LONDON — As many as 150,000 poor British children were shipped off to the colonies over three and a half centuries, often taken from struggling families under programs intended to provide them with a new start — and the Empire with a supply of sturdy white workers.
Forty years after the program stopped, Britain and Australia are saying sorry to the child migrants, who were promised a better life only to suffer abuse and neglect thousands of miles from home.
The British government said Sunday that Prime Minister Gordon Brown would apologize for child migrant programs that sent boys and girls as young as 3 to Australia, Canada and other former colonies. Many ended up in institutions where they were physically and sexually abused, or were sent to work as farm laborers.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will offer his own apology Monday to the child migrants, as well as to t
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