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Payment scheme for former British child migrants

All former British child migrants will be able to apply for a financial redress scheme set up by the government on the basis that they were exposed to the risk of sexual abuse.

The payments are being made in respect of the harm done to former British child migrants in being separated from their families and sent overseas as part of the UK government’s historic participation in child migration programmes.

Payments will be made to all former British child migrants, regardless of whether they suffered abuse.

Applications for payment will open on Friday 1 March and will be handled by the Child Migrants Trust.

Each eligible former child migrant will receive a payment of £20,000.

To apply, you must have been sent from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man before 1971 when you were below school leaving age.

You must have been sent by a voluntary care agency (or local authority in some cases), without your parents, to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the former Rhodesia.

The payment scheme is not open to those who migrated as part of any voluntary family, single parent or youth migration scheme.

For example, the scheme does not apply to those who:

  • travelled on the one or two parent schemes to Fairbridge in Australia in the late 1950s, 1960s or 1970s
  • were sent under a youth migration scheme (such as the Big Brother Movement) and placed immediately into employment on arrival
  • travelled on an assisted immigration scheme
  • were sent to relatives living abroad
  • were evacuees during the war years
  • were sent from Malta

The scheme has been set up by the government after a recommendation made in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) interim report and its report on child migration programmes, which were both published in spring 2018.

The government announced that it would set up a payment scheme in its response to the inquiry in December 2018, in recognition of the fundamentally flawed nature of the historic child migration policy.

Published 26 February 2019
Last updated 26 February 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added Channel Islands and Isle of Man to the list of places that claimants must have been sent from in order to be eligible for the scheme.
  2. First published.