Bodies 'locked up': Intersections of disability and race in Australian immigration

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Disability and Society, 2009, 24 (3), pp. 289 - 301
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Between 2005 and 2006 it came to be known that over 200 people had been wrongfully detained in Australian immigration detention centres, of whom 13 were people with a disability. A review of the subsequent Commonwealth Ombudsman Reports into the wrongful detentions exposed an organizational culture in which othered voices were discredited and disregarded, an over-willingness to detain a person and a lack of proper oversight of these powers. This paper explores these reports and argues that proper investigation needs to go beyond organizational culture and to look also at historical, social, political and cultural forces shaping Australia's use of immigration detention. The authors propose that the intersection of disability and race leaves people vulnerable to human rights violations primarily because this is also the intersection of both racial and rational prejudices of the dominant hegemony. © 2009 Taylor & Francis.
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