IAFCM&F Letter to The Guardian - 31st Oct 2012

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."

Norman Johnston
President, International Association of Child Migrants and their Families

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IAFCM&F Press Release 2nd May 2012

It takes 2 seconds to hurt a child for life,
2 governments to separate a family for decades.
It takes over 22 years for 2 governments to say sorry.

On the 24th February 2010 the then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a public apology to former child migrants on behalf of the Nation.

This apology was fully endorsed by David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

For us and our families, it was a moment of recognition for which we had waited all our lives and a symbolic occasion we will never forget.

The Family Restoration Fund gives real meaning to the words of the apology. It gives hope and practical help to former child migrants meeting their elderly mothers and fathers and building family relationships. It is beginning to change our lives for the better.

This second Anniversary provides an opportunity to review the reparation progress and re-affirm the Nation’s abhorrence at the forced deportation of its children. Learning from the past is a vital strand of recovery for us all. A day of National Remembrance will help future generations understand what can happen when we fail to safeguard our children and families.

More is needed to fully address issues of justice for British citizens who lost their families and identities to the cruel and discriminatory policy of child migration. But the UK Government’s continued commitment to its Apology through this event today remains a source of encouragement and hope for us all.

For further information please contact Tony Costa on 0115 9822811

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