The experience of having her four children, including her 15-month-old son, removed from her care by authorities over a seven-year period, is still painfully raw for Helen Eason, an indigenous Australian woman.
“They take your young from you and you have so many taken, you are not whole,” she says. “Even when they come home, as much as they’re all there, all the pieces can never ever be put back together.”
Australia has a dark past when it comes to removing indigenous children from their families.
In 2008, then-prime minister Kevin Rudd apologised for last century’s government policies that saw more than 100,000 indigenous children removed from their homes and placed in institutions or with white families.
But today more indigenous children are being removed from their families than ever in the country’s history. The number has almost doubled in the decade since the apology.
Indigenous children are almost 10 times more likely to be placed in out-of-home care than non-indigenous children. And the alarming increase in removals has sparked a fierce debate about whether Australia is creating a new stolen generation as this 101 East documentary reveals.
|In the past decade, the number of Aboriginal children being taken from their families has nearly doubled [Al Jazeera]|
‘A subtle extension of the stolen generation’
The Aboriginal community is bitterly divided as to the best way to care for indigenous children at risk.