From Inside Dustjacket:
The extraordinary and untold story of Britains child migrants is one of 350 years of shaming exploitation. Around 130,000 children some just 3 or 4 years old, were shipped off to distant parts of the Empire, the last as recently as 1967.
for Britain, it was a cheap way of emptying childrens homes and populating the colonies with 'good British stock', for the colonies it was a source of cheap labour. The so-called philanthropists and child 'care' agencies which set up migration schemes in the last century built up the dream of a new life for the 90 000 children exported to Canada from 1860s to the 1920s was often one of unremitting hardship, working a 16-hour day on isolated farmsteads, they were often beaten and mistreated and never saw their families or the shores of Britain again.
But the real shock is that child migration did not end in 1920s. Even after the Second World War, until it ended some 20 years ago, around 10,000 children were transported to Australia, where many were subjected to at best uncaring abandonment, and at worst a regime of appalling cruelty.
Abuse and deception characterised the Australian schemes .Parents were told that their children had been adopted in Britain, chidren were told that their children were brought up in Australian institutions to beleive they were orphans.Now adults , they still break down when they relate their experiences and for many the search for family has become a life-long crusade. Because of the withholding or absence of information, only some are reunited with mothers and relatives they did not know existed---a reunion of happiness and confusion on one side, and guilt and disbelief on the other.
Lost children of the Empire tells the remarkable story of the Childs Migrants Trust , set-up, in 1987, to trace families and to help those involved to come to terms with what has happened.But nothing can explain away the connivance and irresponsibility of the governments and orgs involved in this inhuman chapter of British history
Lost Children of the Empire was the subject of a major ITV documentary screened in May 1989.