Our campaigns

CMT has a proud history of campaigning for recognition, rights and reparation for Britain’s former child migrants.

Campaigning for recognition

Child migration was a hidden chapter in Britain’s past. Former Child Migrants knew little about their personal identity or early childhood and their family history. Similarly, many childcare agencies involved lacked a solid grasp of their past role in migrating children.

Consequently, CMT has spent years raising the profile of child migration and enhancing public awareness of the injustices confronting former Child Migrants.

Child Migrants needed to reclaim their personal histories just as the countries involved needed to rediscover or learn for the first time about their child migration policies.

Growing recognition led to parliamentary inquiries in Australia and the UK – and, several years later, public apologies by both nations, in 2009 and 2010.

While there is much greater awareness now of Britain’s history of child migration, some are still shocked to learn that children were deported until 1970. Similarly, the UK lacks any national memorials to those children it shipped overseas. Find out about our campaign for a national memorial.

Campaigning for rights

We all have a right to our personal identity and a right to family life.

But what happens if you don’t know your date of birth or the names of your parents, or even if you have any brothers or sisters?

The simplest solution to these puzzling questions is to find full birth certificates for former Child Migrants and conduct detailed family research. Obviously, if a former Child Migrant lives oceans away from the records and lacks a computer, this is a complex task.

Bringing families together after decades of painful separation is also complicated so social work and research services are vital. Travelling between the UK and the countries child migrants were sent to is also an expensive process – especially for people who are now in the later stages of their lives.

CMT has successfully campaigned to have this work funded by complicit governments. However, there’s a constant uncertainty about the continued access to funds – just one of the things we continue to campaign for today.

Campaigning for reparations

Sadly, being deceived about their personal identity and family background were not the only injustices suffered by former Child Migrants. Many experienced episodes or sustained abuse which often led to a range of difficulties in later life.

While some services and redress has been provided by governments, and some former child migrants have pursued civil claims or class actions against either government or child care agencies, rarely have settlements been full, or comprehensive. The need for continued campaigning to secure full reparation for former child migrants unfortunately remains.