Calls for community support during Melbourne lockdowns

Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan has called for sensitive and appropriate supports for the communities in lockdown in Flemington and North Melbourne.

Many of the people living in the nine towers that have been placed into ‘hard lockdown’ are from migrant and ethnic communities and have already faced a range of hardships prior to COVID-19.

The Commissioner has called on the Victorian Government to ensure that the conditions imposed are appropriate and sensitive – and consideration is given to avoiding exacerbating the adversity already experienced by members of these communities.

“While I appreciate that public health emergencies call for extraordinary measures, those measures must respect people’s dignity and human rights,’ Commissioner Tan said.

“Many of the people affected by these ‘hard lockdowns’ are from newly arrived migrant communities, with some having come to Australia fleeing civil unrest in their home countries where they may have had traumatic experiences with government intrusions on their human rights. Some residents will also be people with disability, including psycho-social impairments.

“It is important that these communities are provided with appropriate community supports and information to ensure that this lockdown period does not cause additional trauma and hardship. I am pleased to hear that social services and other supports are now available to residents,” Commissioner Tan said.

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