The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services, have asked the Joint Standing Committee on Migration to undertake an inquiry relating to the health requirement in the Migration Act.
NAPWHA has made a Submission to this enquiry.
As the peak organisation representing HIV-positive people in Australia, NAPWHA has held an interest in the issues of assessments for migration to Australia, and determination of costs of health and illness since our inception over twenty years ago - around the time of the first HIV diagnosis in this country.
NAPWHA is particularly concerned at the apparent blanket refusal of HIV-positive migrants under the Health Requirement, while many subsequent appeals have then been processed successfully. This underlines the lack of transparency and the inconsistency of medical assessment rulings.
We believe that in light of improving HIV prognosis, generic estimates of heath care costs should no longer be used to make assessments. It would be more appropriate to rely on up to date medical reports provided by relevant specialists that relate to the individual applicant concerned.
As well, NAPWHA regrets that many countries discriminate against people with HIV in migration law. NAPWHA argues that this discrimination:
- harms HIV–positive people and their families;
- serves no public health purpose;
- propagates further stigma and discrimination;
- violates human rights; and
- denies the impact of globalization.
Australia is a nation of migrants – some with disabilities – but each having contributed to society in immeasurable ways, some economic, some social and cultural. Australia’s current Migration Law undermines Australia’s international obligations in respect to the ratification of the UN CRPD and in doing so fails to treat people with disability seeking to immigrate to Australia as full rights bearing citizens.
To go to the Inquiry website go to www.aph.gov.au
Attached is PDF of NAPWHA’s Submission.