- Date published:
7:03 am, July 7th, 2017 - 14 comments
Categories: Ethics, human rights, national, uncategorized - Tags: child abuse, homosexual convictions, inquiry, state care, the right thing to do
This is long overdue and good to finally see:
Parliament has formally apologised to men convicted under old laws that criminalised homosexuality.
The rare apology from the House – rather than the Government itself – was moved by Justice Minister Amy Adams during the first reading of her bill to expunge these convictions.
But there are other historical wrongs that need righting.
The Government is unmoved on its position to not hold an inquiry into the abuse of children in state care following a petition and emotional rally on Parliament’s steps this afternoon.
A group of victims joined with the Human Rights Commission to deliver the 5300-signature petition at the Beehive today, urging the Government to reverse its position on a full public apology and an independent inquiry.
Between the 1950s and 1990s more than 100,000 children and vulnerable adults were taken from their families and placed in either children’s homes or mental health institutions.
While there, some suffered sexual, physical, and psychological abuse. It’s currently impossible to estimate the extent of the abuse, because it has never been subject to a full public investigation.
Some survivors agreed to speak out anonymously.
One said they still felt shame about what happened to them, and that the Government hadn’t tried to put things right.
“Bill English, you say that you don’t want the cost of a public inquiry like it cost Australia,” they said.
“However you and the National Government spend money on a flag change at a cost of $26 million, a display in Dubai cost $53m, a replacement ship Endeavour cost $500m, a fleet of cars cost $6m.
“I could go on. How much value do you place on a child?
“You have to address the past before you have a hope to change the future.”
See also: Former wards of state demand inquiry into state abuse (video).
Why refuse an inquiry? Why refuse to look in to this huge historical wrong, and learn form its mistakes? When some future government does, and tries to make right, today’s government will look as archaic and out of touch as the governments who made homosexuality a crime.
Bill English excepts as fact i was raped and tortured in state care but sets lawyers on me to prevent me getting rehab and compo
— Malcolm Justice NZ (@MPD_NZ) July 6, 2017