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History
THE CHILD MIGRANTS
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Programme Times
Mondays 15 September - 6 October 2003, 9.00 - 9.30am
(Repeated 9.30 - 10.00pm)


Charles Wheeler presents a major four part series telling through new documentary evidence and vivid personal testimony, the true story of the forced migration of unwanted children from Britain over a sixty year period.

The series is based largely on the personal testimony of over 150 former child migrants sent to Australia, Rhodesia, Canada and New Zealand, making it the largest project ever undertaken on the subject. Also interviewed are many of the original legislators and child care specialists involved in the policy.

This policy, sanctioned and supported by a succession of Governments was described in 1999 as "one of the most disgraceful episodes in post war politics".

The migrated children were euphemistically referred to as "the seeds of empire", and told that they would find an idyllic lifestyle in a new country. In reality, they were often badly cared for, counted as second-class citizens, arrived sick or without a name, and found over-crowded and run-down institutions waiting for them at the other end of their journey.


Particularly guilty were the homes of the Christian Brothers in Australia where several thousand children were accommodated over the years and where physical and sexual abuse and under-nourishment seems to have been rife.

A number of other British agencies such as Barnardos, the Fairbridge Society, The National Children's Homes co-operated in maintaining the policy for so long and despite warnings from governments and independent inspectors, it was pursued for almost 6 decades.

Programme One - Children of the Empire
15th September 2003, 9.00am & 9.30pm

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Programme Two - Good British Stock
22nd September 2003, 9.00am & 9.30pm

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Programme Three - Nobody to Trust
29th September 2003, 9.00am & 9.30pm

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Programme Four - Searching for Identity
6th October 2003, 9.00am & 9.30pm

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PRESENTER
Charles Wheeler
CHARLES WHEELER

Charles Wheeler is three times RTS Journalist of the year, a former BBC foreign correspondent (Berlin, Delhi, Washington, Brussels), producer/presenter on Panorama, presenter and special correspondent on Newsnight, presenter on Correspondent, Assignment, the LBJ Tapes (BAFTA winner), a Sony Gold winner for "Evacuation: The True story" and presenter "The Peacetime Conscripts" for BBC Radio 4.

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