Gordon Brown to apologise to Child Migrants shipped to misery Down Under after Australian PM says 'sorry'
But… What about the agencies used and most willing to carry out such deeds of gross inhumanity?
Shipped Down Under
Between 1947 and 1967 up to
10,000 children were shipped to Australia. They were sent to
populate a nation with what was called at the time "good white
Those who suffered the
harshest treatment were the boys sent to Bindoon, an isolated
institution north of Perth.
Gordon Brown is to apologise for Britain's ' disgraceful' role in sending more than 130,000 children to its former colonies.
Most children were wrongly told that their parents had died and that they would enjoy a 'better life' outside Britain, while the parents thought the children had been adopted in Britain.
We're sorry: Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (left) comforts a victim after giving a national apology to the forgotten Australians and former child migrants at Parliament House ceremony in Canberra today
'The time is right': Gordon Brown has pledged that he also will make an official apology
But many were physically, psychologically and sexually abused, or ended up in institutions or as laborers on farms.
The Prime Minister has pledged to say sorry to the victims of the policy, which ended only 40 years ago, but the move has been condemned as coming too late.
Critics said he had been 'shamed' into it by Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd, who today apologized for his country's role in the mistreatment and suffering of 500,000 people held in orphanages and children's homes between 1930 and 1970.
That includes 7,000 child migrants from Britain who still live in Australia.
'We are sorry,' Mr. Rudd said at a ceremony in Parliament House in Canberra today
'Sorry for the physical suffering, the emotional starvation and the cold absence of love, of tenderness, of care. Sorry for the tragedy - the absolute tragedy - of childhoods lost.
'Sorry that as children you were taken from your families and placed in institutions where so often you were abused.'
The programs, which ended 40 years ago, were intended to provide the children with a new start - and the Empire with a supply of sturdy white workers.
But many children ended up in institutions where they were physically and sexually abused, or were sent to work as farm laborers.
Closure: Two women comfort one another as they listen to Mr Rudd's emotional apology in Canberra today
Therese Rein (top), wife of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, watches as an emotional woman waves the Australian flag, during Mr. Rudd's apology speech
Mr. Rudd also apologised to the 'forgotten Australians' - children who suffered in state care during the last century.
According to a 2004 Australian Senate report, more than 500,000 children were placed in foster homes, orphanages and other institutions during the 20th century. Many were emotionally, physically and sexually abused in state care.
This report was compiled by The Daily Mail and BBC.