Bringing them home report

The National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families was established by the Federal Labour Government in May 1995 and conducted by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. In its report, Bringing them Home, it was estimated that 10 per cent of Indigenous children were removed from their families and communities under state-sanctioned policies and removal practices in Australia between 1910 and 1970. As a result, most Indigenous families today continue to be affected in one or more generations by the forcible removal of children during this time. The Inquiry investigated a number of different effects from the experiences of forced removal including:

  • separation from the primary care giver
  • institutionalisation
  • abuse and denigration
  • separation from the Indigenous community
  • effects on family and community
  • inter-generational effects.

It identified the main components of forced removal as:

  • deprivation of liberty
  • deprivation of parental rights
  • abuses of power
  • breach of guardianship duties
  • violation of international human rights.

The Inquiry made 54 recommendations and these were based on the principle of reparations including:

  • acknowledgment and apology
  • guarantees against repetition
  • measures of restitution
  • measures of rehabilitation
  • monetary compensation.