THE NEW DENVER SURVIVORS
  The NEW DENVER SURVIVORS        

 

Stolen Children of the Doukhobors 

DOUKHOBOR CHILDREN IN NEW DENVER SUFFERED THE LOSS OF THEIR   HUMAN RIGHTS DURING THE UNLAWFUL CONFINEMENT BY THE  B.C.  GOVERNMENT IN WHAT IS KNOWN AS "OPERATION SNATCH".

     During 1953-1959, approximately 200, 7-15 year old Doukhobor children were apprehended and confined in New Denver, B.C. in a prison-like environment by the B.C. Government and R.C.M.P./Federal Government.

     The B.C. Ombudsman did a full investigation producing Report No.38, "Righting the Wrong, The Confinement of the Sons of Freedom Doukhobor Children" in April 1999. The Report concluded the 7-15 year old Doukhobor children were wrongfully confined and experienced many losses especially civil liberties, loss of language, religion and culture. The B.C. Ombudsman made recommendations how to correct the wrong. The important recommendation, recommendation No.3, called for a formal apology by the B.C. Government. The B.C. Ombudsman produced a progress report No.43 in March 2002. Report 38 and 43 are available on website: www.ombudsman.bc.ca

     John McLaren, Law Professor, did extensive research on the New Denver, B.C. situation. He concluded the B.C. Government policy was forced assimilation. He also concluded numerous United Nations Human Rights violations took place. John McLaren's research is available, U.B.C. Press 2002 - Law and Society Series - Regulating Lives - Chapter 9, on website:  www.ubcpress.ca

     The New Denver Survivors Collective researched the United Nations Human Rights violations. Many articles were violated in each document. We concluded there is sufficient historical evidence to file a complaint to the United Nations against the B.C. Government and the R.C.M.P./Federal Government. Articles in the following documents were violated:

  • United Nations Charter - 1945
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights - 1948
  • Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - 1951
  • Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child - 1924
  • United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child - 1959
  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child - 1990
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights - 1966
  • International Criminal Court:  1.) Crime of Genocide.  2.) Crime Against Humanity.

available for review on website:  www.un.org

     The Law Commission of Canada did an extensive study on Institutional Child Abuse in Canada producing a final report entitled "Restoring Dignity" in March 2000. The main survivor need identified by the study is an apology. The Law Commission of Canada recommended correcting historical wrongs by Provincial and Federal Governments is in the best interests of Canadian society. The final report and supporting studies are available on website: www.lcc.gc.ca

     The Canadian Race Relations Foundation reviewed numerous reports and documents related to New Denver. They have written to the B.C. Premier and B.C. Attorney General, a letter of support for our request for an apology as recommended by the B.C. Ombudsman. Their letter states the Canadian Race Relations Foundation is firmly committed to the principle that progress towards the achievement of a just and fair society requires that we acknowledge, as a society, that we acted unjustly in the past, see website: www.crr.ca  

     The Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies urged the Provincial Government to implement the recommendations of the B.C. Ombudsman, and affirmed this issue is of great importance to A.M.S.S.A. members as it deals with the violation of basic human rights.  See website: www.amssa.org/

     Abuse of children is wrong! Forced assimilation of children is wrong! Genocide committed on children is wrong! Crimes against Humanity on children is wrong!

     Why doesn't the British Columbia Government get it?

     Abuse, Forced assimilation, Genocide and Crimes against Humanity committed on innocent 7 - 15 year children by a Provincial Government in a democratic society is extreme racism.

     The B.C. Government states that the purpose of New Denver was to socialize and Canadianize the Doukhobor children and the experience was beneficial to the children.

     The B.C. Ombudsman's Report #38 calls it abuse. The Law Commission of Canada's studies on Institutional Child Abuse call it Forced Assismilation. The United Nations calls it Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity.

     Why doesn't the British Columbia Government get it!

     We know Canadians are champions of United Nations Human Rights principles. We ask you to be a champion of United Nations Human Rights principles by supporting our request for a formal apology from the B.C. Government as recommended by the B.C. Ombudsman Report No.38, "Righting The Wrong", recommendation No.3, by sending a letter/email letter to:

The Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia, P.O. Box 9041, Stn.Prov.Govt, Victoria, B.C. V8W9E1

email:  premier@gov.bc.ca

and please write to:

Honourable Shirley Bond, Ministry of Attorney General, P.O. Box 9044, Stn.Prov.Govt, Victoria, B.C. V8W 9E2. or send her an email:

To email the Attorney General Click here:

       We feel an apology is the important first step towards healing and reconciliation.

                                                      New Denver Survivors Collective

 =====================================================================================

Last Modified  March 6, 2015