Gordon Brown calls on PM to issue national apology and give new help to hundreds of child migrant victims of sexual abuse
March 1st, 2018
Responding to publication of today’s IICSA report, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:
“What today’s inquiry has revealed is sexual abuse, not only on an unimaginable scale, but over decades against the most vulnerable of vulnerable children separated from their families. British officials DID know of the risk to the children when they were dispatched abroad in what can only be called a form of state-sponsored trafficking for which Britain now has to make amends.
“Let us be clear that the abuse against British-born children is even greater in its scale and longevity than the Savile or Bennell abuses.
“Firstly now that the inquiry has found that governments of the day were "primarily responsible" for the "deeply flawed” scheme, the Prime Minister has to make a new national apology for the treatment suffered by what we now believe are hundreds of child migrants subjected to abuse, both in the UK and when they were sent abroad. This apology should be made in Parliament and it should be delivered also by letter to the surviving migrants.
“The apology I gave in 2010 was to children forced abroad against their will with no choice in the matter. Now we have to apologise for an even bigger crime - the abuse so many of them suffered at the hands of paedophiles.
“Secondly, all British and international organisations whose staff were engaged in practising or hiding the abuse of children must now answer publicly and directly for their misdemeanors.
“Thirdly, it is right that compensation has to be given to those who are still alive but now that we know the scale and nature of abuse it is also completely unacceptable to run down the Family Restoration Fund whose work the inquiry has welcomed.
“The Government must ensure that the fund is financed for the time being to honour our offer of support and in particular to help almost 1,000 victims yet be given help to visit their families in the UK.”