The following letter was published in The Guardian on Wednesday 31 October 2012:
Truth on migrants
"Michael Mansfield QC's call for a permanent, independent truth commission (No more cover-ups, 30 October) is timely and compelling. The recent appalling scandals like the Hillsborough disaster and the Savile abuse allegations are just the latest examples of the need for such a body. Similarly, the dreadfully slow response and late apology for Britain's shameful child migration schemes are further symptoms of the inadequacy of our present arrangements. These simply take far too long to uncover the truth and rarely deliver a real sense of justice or accountability to those involved. A permanent body would help to show that this country has the moral courage and integrity to confront the darker episodes of its policy failures. It would also improve the accountability of state and other agencies who too often resort to tactics of blame or denial when mistakes are made. As former child migrants, we have a terrible sense of deja vu. Gordon Brown's apology on behalf of the nation in 2010 meant so much. He spoke the truth – hopefully justice will follow."
President, International Association of Child Migrants and their Families
NEW YEAR HONOURS LIST 2011
CBE for Trust's Founder and Director
"The International Association of Former Child Migrants and their Families congratulates Margaret Humphreys on this richly deserved honour after more than two decades of sustained campaigning and professional commitment.
We are delighted that the British Government has finally recognized Margaret's remarkable contribution to former UK Child Migrants and their families - by founding the Child Migrants Trust, bringing families together and leading the way to social justice.
Over 23 years ago, Margaret led us out of the wilderness of silence and cover ups to a more hopeful and dignified place. One by one, we learnt we were not orphans, we were given hope. Above all, we were not alone, we had families. Margaret Humphreys' humanitarian work rightly deserves to be recognised."
31st December 2010
The following speech was delivered by Harold Haig on behalf of the International Association of Former Child Migrants and their Families at the Canberra event on 16th November 2010, marking the first Anniversary of the Australian Government's national apology:
“Minister Macklin and invited guests,
Thank you for your invitation to say a few words on the first Anniversary of the Australian Government's national apology to former Child Migrants and Forgotten Australians.
There have been many developments over the past 12 months. Much work has been devoted to ensuring the apology has a more direct and meaningful impact on our daily lives. For example, there have been many consultations and focus groups across Australia covering a wide range of issues.
Attention has been given to historic and cultural matters as well as the present and future services required by the child migrant and wider community of care leavers.
Only last week, I attended the opening of the first major exhibition on Britain's Child Migrants at the Australian National Maritime Museum. This will help to raise the profile and public awareness of child migration and its’ terrible consequences for too many.
Reconciliation, redress and recognition all emerge from coming to terms with a nation's shameful past. In our case, this involves at least two nations. Picking up the pieces of the damage caused to so many is not easy for anyone - including those who are now mandated to address our concerns.
Of course, while trying to get it right, we may also get it wrong. Not only do we have to actively listen to the survivors' testimonies and their raw feelings, but we have to make sure we REALLY hear.
The politics of recognition and redress is a global movement. Australia is not alone on this issue. Many countries have had to go down this same long, hard and bumpy road.
We still have a long way to go - but today is an important milestone on that necessary journey towards reconciliation.”
The journal of the Association, "International Focus" has been distributed to members world-wide to keep all former Child Migrants and their families up to date with current developments in relation to their search for recognition and justice.
In brief, the stated aims and objectives of the International Association of Former Child Migrants and their Families are:
1. To express and promote the common interests of former Child Migrants world-wide by virtue of their removal from their country of birth.
4. To convene International Conferences and to arrange for exhibitions, congresses, meetings, lectures and seminars.
5. To establish and distribute twice yearly "International Focus", which will keep members informed on developments and issues pertaining to former Child Migrants and their families worldwide.
6. To procure to be written, printed, published, issued and circulated such publications or films as shall further the aims of the Association.
7. To promote, carry out or assist in carrying out research, surveys and investigations and to publish the results.
P.O. Box 1319