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British government apology to child migrants (24 February 2010)

  • Child Migrant Apology

    Child Migrant Apology, February 2010, courtesy of YouTube.

24 February 2010
24 February 2010

On 24 February 2010, the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an apology to child migrants, for the United Kingdom's role in deporting thousands of children to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

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.

And we are sorry that the voices of these children were not always heard, their cries for help not always heeded. And we are sorry that it has taken so long for this important day to come and for the full and unconditional apology that is justly deserved.

In his apology speech, the Prime Minister announced the Family Restoration Fund, to help reunite former child migrants with their families. The Fund is administered by the Child Migrants Trust and is open to any former child migrant sent before 1970 from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales as part of child migration schemes.


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Child Migrant Apology
Child Migrant Apology
February 2010


Sources used to compile this entry: Gordon Brown apologises to child migrants sent abroad, BBC News, 24 February 2010,; 'House of Commons Hansard Debates for 24 February 2010: Child Migration', in Hansard, The Prime Minister made a statement to the House of Commons about the apology to former child migrants on 24 February 2010., United Kingdom Parliament, 24 February 2010,

Prepared by: Cate O'Neill