BBC News | World: Asia-Pacific | Australian child migrant scheme condemned as abuse of power

A delegation of British politicians -- in Australia to investigate claims for compensation for child migrants -- has said the children were victims of an unforgiveable abuse of power.

More than seven-thousand British children were sent to Australia in a scheme that began just before the Second World War and lasted until the nineteen-sixties.

Most came from institutions like orphanages and were told, often falsely, they had no relatives.

They were mainly illegitimate, from poor families or broken marriages.

One of the British MPs, Audrey Wise, said the migration scheme was a conscious attempt to boost Australia's white population; it was, she said, heart-breaking.

The delegation will report to a British parliamentary committee about whether compensation should be paid and an official apology made.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service.

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