Prime Minister Gordon Brown has apologized to the tens of thousands of poor British children shipped to former colonies such as Australia, where instead of a better life many were treated to harsh conditions, neglect and abuse. Brown said the country was sorry for the “shameful” and “misguided” child migrant program of the 1920 to 1960s, in which an estimated 150,000 British children were sent to distant colonies. The programs were intended to ease pressure on British social services, provide the children with a fresh start and supply the empire with a sturdy supply of white workers. But many children ended up in institutions where they were physically and sexually abused, or were sent to work as farm laborers. “We are sorry they were allowed to be sent away when at their most vulnerable. We are sorry that instead of caring for them, this country turned its back,” he told the House of Commons. (Reuters)

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