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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Child Migration Programmes Investigation Report

The impact of the child migration programme on the children

27. For many witnesses, being separated from their family and country was one of the most devastating parts of their experience: CM-A11’s statement that the separation from his mother was “heartbreaking” and a “lifelong loss that has given me unending pain[1] was typical of what the witnesses told us. Many described the devastating and lifetime-lasting impact their early experiences had had on their lives, including a severe impact on their physical and mental well-being and their ability to form relationships. Some told the Inquiry that they had suffered “secondary abuse” as a result of their difficulties engaging with institutions in the post-migration period.[2] Dr Humphreys and Norman Johnston’s evidence gave us a broader insight into these impacts.[3]




  1. CM-A11 8 March 2017 35-36.
  2. CM-A4 1 March 2017 55; 69-70; CM-A5 3 March 2017 56-7; CM-A19 7 March 2017 41-45.
  3. Humphreys 9 March 2017 4-5; 9-15; 22-25; 28-32; 38-45; 52-59. We also received evidence submitted to the Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry from Tuart Place, an organisation providing counselling and advocacy services to the ex‑residents of Christian Brothers institutions, which set out the consequences of migration and the key problems that former child migrants face as a result of their experiences: Constantine 10 March 2017 140-141.
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