Tuesday, 12 November, 2019

United Kingdom children abused in Australia 'should be compensated'

United Kingdom children abused in Australia 'should be compensated' United Kingdom children abused in Australia 'should be compensated'
Patty Aguilar | 02 March, 2018, 08:13

"Child migration was a deeply flawed government policy that was badly implemented by numerous organisations which sent children as young as five years old overseas", chair of the inquiry Professor Alexis Jay said.

Around 2,000 young people from the United Kingdom who were relocated to countries including Australia and New Zealand should now be "offered compensation".

Britain's Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has recommended that up to 2000 child migrants who were sent to Australia be compensated.

Inquiry hearings previous year focused on postwar schemes where about 4,000 children, some as young as five, were sent to Australia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe between 1945 and 1970.

Many testimonies to the inquiry described "care" regimes which included physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect, as well as sexual abuse, in the various settings to which they were sent.

Unless they do so by the July 1 start date it could be a Commonwealth-only scheme covering just 1000 of the estimated 60,000 institutional child sexual abuse survivors.

It continued: 'HMG has not yet made any financial redress directly to individual former child migrants.

Another told of a group of 15 children being forced to watch as Christian Brothers killed a horse particularly loved by the youngsters as a form of collective punishment.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown formally apologised on behalf of the Government in 2010 and later gave evidence to the inquiry.

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Some people described constant hunger, medical neglect and poor education.

The report said: 'We are keen to ensure that the scheme is a simple one, in the hope that it can be effective soon, and make a real, immediate and lasting difference to the lives of the former child migrants'.

"The government is having constructive talks with NSW and Victoria", Mr Tehan told a Safe Children Conference in Sydney.

And another example recounted a former migrant being locked in a place known as "the dungeon" in one school, where he was left without food or water for days.

The conclusions were by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) which has been looking into child migration programmes as well as abuse claims in the UK.

'However, around 2,000 migrants are alive today, and the panel considers it essential that all surviving former child migrants are offered such redress'. "The policy was allowed to continue despite evidence over many years showing that children were suffering".

The agencies involved in "sending" children in the migration programmes were mostly voluntary organisations, with a small number being migrated by local authorities.

"Like the recommendations made into the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse here in Australia, these child survivors are now faced with waiting on the UK Government to act on the recommendations", Mr Donaldson said.

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