New Year Honours | CBE for Trust's Founder and Director

Margaret Humphreys has issued the following statement:

“I am pleased to accept this honour on behalf of Former Child Migrants and their Families.   I also accept on behalf of my longstanding colleagues for their commitment and dedication over many years.

Above all, I accept this honour on behalf of my family who have been with me and former Child Migrants every step of the way.”

Date: 31/12/2010

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BBC News | Gordon Brown apologises to child migrants sent abroad

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has apologised for the UK's role in sending more than 130,000 children to former colonies where many suffered abuse.
He expressed regret for the "misguided" Child Migrant Programme, telling the Commons he was "truly sorry".
He also announced a £6m fund to reunite families that were torn apart.
The scheme sent poor children for a "better life" to countries like Canada and Australia from the 1920s to 1960s, but many were abused and lied to.
'Deportation of innocents'
Mr Brown said: "To all those former child migrants and their families... we are truly sorry. They were let down.
"We are sorry they were allowed to be sent away at the time when they were most vulnerable. We are sorry that instead of caring for them, this country turned its back.

Click here to view PM Gordon Brown's statement in the House of Commons and to read the BBC article in full

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Times of Malta | Parliament apologises to Maltese child migrants

The memorial for child migrants at the Valletta Waterfront.

The memorial for child migrants at the Valletta Waterfront.

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and Opposition leader Joseph Muscat this evening apologised to 315 Maltese child migrants for the suffering many of them endured after they migrated to Australia between 1950 and 1965.

The apology was issued during a statement in Parliament ahead of the Convention of the Maltese who live abroad, which opens in Malta on Sunday.

"As a mature society, we recognise that despite good intentions, there were many of these child migrants who underwent hardship. The government feels this is an appropriate moment for Parliament to apologise for the hardship which these Maltese brethren endured. We also wish to assure them of our respect for their achievements, and we rejoice at their successes," Dr Gonzi said.

Click here to read the full article

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The Guardian | Britain's child migrants lost their childhoods to years of hard labour

Ten-year-old twins Brian Thomas Sullivan (left) and Kevin James Sullivan from Islington, London, carry their luggage to the boat train at Liverpool Street station bound for Auckland, New Zealand, under the Child Migrant programme. Photograph: AP

Ten-year-old twins Brian Thomas Sullivan (left) and Kevin James Sullivan from Islington, London, carry their luggage to the boat train at Liverpool Street station bound for Auckland, New Zealand, under the Child Migrant programme. Photograph: AP

Gordon Brown today apologised for the abuse of children transported thousands of miles from home

The philanthropists who sent Britain's "orphans" thousands of miles overseas to farms in Australia and Canada believed they were performing a charitable deed.

Between the 1920s and the 1960s as many as 150,000 young children were despatched to institutions and foster homes abroad so that they might begin happier lives in the under-populated Commonwealth.

Charities including Barnardo's, the Catholic church and local authorities helped organise the emigration of youngsters aged between three and 14. So the children could make a clean start, they were usually told their parents had died.

In reality, many were children of single mothers who had been forced to give them up for adoption in an era when their solitary status constituted a grave social stigma.

Click here to read the full article

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The Guardian | Saturday Interview | People should sort this mess

Margaret Humphreys has spent 23 years campaigning for the victims of forced childhood migration. This week, finally, Gordon Brown is due to apologise on behalf of Britain for separating them from their families.

Next Wednesday, if everything goes to plan, Gordon Brown will rise, approach the dispatch box, and make a short speech to the nation. In the afternoon he will expand upon it – directly, this time, to a group of people who have waited decades to hear what he has to say.

Everyone there will be well acquainted with disappointment. But they can't help hoping that finally a British prime minister will say all the right things: that he will explain exactly why tens of thousands of British children were rounded up, told their families were dead, and shipped off to work in the colonies; that he will offer the help they need to trace and rejoin their lost families; that he will apologise unreservedly.

Perhaps that is one reason why feelings are running so high at the Child Migrants Trust in Nottingham, a cosy house where Margaret Humphreys has spent the past 23 years listening to the stories of child migrants, co-ordinating searches for lost children and lost parents, and making sure they have the support they need once they have found each other – if they ever do. The walls are covered in photographs: children being herded onshore in Australia, just before being separated from siblings and sent to institutions throughout the country; children, quite small, working on building sites; and then those children, grown up, in their 50s and 60s, in tentatively patched-together family groups, learning how to smile together at a camera; or, in one case, kneeling at a grave, the reunion having come too late.

Click here to read the complete article in The Guardian

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