Child with a disability denied human rights by Migration Review Tribunal

April 7, 2015

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) are appalled by the decision of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to refuse mother Maria Sevilla a skilled working visa for her and her son Tyrone to stay in Australia.  Ms Sevilla appealed that decision to the Migration Review Tribunal which has rejected the application, resulting in their imminent deportation to the Philippines within 28 days.  Tyrone is 10 years old and was diagnosed with Autism in 2008.  He is non-verbal and attends a special school in Townsville, Queensland.  The reason for rejecting the visa is reported by ABC News to be that “Tyrone may be a burden on the taxpayer if he becomes a citizen later in life”.

The decision to reject the skilled working visa on the basis of Ms Sevilla’s son’s disability is in breach of Australia’s international human rights obligations pursuant to the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (“UN CRPD”) and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (“UN CRC”).  Refusing an application on the basis of the health and community services involved in Tyrone’s ongoing care denies him the rights to enjoy health care without discrimination (Article 25, UN CRPD) and to be provided with special care and support to live a full and independent life (Article 23, UN CRC).

ALHR urges Minister Dutton to treat children with disabilities equally and not deny Maria and Tyrone Sevilla the opportunity to live in Australia simply because of the health and community services required by Tyrone.  The denial of Tyrone’s basic human rights must be reversed immediately.

Media Contact:   Nathan Kennedy, President ALHR

M: 0417 267 143 E: