This week I have co-sponsored my colleague, Lisa Nandy’s Early Day Motion (EDM 1144) on child abuse in child migration programmes.
The full text of the EDM is as follows:
That this House welcomes the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s Child Migration Programmes Report, published in March 2018; notes the report’s finding that the policy of child migration practiced by successive post-War governments, churches and charities resulted in many children suffering severe physical, sexual and emotional abuse; pays tribute to the former child migrants who showed the strength to give evidence to the inquiry and to all of those who fought so long for truth and justice; notes that although the Government publicly apologised to former child migrants in 2010, it has not yet made any financial redress directly to them; supports the report’s recommendation that child migrants are financially compensated by the Government through a redress scheme; further supports the report’s recommendation that due to the age and, in some cases, ill health of former child migrants that reparations should be urgently introduced; and calls on the Government to establish a financial redress scheme without delay, to heed the report’s recommendation that all child migrants should be entitled to an equal award on the basis they were exposed to equal risk and to ensure that payments begin within 12 months.
A report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse found successive British governments failed to protect thousands of children who were sent to live overseas. Post-war migration programmes saw around 4,000 British children taken from families, care homes and foster parents to Australia and other former colonies.
The investigation found that the “fundamentally flawed” policy left children in unsafe environments where abuse was unlikely to be prevented, and that complaints received were not properly responded to.
The inquiry panel called on the Government to establish a scheme to provide an equal award to every applicant “without delay”, with payments beginning within 12 months. It also demanded that other organisations involved in implementing the policy apologised to child migrants if they had not already done so.