Monday, November 16, 2009

Child Abuse: Australia says sorry to those abandoned and betrayed by governments, churches and charities

Kevin Rudd, the Australian prime minister, has delivered an apology to about half a million people who suffered abuse and neglect as children in state-run institutions.

Among them are thousands of British child migrants sent to Australia with false promises of a happier life.

The British Prime Minister is also planning to apologise for the policy.

Al Jazeera's Michelle Stone reports.

Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull also offered an apology to the Forgotten Australians.

They were abandoned and betrayed by governments, churches and charities, Mr Turnbull said.

"Those of you who were child migrants were part of a deliberate and calculating policy of many governments to bring children from Britain and Malta to populate the Empire with good white stock."

The apology Parliament would be asked to accept had the unqualified support of the Opposition, Mr Turnbull said to cheers and applause.

"Today we want you to know we admire you, we believe you, we love you," he said.

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