The Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen brought on Tuesday a formal apology from orphanages, abused and ill-treated during his stay under the custody of the state in the mid-twentieth century. The speech was broadcast on Danish radio.
“In the name of the time, today and for the future I want to look into the eyes of everyone and tell them the only right: I’m sorry!” – said the head of the government at the meeting with dozens of victims in his official residence. The Prime Minister was clearly excited, reports TASS.
An apology on behalf of the state brought to all who suffered in 1940-70-ies in 19 children’s homes which were audited in 2011 made so-called Guchinskiy report. The title of the document comes from the name of the correctional institution of Gujin in the North of the island of Zealand, where in the 1960s there were thousands of Danish teenagers. The report notes that pupils are systematically subjected to violence, including sexual and medical experimentation. The children were forced to use drugs, some of them were the result of drug addicts. Pupils also lived in unsanitary conditions and suffered from head lice, found the report.
One of the victims was Paul-Erik Rasmussen, who lived in the orphanage of Gujin in the years 1962-1965. “We’ve been waiting for this day for many years,” he said. Within ten years several former orphans sought an official apology from the state.
The beginning of a long process of state recognition of their involvement in crimes committed against children, was launched in 2005. Then was shown a documentary film “Home for boys” on the ill-treatment of inmates in the orphanage of Gujin. In 2009, the government allocated money to conduct independent investigations into the alleged cases of violence against children in such institutions. Published in 2011 the report was the evidence of violence against boys and girls in 19 children’s homes.
In 2015, the Copenhagen city court has abolished the Ministry of social security. In this case, the district court held that the claim for damages to file for the impossible: the Statute of limitations expired in 1985.
In January 2017, the social Democrats proposed to apologize to former orphanage on behalf of the state. However, on March 28, 2017 the Minister for children and social services May Mercado said that the state should not apologize to the victims, and this is the position of the government.
In February 2018, the Danish Parliament adopted a new law that abolished the Statute of limitations on all cases of ill-treatment of children.
13 Mar 2018 attorney Rasmussen Bjorn Elmquist said that the decision to refer the case of the former orphans to the Supreme court. Later, however, Rasmussen was forced to discontinue the proceedings for lack of funds.
In April 2019 MPs representing the so-called “blue block” and the Danish people’s party (national-conservatives and populists), voted against the apology to former orphans, insisted on what Mette Frederiksen, the leader of the social Democrats (the”red block”), received in Parliament, 91 of 179.
June 14, 2019 Mette Frederiksen, speaking at the National Assembly, said that officially apologize to the victims orphaned as soon as the Prime Minister.
The orphanage for boys in Gocheva was founded in 1893. There were orphaned children or those who could not cope with school.