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Australia apologizes to children
Detail: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized for his country's role in a shameful episode in British colonial history when an estimated 150,000 British children were sent to distant colonies to ease pressure on post-World War II Britain's social services, provide orphaned or abandoned children with a fresh start and supply the empire with a sturdy supply of white workers. At a ceremony in Parliament House Rudd extended condolences to the 7,000 survivors of the programs who still live in Australia, many of whom grew up in institutions where they were physically and sexually abused or were sent to work as farm laborers.

The Australian apology comes one day after the British government said Prime Minister Gordon Brown would apologize next year for the child migrant programs, which lasted from 1618 to 1967. After 1920, most of the children went to Australia.

British High Commissioner Valerie Amos said her government had not yet addressed the compensation question, though Britain has been trying to make amends since the late 1990s by funding trips to reunite migrants with their families in Britain. Brown's office said officials would consult with representatives of the surviving children before making a formal apology.
Source: Based on a story “Australia apologizes to Brit kids sent to colonies” by Associated Press Writers Rod Mcguirk And Jill Lawless, Mon Nov 16, 2009.
Date: December 17 2009