On their own - Britain's child migrants

Government and organisational responses

poster with image of tree with branches in shape of Australia and roots in shape of UK
Child Migrants Trust poster 'Help us find their lost roots'. Reproduced courtesy Ellie Ormrod.

In 1986 Nottingham social worker Margaret Humphreys received her first request from a former child migrant searching for family, leading her to establish the Child Migrants Trust the following year to reunite families and raise awareness of the child migration schemes.

Since the 1990s the Trust, along with organisations such as the International Association of Former Child Migrants and Their Families, has actively campaigned for government inquiries into child migration. Inquiries held in the UK and Australia have condemned the schemes as mistakes, misguided and fundamentally flawed.

Formal apologies


Former child migrants gather in London for the apology from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in February 2010. Reproduced courtesy Child Migrants Trust.

In November 2009 Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered a formal apology to former child migrants who suffered in institutional care. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an apology to former child migrants in February 2010. The Canadian Government has not issued an apology but designated 2010 as the ‘Year of the British Home Child.’

Watch British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's formal apology to child migrants on the UK Parliament website.

Find out more about Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's formal apology to former child migrants on the Australian Government website, which includes a full transcript of the speech.


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