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Magdalene Laundry

The Star: ‘Canada should apologize for Magdalene laundries, like Ireland, academic says’

Former workers in Magdalene laundries in several countries, including Canada, say they endured abuse and enforced, silent labour for little to no pay.

Some say they were physically and sexually abused, and told over and over again that they were worthless sinners.

Now, a researcher in Newfoundland says Canada should acknowledge its use of the secretive institutions for which Ireland apologized in 2013.

“An apology would be phenomenal,” said associate professor of sociology Rie Croll. She’s writing a book that includes little known Canadian allegations of slave labour and abuse in the now defunct reformatories.

“In Canada, this seems to be perceived as a problem that existed elsewhere,” said Croll, who teaches at Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Grenfell Campus.

“There’s more awareness in Australia and there’s a growing awareness in the U.S.”

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