Tuesday, 11 February 2020 18:02

A virus doesn’t have a race or nationality – so let’s not isolate members of our community

From sensational headlines that tie the coronavirus to nationality, to advertisements that peddle tired old stereotypes about China, over the last fortnight we’ve seen many unfortunate examples of racism directed towards members of the Chinese community. 

Over the weekend, news reports emerged that a cruise company had instructed all holders of Chinese, Hong Kong and Macau passports that they wouldn’t be allowed to board planned cruises – regardless of when they’d last been in China.

Under Victoria’s Equal Opportunity Act, it’s against the law for organisations providing goods and services, employment or education to discriminate against you because of your race.

If you’ve experienced discrimination, you can make a complaint to the Commission on 1300 292 153. Our free complaints service can help you to understand the law and resolve your complaint. If you’re part of a group that has experienced discrimination, a union, community organisation or other representative can make a complaint on your behalf.

During any public health incident, it’s vital that people can access accurate information about the risks and how they can best protect themselves and their families. But this kind of blanket approach without an accurate assessment of risk is likely to marginalise many people and potentially subject them ridicule or contempt.  

Diversity is one of Victoria’s strengths, so let’s not let racism cause division in our community. 

Find out more about our complaints service

Media contact

Peter Davies
0447 526 642
Email: [email protected] 

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