China – Refugee – One Child Policy

Publish Date: Oct 12, 2013

We were successful in a recent application to the Refugee Review Tribunal where the Tribunal found that a Chinese woman who would be subjected to forced sterilization laws under the one child policy if returned to China qualified to be a refugee in Australia.

The original decision maker found that our client would not be persecuted due to the one child policy and that this harm was not something which meets the definition of a refugee found in the Refugees Convention. With detailed instructions from our client and relevant research, we successfully demonstrated how our client satisfied the Convention grounds and would in fact be targeted in China through her breach of the one child policy.

The Tribunal found that our client would be returning to China in irregular circumstances, as a failed asylum seeker. They accepted that our client would come to the attention of the authorities upon her return.

The Member accepted that our client would not be able to pay the social compensation fee for having a second child without borrowing money from others, and that this would take time and effort with no certainty as to the outcome. They found our client would not readily have any means to deter the authorities from taking sterilization measures against her if she was sent back.

The Tribunal was satisfied that forcible sterilization such as tubal litigation amounts to serious harm under the Refugees Convention. The Member cited information that sterilization is a medical procedure performed without consent and as such the tribunal found it constitutes significant physical ill-treatment which amounts to persecution.

The Tribunal agreed that forced sterilization is selectively enforced in China so as to predominantly target women. They determined that women subjected to forced sterilization are a particular social group which attracts Australian and international protection obligations.

The original decision maker found that China’s one child policy was applied evenly to all citizens. The Tribunal was convinced that where laws of general application are selectively enforced against women such as our client, where the motivation for prosecution and punishment was found in a convention ground as detailed above, the protection criteria in the Refugees Convention would be satisfied.

Australian Immigration law, and in particular refugee law, is highly technical and applicants for the various classes of visas which may be available for entry into Australia require skilful representation.  Craddock Murray Neumann Immigration Lawyers has represented more than 5,000 visa applicants over the years and we have an extensive skill base and information resources to assist our clients.

If you are seeking an Australian immigration lawyer please phone Craddock Murray Neumann Lawyers on +61 2 8268 4000.  We can outline our fees and the services that we can provide for you.

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