Britain is the only country in the world that has ever deported it’s children to the other side of the world and abandoned them.
Britain is the only country in the world that has ever deported it’s children to the other side of the world and abandoned them, Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized for his country’s role in this devastating instance of British colonial history. It took place after WW11 when over 150,000 British children were sent to distant colonies to take the pressure off of Britain’s over burdened social services. The program was to provide orphaned and abandoned children with a fresh start and supply the colonies with an abundance of white workers and as unwilling competition between religious faiths.
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Rudd gave his apologies to the 7,000 survivors who still live in Australia. Many of these survivors grew up in institutions where they were physically and sexually abused. Others were sent to farm labor camps. ” We are sorry.” Rudd said. “Sorry that you were taken from your families and placed in institutions where you were abused. We are sorry for the physical suffering, the emotional starvation and the cold absence of love- the tragedy of a childhood lost”
From 1947 to 1967 parents were lied to and told the children would be well fed and educated as the British government sent their children to populate the colonies with what they called, “good white stock” The boys suffered most who were sent to Bindoon, an isolated institution at Perth. They slept in the open until they could build the institution. The Catholic brothers who ran it were unbelievable cruel. The boys were beaten for the smallest infraction, they were starved, worked to exhaustion and sexually abused.
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A social worker in Nottinghamshire named Margaret Humphrey uncovered the scheme and the government’s role in the disgrace. She set up the Child Migrants Trust, a trust to bring the families back together. Proper funding has been little and far between. What the trust wants is reparation from the government for individuals who were denied justice because of time limits on legal action. Time is running out as parents and children are getting older. Andrew Murray a former Australian senator who was sent from Britain to an orphanage in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, also called on Australia to pay restitution.
British High commissioner Valarie Amos said her government had not yet addressed the compensation question, though Britain has been funding trips to reunite migrants and their families since the late 1990’s. Brown’s office said officials would consult with representatives of the surviving children before making a formal apology.