Prime Minister’s Statement: Child Migration

25 February 2010

The Prime Minister made a statement in the House of Commons apologising profoundly for the UK's role in sending more than 130,000 children to former British colonies.

Mr Brown told the Commons:

"To all those former child migrants and their families, to those here with us today and those across the world - to each and every one - I say today that we are truly sorry. They were let down.

"We are sorry that they were allowed to be sent away at the time they were most vulnerable. We are sorry that instead of caring for them, this country turned its back, and we are sorry that the voices of these children were not always heard and their cries for help not always heeded.

"We are sorry that it has taken so long for this important day to come, and for the full and unconditional apology that is justly deserved to be given."

He expressed regret for the Child Migrant Programme, which from the 1920s to 1960s sent children aged between three and 14 to various Commonwealth countries, including Canada, South Africa, Zimbabwe - formerly Rhodesia - and Australia.

He also announced support for former child migrants that includes the establishment of a new £6 million family restoration fund.

Image: PA/PA Wire

More news on: Parliament, government and politics, Parliament, International affairs, Communities and families, Children and families, Africa, Australasia, North America, Commons news, Parliamentary business

Share this page