Lord, the inhumanity (not for Phoenix, et al eyes)

Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 09:03 pm
Home Children

Home Children is a common term used to refer to the child migration scheme founded by Kingsley Fairbridge in 1869, under which more than 110,000 children were sent to Australia, Canada and New Zealand from the United Kingdom. In Australia, such children are known as the "Forgotten Australians".

The practice of sending poor or orphaned children to British settler colonies, to help alleviate the shortage of labour, began in 1618, with the rounding-up and transportation of 100 vagrant children to the Virginia Colony.[1]. According to the British House of Commons Child Migrant's Trust Report, "it is estimated that some 150,000 children were dispatched over a period of 350 years"the earliest recorded child migrants left Britain for the Virginia Colony in 1618, and the process did not finally end until the late 1960s."

Though it was widely believed that all of these children were orphans, it is now known that most had living parents, some of whom had no idea what had happened to their child after they were left in care homes, with some led to believe that their children had been adopted somewhere in Britain.[2]
In November,2009 Australia apologized for their involvement in the scheme, while UK Prime Minister,Gordon Brown, made a formal apology in February,2010. Conversely, on November 16th, 2009, Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney issued a statement that Canada will not be apologizing to child migrants


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Reply Thu 25 Feb, 2010 11:25 pm
Yes, I have heard of this. Really bad. England should be ashamed.
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 01:24 am
You're right, Philis, as should the countries who participated in it.
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Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 03:32 am
Yes, tragic indeed.
I became aware of the "home children" only a few years ago. And have since watched a number of British and Australian documentaries on the subject. Some of the accounts of the treatment they received were incredibly cruel & gut-wretchingy sad. Hearing the emotion in their voices as they told their stories, all these years later, was very moving.
Some are still trying to locate their "real" families.
So they received their formal apology, at last.
You wonder about what that actually means to them, after such a tough start in life.
No one deserves to be treated like this.

Boys from Dr Barnado's homes for children onboard the Largo Bay as they emigrate from the UK to Australia. Photograph: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis

...Government records show that at least 150,000 children aged between three and 14 were taken abroad, mainly to Australia and Canada, in a programme that began in the 1920s and did not stop until 1967.

The children, almost invariably from deprived backgrounds and already in some form of social or charitable care, were cut off from their families or even falsely informed that they were orphans.

While their parents were told the child migrants had gone to a better life, in many cases they remained in institutions or were sent to farming families and treated as unpaid labour, and many faced abuse. A key subtext to the programme, particularly in relation to Australia, was the aim of supplying Commonwealth countries with sufficient "white stock". ..

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