8-year-old Sri Lankan girl denied Australian visa because she has Down syndrome

In a shocking act of discrimination, Australia has denied temporary visa to an eight-year-old Sri Lankan girl Eliza Fonseka because she had Down syndrome.

FP Staff March 23, 2015 18:06:32 IST
8-year-old Sri Lankan girl denied Australian visa because she has Down syndrome

In a shocking case of discrimination, Australia has denied temporary visa to an eight-year-old Sri Lankan child Eliza Fonseka because she has been diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Eliza's parents had sought a visa as they planned to move to Shark Bay, north of Perth, to work at a Christian crisis centre.

8yearold Sri Lankan girl denied Australian visa because she has Down syndrome

Representational image. AFP

According to ABC News, while her parents were given visas, she did not get one because she was considered to be a "significant cost to the Australian community in the areas of health care".

The report suggests that this comes despite the fact that the girl's father Angelo Fonseka had given in writing that he and his wife would take responsibility of Eliza and that she did not need any help from the government.

"She's an innocent child, an eight-year-old child and I believe whatever God created, no man has authority to destroy, reject or discriminate. She does swimming, dancing, everything and according to psychologist reports and even the doctors, school reports, everything is perfect," Eliza's father was quoted as saying.

The Fonseca family, according to the report, has also decided to appeal the Immigration Department's decision to refuse a visa for their daughter.

Down Syndrome Australia, an organisation that works with individuals who have the condition, called the incident "terribly disheartening" and said that the news had upset the Down syndrome community.

ABC quoted the organisation's chairman Angus Graham as saying, "I think for anybody, particularly the Down syndrome community, this reinforces the low expectation environment that people with Down syndrome are less considered than other, more able-bodied people."

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