The preservation of the human rights is one of the main tasks of any government. However, where is the solution to the question which involves the preservation of the population’s interests, but breaks the human rights? This controversial issue is closely connected with the problem of Aboriginals in Australia.
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Moreover, the issue of the Stolen Generations is still current for the Australian society because the consequences of the forcible removal of indigenous children can be observed even today. That is why it is important to focus on determining short-term and long-term consequences of removal for those children who became the victims of the governmental discriminative policy in Australia during the period of 1890-1970.
The fact of the forcible removal of indigenous children from their aboriginal families is discussed by many researchers today. In their work “Women and Human Rights in Australia”, R. Desai, S. Fascione, J. Fox, and D. Kogan present the overview of the development of women’s rights in Australia in relation to the phenomenon of the Stolen Generations (Desai, Fascione, Fox, & Kogan, 2008).
The authors make accents on the formal aspects of women’s socio-political organizations in Australia and connect their development with the progress of social movements associated with the problem of human rights in Australia from the perspective of the issue of the Stolen Generations and results of this process.
However, presenting the definite background for the development of the social organizations and movements in Australia, the authors give only general and brief information about the phenomenon of the Stolen Generations without concentrating on its consequences.
Thus, the reasons for developing the violent actions against aboriginals were hidden in the governmental inclinations to realize the principles of assimilation in the Australian population with the help of providing discriminative measures (Desai, Fascione, Fox, & Kogan, 2008).
If the reasons of the process are historically explained, the consequences of removals for the representatives of the Stolen Generations require their further analysis. These consequences can be discussed as short-term and long-term ones. Many researchers determine such aspects of the process as the inclinations of the authority to create definite conditions for civilizing the indigenous children.
However, the real situations became tragedies for those children who were removed from their families. The short-term results of such actions could be observed in the children’s inability to adapt to new circumstances, in their diseases as the results of stresses and changing the life conditions (Cassidy, 2006).
The most dangerous effects were connected with the violent actions of white people who took children in their families. Aboriginals were considered as servants and often suffered from different kinds of abuses including sexual abuse (Kennedy, 2001).
Various discriminative actions which were directed against the indigenous persons became the causes for children’s different psychological traumas which were complicated with the fact of their isolation from their relatives and cultural background (Krieken, 2004). Thus, when such children became adults they suffered from their impossibility to be culturally identified (Rayner, 2003).
Moreover, the society rejected to accept the indigenous persons as equal to the other Australians in rights, and it was the reason for the development of the further hostility and violence against the Stolen Generations (Zogbaum, 2003).
Thus, these people could not bear the facts of racial discrimination and being depressed could not find their place in the Australian society. That is why the rate of suicides among the representatives of the Stolen Generations is rather high (Read, 2003).
The problem of the Stolen Generations is an example of providing the forcible assimilation and discriminative policy which is tried to be explained by the needs of the oppressed people.
Cassidy, J. (2006). The Stolen Generations – Canada and Australia: the legacy of assimilation. Deakin Law Review, 11(1), 131-177.
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Desai, R., Fascione, S., Fox, J., & Kogan, D. (2008). Women and human rights in Australia. Social Policy, 7, 52-54.
Kennedy, R. (2001). Stolen Generations testimony: trauma, historiography, and the question of ‘truth’. Aboriginal History, 25, 116-131.
Krieken, R. (2004). Rethinking cultural genocide: Aboriginal child removal and settler-colonial state formation. Oceania, 75(2). 125-151.
Rayner, M. (2003). Who cares about the facts?: more evidence emerges for the Stolen Generation. Eureka Street, 13(8). 20-22.
Read, P. (2003). How many separated Aboriginal children? Australian Journal of Politics and History, 49(2), 155-163.
Zogbaum, H. (2003). Herbert Basedow and the removal of Aboriginal children of mixed descent from their families. Australian Historical Studies, 34(121), 122-138.