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Political Apologies and Reparations Document List Details

*Report calls forced adoption of aboriginal children 'genocide'

Author: Alan Thornhill
Source: Associated Press
Date: 20 May 1997
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Document Type: Press
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Donor: Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Australia) Event Date: ca. 1910-1970
Recipient: Aboriginals (Australia) Reparation Date: May 20, 1997

Indigenous children in Australia had been being forcibly removed from their families since Australia was first colonised ca. 1770. These actions increased throughout the late 19th and early-to-mid 20th centuries under government policies designed to 'assimilate' Aboriginal children. Various methods to accomplish this were utilised, such as welfare programs that took Aboriginal children away from their families and placed them with non-Aboriginal foster families.

The removals declined significantly following the 1972 election of a Labour government that was committed to Aboriginal self-determination. A National Inquiry into the matter was established in 1995 by then-Attorney-General, the Hon. Michael Lavarch, in response to growing pressure from Aboriginal agencies and groups that were concerned over popular ignorance of this long-running, government-run, denial of human rights.


Although not yet officially released, copies of "Bringing Them Home" a report from a government inquiry into aboriginal mistreatment, were leaked to several news sources.  The report calls forced adoptions of aboriginal children by white families "genocide".


Australia,Australian,Aboriginal,Aborigine,Torres Strait,Islanders,Children,Stolen Generation