Historic testimony will be given tomorrow (Monday 28th April 2014) as former child migrants give public evidence for the first time to The Royal Commission public hearing in Perth, detailing the sexual abuse they and many hundreds of others suffered in both the UK and in Australia.
The Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse will hear claims that many children were abused in the UK before being ‘chosen’ to be trafficked to Australia to suffer at the hands of the Christian Brothers in WA.
The Commission is investigating the allegations against the Christian Brothers who ran the Bindoon, Castledare, Clontarf and Tardun orphanages and the response of Western Australian State authorities to allegations of child sexual abuse at the institutions.
From 0800 on Monday 28th April 2014 many former child migrants will gather outside the hearing in Perth in a dignified silence in support of those giving evidence and to recall the brutality and cruelty many of them suffered on their arrival in Australia.
Their messages on the banners will include the following:
• Trafficked for the Purpose of sexual abuse.
• Global child abuse by organised paedophiles
• Sent from one perpetrator to another!
• Child sexual assault in Australia is only half the story
• Many child migrants abused in UK institutions.
• British Judicial Inquiry needed now!
• Today, after 60 years, the Royal Commission breaks the Conspiracy of Silence.
Norman Johnston, of the International Association of former child migrants said:
“Monday will be a momentous day. For the first time the public both in this country and in the UK will hear the horror that child migrants suffered. We want the Royal Commission to consider whether this was nothing more than an international paedophile ring in cassocks. Choosing its victims in the UK and trafficking them to suffer the most appalling brutalities on the other side of the world. We hope the evidence given will finally bring David Cameron to his senses and he sets up the judicial inquiry off the back of these revelations.”
From 1947, child migrants as young as three were shipped to Australia from Britain into?abusive, substandard institutions described as more like concentration camps than children's homes. Although inspections by a UK Government committee blacklisted many Australian institutions including Castledare and Bindoon in 1956, children continued to be deported and abused in these institutions up until 1970 when the trafficking ended.
Time limitation has prevented legal action against the Christian Brothers and only a fraction of the perpetrators have ever been charged.
It is believed that during the post-war period about 3,300 children were shipped to Australia. Governments have not been able to provide more precise statistics.
The Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse is looking at child sex abuse in Australia, including investigations into religious organisations, state care facilities, schools, not-for-profit groups and the responses of child care agencies and the police.
Former Child Migrants will attend the Royal Commission from 08:00 until 16:00hrs. The public hearing will be held at: Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission, 111 St Georges Terrace, Perth Western Australia 6000.
The vigil will be attended by approximately 25 former migrants and their families.
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