Winata & Li v Australia (HRC, 2001)

Potential violations: ICCPR art 17(1), ICCPR art 24(1), ICCPR art 23

Remedy's assessment: Partially remedied

The UN says:

The State Party is under an obligation to provide the authors with an effective remedy, including refraining from removing the authors from Australia before they have had an opportunity to have their application for parent visas examined with due consideration given to the protection required by Barry Winata’s status as a minor. The State party is under an obligation to ensure that violations of the Covenant in similar situations do not occur in the future.

HRC (2001)

Indonesian citizens Hendrick Winata and So Lan Li arrived in Australia separately in the 1980s and overstayed their visas, undetected. In 1988 they had a son, Barry, who obtained Australian citizenship on his 10th birthday. The next day, his parents applied for refugee status, claiming a fear of ‘persecution in Indonesia owing to their Chinese ethnicity and Catholic religion’. Their application was rejected and the Immigration Department ordered their deportation.

The HRC found that to deport Mr Winata and Ms Li would arbitrarily interfere with their family and breach Australia’s obligation to protect families and children. Australia rejected the Committee’s Views, but did not deport Mr Winata and Ms Li. Eventually, the couple obtained permanent residency in Australia.

Follow-up dialogue with HRC is reportedly ongoing. Perhaps the Committee remains to be satisfied regarding non-repetition measures.

For source details, see Remedy Australia's 2014 Follow-up Report (PDF 1.3Mb).

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