Government should pay compensation to children sent overseas says sexual abuse inquiry

Government should pay compensation to children sent overseas says sexual abuse inquiry”

Many testimonies to the inquiry described "care" regimes which included physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect, as well as sexual abuse, in the various settings to which they were sent.

Under the Child Migrants Programme, poverty-stricken youngsters were compulsorily deported to Australia, Canada and other parts of the Commonwealth until it was stopped in 1970.

But successive United Kingdom governments, which played a "central role" in the policy after the war, "failed to ensure that there were in place sufficient measures to protect children from sexual abuse". Around 4,000 children in total were migrated post-war.

Then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologised in 2010 for the "shameful" and "misguided" child migrant programme.

"My clients are deeply disturbed by claims that the policy to effectively "transport" children continued and has been swept under the carpet so the United Kingdom government could keep up good global relations as part of the forced migration scheme", he said.

The IICSA said the migration was...

The five-year inquiry's final report called for a national strategy to prevent child sexual abuse, warning governments, churches, charities and other organisations that they must not fail children again.

Some witnesses told the inquiry of the "constant hunger, medical neglect and poor education" they faced overseas. Most former migrants have died.

In one case, the report described a pet horse being killed in front of around 15 children as a form of "collective punishment for alleged wrongdoing".

The report shared interviews with some of the victims, and one witness, Michael Hawes, said his time at Dhurringile, north of Melbourne, could be "better described as torture than abuse", revealing he was locked in a place known as the "dungeon". It also recommends that organisations involved in implementing the migration programmes offer apologies to child migrants, where they have failed to do so. This inquiry focused on England and Wales, while separate inquiries have been set up in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse found that successive United Kingdom governments, which played a "central role" in the policy, "failed to ensure that there were in place sufficient measures to protect children from sexual abuse".

Mr Brown was citing evidence given to the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Pic: (left to right) Professor Alexis Jay, chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, and IICSA Panel members Ivor Frank and Drusilla Sharpling, give evidence to the Commons Home Affairs Committee at Portcullis House, London.

"We will carefully consider the findings of the inquiry's report and respond in due course", said the spokesperson.

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