What are the consequences of ASH?

ASH affects a huge range of people, including adults with many disabilities, health conditions or health needs, as well as families with children who are likely to qualify for education support funding (Ongoing Resourcing Scheme funding). It also impacts Convention refugees and community Sponsorship refugees.

  • ASH directly discriminates against migrants on disability and health grounds.
  • Fighting against that discrimination is costly (involving lawyers), , time-consuming, highly stressful, terrible for mental health, and exhausting.
  • Many migrants, and especially refugees, don’t have the combination of language skills, support networks, education, financial resources and time needed to even consider fighting this process.
  • ASH leaves affected migrants and families in limbo, not knowing if their visa will be granted, sometimes for multiple years.
  • ASH places parents in the unenviable position of having to explain to their child with disabilities and/or health conditions that immigration requirements consider them not welcome in Aotearoa, seeing only the financial cost of their education support.
  • The Immigration Act (section 392) strips migrants of human rights protections, taking away this legal option to fight such discrimination.
  • ASH breaches disabled people’s rights under international law. Specifically, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities says that disabled people have the right to not be discriminated against (article 5) and to Liberty (freedom) of Movement (Article 18).
  • ASH compounds health inequities. It leaves many migrants fearful of not meeting the requirements and being denied their visa. As a result, they may avoid seeking needed healthcare, including not seeking mental health services.

Who we are

Migrants Against the Acceptable Standard of Health is a grassroots migrant collective campaigning to end disability and health discrimination in Aotearoa New Zealand’s immigration system by getting rid of the Acceptable Standard of Health requirements.

We are led by migrants, refugees and families directly affected by ASH discrimination.

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