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Down Syndrome NSW
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Thursday, 1 December 2016

'Australia's human rights record blemished by punitive approach to migrants' - UN rights expert

Down Syndrome Australia has called attention to the UN's views on immigration discrimination in Australia:

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on migrants has recommended that the exemption of the Migration Act from the Disability Discrimination Act be repealed, saying that children/family members with disability should not be considered a health risk, preventing their settlement in Australia.

Down Syndrome Australia heartily endorses this recommendation, and thanks Francois Crepeau for his important work and calls on the Australian government to take action.

From the overview of the report:
CANBERRA / GENEVA (18 November 2016) – United Nations Special Rapporteur François Crépeau today warned that Australia’s human rights record has been tarnished in recent years by migration policies which have increasingly eroded the rights of migrants, in contravention of its international human rights and humanitarian obligations ...  Australia's human right record blemished by punitive approach to migrants - UN rights expert
 From the full text of the End of Mission Statement:
Family reunionThe right to live with one’s family is a fundamental right for all, Australians and non-citizens alike. It is in the best interest of the child to live with both their parents and separation for long periods of time has a huge impact on the development of children left behind. Barriers to family reunion should thus be lifted at all levels and family unity should be systematically fostered and actively facilitated. Families should never be separated for immigration purposes for long periods of time. In particular, families of vulnerable migrants should never be separated at all. Family reunion should be available to all permanent residents, as well as to all temporary migrant workers who effectively spend more than one year in Australia. Children should always benefit from the most favourable immigration status offered to one or both of their parents, in order to guarantee family unity. Moreover, children or family members with disabilities should not be systematically considered as a health risk preventing the child or the family from settling in Australia ...
(1-18 November 2016)

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