Immigrants 'cast off' disabled kids to enter Australia
13 November 2009
Professor Mary Crock told a Federal Parliamentary Inquiry that families are abandoning their disabled children in order to fit into Australia's immigration criteria.
"There are families who will literally cast off a family member and it has had a horrendous impact on the child," she said.
Professor Crock said the system is inhumane and discriminatory, and people are being blocked even if they do not pose a cost to the economy.
A parliamentary committee is looking at relaxing the rules which block many immigrants from entering Australia if a family member has a disability or a health condition.
Under the rules, families are blocked from entering Australia if a member has a disability or health condition predicted to cost taxpayers at least $20,000 over a lifetime.
The incoming chairman of the United Nations committee on the rights of disabled people, Professor Ron McCallum AO, is blind himself.
"I would not be allowed to emmigrate to this country even if I could assert that I could make a reasonable contribution," he said.
"I think that's outrageous."
Contact: Greg Sherington
Phone: +61 2 9351 0202