Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Policy Called Form of Genocide Australia Forcibly Separated Aboriginal Children from Their Parents

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Policy Called Form of Genocide Australia Forcibly Separated Aboriginal Children from Their Parents

Article excerpt

Australia's former policy of forcibly separating Aboriginal children from their parents for adoption by whites was a form of genocide, a government inquiry has declared.

From 1918 until the 1970s, mixed-blood Aboriginal children were taken from their parents under the belief that Aborigines were doomed and that saving the children was the only humane alternative.

A "stolen generation" was created. Light-skinned aboriginal children were seized and handed out to white families for adoption. Dark-skinned children were put in orphanages. In a 1994 survey, the government found that 10 percent of Aborigines older than 25 had been separated from their parents in childhood. Other surveys put the figure as high as 47 percent. More than 500 Aborigines told the inquiry that they had been separated from their parents, at least half of them between the ages of 1 and 5. One in six reported beatings and excessive punishment, while one in five reported being sexually abused in foster homes, orphanages or work places. "Some of these people are absolute wrecks, through no fault of their own," Aboriginal Social Justice Commissioner Mick Dodson said Tuesday. …

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