Trauma of Australia’s Indigenous ‘Stolen Generations’ is still affecting children today

A report shows that children living with adults who were forcibly separated from their families are more likely to face a host of challenges.

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Indigenous children in Australia who live in families that experienced forced separations in much of the twentieth century are more likely than other Indigenous children to have poor health and negative school experiences, according to a landmark government report released this month.

As many as one in three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were taken from their families and communities between 1910 and the 1970s, under racist government policies that tried to force Aboriginal people to assimilate with white Australians. The children were brought up in institutions or foster homes, or were adopted by white families. The Australian government formally apologized to members of these ‘Stolen Generations’ in 2008.

In the latest report, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a government-funded statistics agency, used existing data from surveys of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to conduct the first national study of how the forced separations have affected children in subsequent generations. Previous reports looked at the impacts of these policies on the Stolen Generations themselves, and on their adult descendants.

By: Bianca Nogrady/Nature News

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