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More overt discrimination against Down syndrome.



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MEDIA RELEASE

Senator Sue Boyce Queensland

Electorate Office: Level 9, 301 Coronation Drive, Milton, Qld

Telephone: (07) 3510 3100 Facsimile: (07) 3510 3111

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4 NOVEMBER 2008

More overt discrimination against Down syndrome

The Department of Immigration regularly discriminates against families that conceive a child with Down syndrome in Australia, Senator Sue Boyce, Senator for Queensland, said today.

“The case of Dr Moeller, and his son Lukas, who has Down syndrome, has highlighted the inconsistencies in our current system.

“But there is even more overt discrimination affecting children of temporary residents born in this country with a disability,” Senator Boyce said.

Senator for Queensland, Senator Sue Boyce, herself a mother of an adult child with Down syndrome, has been a long-term advocate within the disability community and immigration.

“If temporary visa holders conceive and have a baby with Down syndrome in Australia, they can expect to be rejected for permanent residency, when, in all other circumstances they would have expected to be accepted as permanent residents.

“This is blatant discrimination and yet it is allowed to continue.

“I can accept that if anyone in a family seeking to migrate to Australia has serious health issues, we have every right to reject them, but to reject babies with Down syndrome shows a completely out-of-date view about Down syndrome.

“Down syndrome is not a disease. Most children with Down syndrome do not have ongoing medical conditions and can contribute positively to Australia.

“It’s time to end this discrimination,” Senator Boyce said.

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Media contact: Yasmin Khan on 0419 025 510 or (07) 3510 3100