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How Significant Was Kevin Rudd's Apology to the Stolen Generations - Essay Example

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How significant was Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generations? The 13th of February 2008 is marked as a historic day for Australia. It was on this day when the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, apologized to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples on behalf of the whole nation…
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How Significant Was Kevin Rudds Apology to the Stolen Generations
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Download file to see previous pages It was a very strong political expression that the country expressed towards the acknowledgement of fundamental human rights. The apology statement had very relevant political and social implications on Australia and the outlook of the country towards its indigenous populations. These implications stretch beyond the geographical boundaries of the country as the issue was discussed by the civil society all across the world. The objective of this essay is to analyze the significance of Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generations. Background of the apology The apology was a political statement which had been awaited for many years. Indigenous children and children of Torres Strait Islanders were forcefully separated from their families by the Australian government. The justification that the Australian government had for this act was the desired objective of upward social mobility and exposure of these children to the predominant modernized culture of Australia (Haebich, 2011). These children were later referred to as the ‘Stolen Generation’. An enquiry commission The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, headed by Mick Dodson and Sir Ronald Wilson, was setup to undertake the “National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families” (Haebich, 2011 p. 1033). ...
1033). The expression ‘Lost Generation’ is justified by the large percentage of children who were deprived of their parents and living systems. The report shed light to disturbing facts that these children were unhappy in the foster homes, institutions and adoptive families they were put in (Haebich, 2011, p. 1033). The report also contained evidence of forced labor imposed upon these children. The extensive interviews, conducted by the enquiry commission, observed consequences of separation which included medical and psychological issues, addiction, violence, self harm and even suicides (Haebich, 2011). In light of all these observations there was pressure on the Australian government both from within the country and human rights movements across the world. Moreover, out of the 54 recommendations made by The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, one was that the Australian government must apologize to the stolen generation (Haebich, 2011). Since then, this has been a matter of political debate for all the governments which came to power in Australia. In other words, the apology was much awaited by the world. The Political Importance of the Apology The decision of Kevin Rudd to apologize to the Stolen Generation has its importance as a strong political expression. It must be noted here that after the report thoroughly asserting the need of the apology was published, it was denied for 11 long years. No governments owned up the moral responsibility towards the Stolen Generation and the human rights violations faced by them. The general Australian response to the report was that the observations were inflammatory (Haebich, 2011, p. 1033). There was also ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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