Friday, February 08, 2008

Australian Parliamentary Library Report on Forcible Removal of Aboriginal Children

The Parliamentary Library in Australia has released a background note on the Bringing Them Home report of 1997:

"On 26 May 1997 the report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families, entitled Bringing Them Home, was tabled in Parliament (...)"

"A key recommendation in the report was that reparation be made to Indigenous people affected by policies of forced removal. That reparation should include an acknowledgement of responsibility and apology from all Australian parliaments and other agencies which implemented policies of forcible removal as well as monetary compensation. "

"State and territory parliaments have apologised specifically to those affected by the policies of separation. Under the Howard Government the Commonwealth Parliament did not agree to a full apology but expressed ‘deep and sincere regret’ for unspecified past injustices as part of a Motion of Reconciliation on 26 August 1999."

"Since elected to Government in 2007 the Australian Labor Party has announced that it will honour its policy of an unreserved apology to the Stolen Generations but has rejected any suggestions to compensate victims."

"These two components of reparation, an apology and compensation, remain as the major ‘unfinished business’ of the Bringing Them Home report. This Background Note provides an overview of these issues within the context of the Bringing Them Home report, a chronology of the key developments in the debate, the text of state and territory apologies and links to further web resources."

For a comparison with the situation in Canada, see the Library Boy post of September 20, 2007 entitled Implementation of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement:

"Former students who were subjected to abuse in Indian Residential Schools will be able to submit applications for compensation until September 2011. Aboriginal children were often grabbed away from their families to be shipped off to the boarding schools that tried to assimilate them. "

"There are an estimated 80,000 Canadian native people living today who are affected by the compensation deal. Many suffered physical, sexual and/or psychological abuse at the hands of teachers and supervisors."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:19 pm


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