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Media Releases

Migration Decision at Odds with UN Disability Convention Obligations

31st October 2008

People with Disability Australia (PWD) and the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) have expressed concern over the Australian Government’s decision to reject the permanent residency application of Dr Bernhard Moeller because his son has a disability.

“The current laws make it very difficult for migrants and refugees with disability to be granted permanent residency in Australia,” said Ms Sands.

“These policies also tear apart families and communities,” added NEDA Executive Officer, Dr Dinesh Wadiwel, “in some cases people are forced to leave behind a valued family member with disability, in order to build a life in Australia.”

“Australia has recently ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” said Ms Sands, “we believe this decision is at odds with our obligations under the Convention.”

“Earlier this month the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties recommended a review of the Migration Act in light of the UN Convention,” said Dr Wadiwel,” We think now is the time for the government to act on this recommendation.”

“This is a golden opportunity for the Australian Government to make good on its obligations under the UN Convention, and show the world that it is serious about the rights of people with disability” said Ms Sands.

Media contacts:
Ms Therese Sands, PWD Executive Director
Dr Dinesh Wadiwel, NEDA Executive Officer