay in Australia.
Read ABC’s story here:
For nearly a year now, NEDA has supported the Fonseka family’s cause, engaged in advocacy, calling for the DIPB to reconsider Eliza Fonseka’ s case to bring about a just outcome overturning the previous decision. Late last week, Minister Dutton intervened overturning the Government’s initial decision, granting Eliza temporary residency till the end of 2016.
Although this is a positive outcome for the Fonseka family, NEDA would like to keep the spotlight on this important issue as on a whole, people with disabilities (their families and carers) still experience immense policy and procedural discrimination when navigating the Australian migration system.
The Joint Standing Committee on Migration (2010) found that the exemption of Australia’s Migration Act from the Disability Discrimination Act unfairly discriminates against people with disability.
‘The way Australia treats migrants with disability is unfair’ stated Mr. Suresh Rajan (NEDA President). ‘It’s abhorrent that Australia’s immigration system assesses disability through a medical paradigm, where people are arbitrary costed,’ continued Mr. Rajan. ‘The system needs to meet its obligations as set out in the UNCRPD.'
Dwayne Cranfield (NEDA CEO) states that this outcome for the Fonseka family has highlighted the important of advocacy, arguing ‘access to advocacy support, in all its forms, is fundamental to ensuring people with disabilities are heard and their human rights maintained. Strong advocacy challenges systemic injustices and works to remove barriers to access and equity.’
For further information please contact NEDA CEO Mr Dwayne Cranfield on: 02 62626867 or NEDA President Mr. Suresh Rajan on 0413436001.