- Date published:
7:02 am, February 15th, 2017 - 10 comments
Categories: bill english, child abuse, child welfare, crime - Tags: abuse, child abuse, Emmerson, human rights commission, inquiry
The Human Rights Commission is calling for an inquiry into one of our most shameful secrets:
Demand an inquiry into the abuse of NZers held in state care
The Human Rights Commission has asked New Zealanders to join their call for a comprehensive inquiry into the abuse of thousands of people, many of them children, while they were under the care of the Government.
“This is a chapter in our nation’s living history where the human rights of thousands of people were abused by their own Government. More than 100,000 New Zealanders were taken from their families and put into state institutions from the 1950s to the 1990s where many suffered serious physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect over several years,” said Disability Rights Commissioner, Paul Gibson
“The extent of the abuse is unknown. We believe this painful and shocking chapter of New Zealand history is one that needs to be opened: if we do not openly talk about the mistakes we made, then we cannot ensure they are never repeated. Never Again. E Kore Ano.”
An open letter signed by iwi leaders, child advocates and disability sector representatives was released today with a call for New Zealanders to sign a public petition urging Government to take action.
“Our message is simple: we must never let this abuse happen again. We need to start by hearing the stories of those people whose childhoods and lives were forever scarred by their own Government,” said Mr Gibson.
“Once we understand the full extent of what went on then we can ensure our policies in 2017 reflect our shared past: at the moment this is not the case. New Zealanders deserve to know more about their history and learn from it.”
The open letter is on the same page, and also here, where you can add your own name in support:
We, the undersigned, call on the New Zealand Government to
• Initiate an independent inquiry into the abuse of people held in State care in order to identify the systemic issues that permitted this to occur and the broader impact of these events on our communities;
• Publicly apologise to those who were affected, including those who were abused, their families and whanau.
• take other appropriate steps to acknowledge the harm that has been caused to the victims and to provide them with appropriate redress and rehabilitation; and
• Take action to ensure this never happens again. …
Bill English refuses because an inquiry would be a ‘significant distraction’. A distraction from what? What kind of excuse is that?
— Rod Emmerson (@rodemmerson) February 13, 2017