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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 03:01 PM
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Apology for kids shipped from Britain to colonies
LONDON As many as 150,000 poor British children were shipped off to the colonies over three and a half centuries, often taken from struggling families under programs intended to provide them with a new start and the Empire with a supply of sturdy white workers.

Forty years after the program stopped, Britain and Australia are saying sorry to the child migrants, who were promised a better life only to suffer abuse and neglect thousands of miles from home.

The British government said Sunday that Prime Minister Gordon Brown would apologize for child migrant programs that sent boys and girls as young as 3 to Australia, Canada and other former colonies. Many ended up in institutions where they were physically and sexually abused, or were sent to work as farm laborers.

<snip>

A 2001 Australian report said that between 6,000 and 30,000 children from Britain and Malta, often taken from unmarried mothers or impoverished families, were sent alone to Australia as migrants during the 20th century. Many of the children were told that they were orphans, though most had either been abandoned or taken from their families by the state. Siblings were commonly split up once they arrived in Australia.

Authorities believed they were acting in the children's best interests, but the migration also was intended to stop them from being a burden on the British state while supplying the receiving countries with potential workers. A 1998 British parliamentary inquiry noted that "a further motive was racist: the importation of 'good white stock' was seen as a desirable policy objective in the developing British Colonies."


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091115/ap_on_re_us/child_m...
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 03:06 PM
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1. Cruel Britannia! n/t
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polly7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 03:25 PM
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2. I believe it was probably a lot more than they're admitting to.
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~briti... /

Over 100,000 were sent to Canada alone. I've been helping research these children at a genealogy site dedicated in part, to helping connect them to their families in Britain for those searching for them.
http://automatedgenealogy.com /

The article is spot on .. many were sent to the Territories (prairie provinces) and kept as farm slaves, young boys and girls often denied the right to go to school, worked from sunup to sundown and treated like cattle. Some weren't even named in the census ..... "homechild" entered instead. A large number of the boys who were eligible volunteered for WW1 hoping to reunite with their families. What they did to these children and their families was horrible, an apology will never make up for what they did.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 03:25 PM
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3. My grandfather and great aunt - ages 8,9 - sent to work on SEPARATE farms outside Montreal. nt
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 05:42 PM
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4. Better late than never? Seems some people are happy they finally
admitted and apologized.
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 06:08 PM
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5. They got dumped in the US too
my great-great grandfather showed up in the US as a "bond boy." When my mom was doing geneaology, she was told she'd never find out where he came from or who his parents were because that was how they got rid of illegitimate kids & his last name was probably that of the person who bought him, or rather, bought his passage to the US.

dg
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