today's Pick
AIDS conference delegates seek asylum in Australia
Publish Date: Aug 04, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

Some 25 delegates to an international AIDS conference held in Melbourne last month fear returning home and will seek asylum in Australia, refugee and welfare agencies said Monday.

HomeGround Services, which helps find crisis accommodation for homeless people in Melbourne, said 14 delegates from African nations -- including Uganda and Tanzania -- had sought their help.

"We've had 14 people so far come in," spokeswoman Cathy Beadnell told AFP.

"Obviously they have nowhere to live at the moment. They are all moving towards making asylum claims."

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, also in Melbourne, said they believed up to 25 people had sought advice on how to remain in Australia once their visas had expired.

The issue of stigma and discrimination surrounding AIDS -- including in Uganda, where homosexuality remains illegal and punishable by jail terms -- was repeatedly raised at this year's conference.

It heard that such laws targeted minorities who bore a disproportionate share of the global pandemic, and created conditions under which HIV can spread.

"Clearly they are delegates that come from countries where to work in the AIDS field is a life-threatening proposition," the centre's Pamela Curr told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"It seems that some of them have been considering whether they think they can survive in their countries of origin, or whether they should try to survive by getting refugee protection in Australia."

Australia's Immigration Minister Scott Morrison would not comment, saying through a spokeswoman that individual applications for asylum were not discussed for privacy reasons.

"All claims for protection are considered on their individual merits and according to law," the spokeswoman said.
The 20th International AIDS conference, which was addressed by former United States president Bill Clinton and rocker Bob Geldof, was attended by about 13,600 people from more than 200 nations.

It is not the first time visitors have sought asylum in Australia after attending a high-profile event, with 15 players in the 2008 Homeless World Cup football tournament staying on.

Forty athletes and officials from the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and 250 pilgrims to World Youth Day festivities in Sydney in 2008 also sought asylum.

Australia denies asylum-seekers who come by boat resettlement, sending them to Papua New Guinea and Nauru, but those who come by plane are not subject to the same conditions.AFP

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Kabamba suspects hearing flops for lack of witnesses
THE trial of the case in which fourteen people are accused for attacking Kabamba Military Barracks in Mubende district with intentions of overthrowing government has been deferred...
Iraq testing body of suspected Saddam Hussein VP
IRAQ is to test the body of a man killed on Friday by pro-government forces to determine if it is that of Saddam Hussein's long-fugitive deputy Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri...
Police reshuffle: Omala heads to Busoga
INSPECTOR General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura has on Friday made changes to the police force with Senior Superintendent of Police, Sam Omala, being transferred to Busoga...
More than 8,000 Burundians have fled in the past two weeks to Rwanda and DR Congo following mounting tensions in the central African country ahead of a key vote, the UN said Friday....
China jails outspoken journalist, 71, for 7 years
A Chinese court on Friday convicted a 71-year-old journalist of leaking state secrets and jailed her for seven years, it said, in a case seen by rights groups as part of a crackdown on government critics....
Eye contact helped dogs become our friends
The secret to puppy love is in the eyes, researchers said Thursday after studying how that locking gaze boosts the love hormone, oxytocin, in both dogs and people...
Should African countries expel South Africans?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter