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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Child Migration Programmes Investigation Report

Concluding observations

32. We make it clear that these are our own findings on these issues, based on all the evidence we have considered. We have not had regard to the opinion of Professors Constantine and Lynch on these matters: rather, we have considered the historical and research material they have placed before us, alongside the extensive archive material the Inquiry obtained from HMG and the sending institutions.

33. Finally, we note that it has often been said that child migration was accepted practice, judged by “the standards of the day”.[1] Yet as we detail further in Part B.4 below, the evidence showed us that child migration as a concept always had some critics, going back to the nineteenth century. More specifically for our purposes, various reports from the time of the migration programmes were highly critical of how they were operating in practice, and of the care being provided to the children and they set out what should be done. Several of the institutions involved had debates within themselves about child migration and about the operation of the programmes. Some have reflected internally since, and accepted that the Curtis principles were not in fact applied.[2] 

34. We turn now to the detail of the historical material from the child migration programmes that underpins the conclusions set out above.

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