Kids for export

Kids for export

The loudest scandal in the modern history of the West began with the fact that in 1986 Margaret Humphries, a social worker from Nottingham, received a letter from Australia - from a certain woman who asked to find her parents. She had few leads. All she remembered was that in early childhood she was torn away from her family and taken from England to Australia. At first, Margaret did not believe the story of this woman. But she herself was the mother of two children, and was well aware of the pain that a child separated from her family felt. Margaret began searching ...

As a result of her investigation, the shocking facts of the “forced migration” of children were publicly publicized — the shameful deportation system that was carefully ignored by the British government and brought to its own juvenile citizens, whose crime against their country was that they were born into poor families, was tolerated.
These facts formed the basis of the famous book by Margaret Humphries - “Empty cradles” (1994).

It turned out that an unprecedented "youth policy" existed in England for several centuries. The initiative was laid in 1618, when the first hundred children were taken to Virginia.Others followed, mostly from Scotland. At that time, children were often bought from their parents or kidnapped to provide cheap labor for New England farms across the ocean. Only in 1757, the trial put an end to these outrages. However, not for long.

In the second half of the 19th century, widespread unrest among the poorest segments of the population forced the British government to fork out for "social policy". Various philanthropic societies and churches (Anglicans, Evangelicals, etc.) joined the work. At first, orphanages were built in England itself. However, it quickly became clear that it was much cheaper to keep children in distant overseas colonies.

Children's “migration” was put in a big way by the efforts of three women: an Evangelical Tartan Annie MacPherson, her sister Louise Burt and a native of London, Maria Rai. Their efforts to Canada in the 1860-1870s. more than 20,000 children were resettled. Initially, these were orphans, but then the “migration” program extended to children from large families of poor people.

As it turned out later, in most cases, parents had no idea about the fate of their children after they were sent to children's institutions, and sometimes they were convinced that they were adopted.Children in shelters, in turn, assured that their parents had died, and beyond the ocean they had a better life.


July 12, 1906, Liverpool

Soon, rumors spread that these children were being mistreated. In 1874, the London Board of Trustees sent a Andrew Doyle commission to inspect Canadian orphanages. His report read:“Due to the irresponsibility of Miss Paradise and Miss McPherson’s lack of resources, thousands of British children, already in the past, were thrown to settlers to fend for themselves, hard work or poor treatment; settlers are usually honest, but often extremely strict. ”

The House of Commons of Canada created a special committee to verify Doyle’s findings, but this had no effect on the fate of the children. In April 1891, the English “The Star” wrote:“The attention of the dominion government was drawn to the fact that children sent from England to Canada are street vagrants and poor people from work houses, as well as to the fact that professional philanthropists involved in this type of activity are often guided by mercantile motives rather than charitable motives. The parliament will be asked to investigate this situation before providing any amount of money for immigration purposes. ”.

The request has been filed. As a result, in the same 1891a law on child custody was adopted, which completely legalized the work of private societies involved in child relocation to dominions.


Party girls from the British shelter, before being sent to Canada, 1899.

In the twentieth century. The geography of children's “migration” has expanded considerably. Children were taken in batches to Canada, Africa, but Australia and New Zealand were now particularly popular. Most young colonists were from 7 to 10 years old; however, among them came four-year-olds, as well as 14-year-olds.


Diary of a 12-year-old Maureen Mullins

Before leaving, they were promised golden mountains, oranges and sunshine (oranges and sunshine), told stories of the promised land, where they would live carefree, ride to school on horseback, tearing sweet fruit from trees growing on the side of the road ... Actually nobody waited for them.

Despite the fact that quite decent organizations were engaged in resettlement - all sorts of Catholic missions and boards of trustees, their activity was based on flagrant lawlessness. British citizens turned into powerless ghosts. No one cared to give them an identity card.Often during the move the brothers and sisters were separated, the relationship with their parents was lost forever.


4 year old traveler Stuart Lee

Sometimes it happened that on arrival the children were immediately put in the back of a truck and taken to the outback, on a plantation, where they were turned into laborers.

However, those who got into Catholic shelters, could not boast a better fate. The conditions of detention of children in such institutions were simply blatant. The educational program was not much different from the programs for the mentally retarded, pupils were beaten, sent to hard work, raped. According to the memoirs of one of them, the children called their religious guardians - "Christian pederasty."

Satan applauded standing to the outcome of the activities of Catholic shelters in Australia — thousands of crippled destinies, hundreds of disabled people, dozens of suicides.


1929, before shipping to Australia.

The children's migration program stopped during the Great Depression, and resumed again after the end of the Second World War. Separate cases of the export of children from England took place in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In the post-war period, about 10 thousand children were taken out of England (7 thousand - to Australia).In total, according to a report by the Foundation for the Migration of the Canadian House of Commons, about 350,000 children were sent from England to the colony for 350 years (since 1618).

When Margaret Humphries managed to uncover these facts, she went to Australia, where she began to search for these poor children, who by that time had already become adults. To this end, she founded the special organization Child Migrants Trust, with the help of which thousands of people regained their parents.


Agricultural work in Australia

The final scheme of children's “migration” was disclosed only in 1998, thanks to a parliamentary request from the UK. The published report separately condemned the Roman Catholic Congregation of the Christian brothers of Western Australia and Queensland, in whose institutions the children, according to the victims, were subjected to violence. The Legislative Assembly of Western Australia issued a statement on August 13, 1998, which apologized to former migrant children.


Children build a school. Not even a hint of safety.

Under pressure from public outrage, the Australian government was forced to admit its guilt. November 16, 2009Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who, a year earlier, publicly on behalf of the Australian government apologized to the children of the “stolen generation”, that is, the Australian Aborigines, turned his attention to the “child migrants”. The apology was read in the Australian Parliament, in the presence of Margaret Humphries.


Children harvest peas in the fields

But the reaction of the Canadian Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney was completely different. On behalf of his government, on November 17, 2009, he stated the following:“Canada has no need to apologize for the mistreatment and exploitation of thousands of poor children sent here from Britain since the 19th century ... this was not the order of the day, unlike the long-term interest in Australia. Life is such that we in Canada are taking steps to recognize those sad times, but, as I see it, there are few who are waiting for an official apology for the fact that, unfortunately, it has ever been a tragic history of the country. ”

Canadian Post has issued a commemorative stamp ...

Pope Benedict XVI told the world about the “torment caused by the regrettable behavior of some church members,” and expressed to the victims of injustice his “sympathy and pious solidarity”.


The original "Australian" photo from the brand.

As for England, when the lingering silence of the government was already indecent, Prime Minister Gordon Brown on February 23, 2010, expressed an official apology for the “shameful” program of relocation of children and announced the creation of a fund of 6 million pounds to pay compensation to “deceived” families.

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