Defend International warmly welcomes Australia’s recent apology to its indigenous peoples for the pain and indignity they endured under the Government’s past laws and policies. DI is encouraged by the Australian Government’s decision, which is indeed a significant event in Australia’s history. DI hopes this initiative will rekindle the respect and recognition of Indigenous rights.
Defend International Welcomes Australia’s Apology to Aborigines
Oslo-Norway, February 22, 2008 /Defend International/ — Defend International warmly welcomes Australia‘s recent apology to its indigenous peoples for the pain and indignity they endured under the Government’s past laws and policies.
Mr. Rudd singled out the “Stolen Generations of young Aboriginal children who were taken from their parents in a policy of assimilation which lasted from the 19th Century to the late 1960s… For the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.” One hundred leaders of the Aboriginal community and members of the Stolen Generations were present for the historic apology.
- Defend International is encouraged by the Australian Government’s decision, which is indeed a significant event in Australia’s history.
- We hope this initiative will strengthen the moral fabric of the Australian society and rekindle respect and recognition of Indigenous rights.
- This important event can serve as a model and inspiration for other countries and regions, particularly Middle East and North Africa region.
Aboriginals are the first known human inhabitants of the Australian continent and its islands. It is estimated that prior to the arrival of British settlers the population of Indigenous Australians was approximately 318,000 – 750,000 across the continent 1. They now make up about 2.4% of Australia’s modern population and are the most disadvantaged group.
Although there are over 250 spoken languages, fewer than 200 of the languages of these groups remain in use – all but 20 are considered to be endangered 1.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd formally delivered, at the Federal Parliament on 13 February 2008, an apology to the Indigenous people for the past wrongs caused by successive parliaments and governments on the indigenous Aboriginal population. He apologised for laws and policies that “inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians”.
About Defend International
Defend International is a Norway-based NGO and forms a worldwide community of DI defenders, with members, supporters, activists, donors, friends and subscribers in every part of the world.
Defend International is working to advance democratization; encourage dialogue between cultures and civilizations and promote the advancement of women’s rights and empowerment and their participation in democratic processes. DI acts for peace, non-violence, tolerance, justice and gender equality in law and practice. DI has helped thousands of civilians in MENA region by campaigning and defending their rights.
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