Discussion Paper – A Human’s Worth: Putting a Price on Disability in Migration Matters

June 1, 2009

The announcement of an inquiry into disability and migration by the Joint Standing Committee on Migration heralds a growing understanding that the application of the Health Requirement under the Migration Act 1958(Cth), Migration Regulations 1994(Cth) and relevant procedural guidelines is flawed. This paper will examine the Health Requirement in reference to Australia’s international human rights obligations, with particular regard to the positive obligations of non-discrimination and the exemplified social model of disability evident in the recently signed Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This paper will consider recent cases where the application of the Health Requirement has failed to equitably address the rights of the disabled, and the key reforms required to bring Australia in line with its international obligations, and ensure the fair and equitable treatment of disabled migrants and refugees in the future.