UK child migrants sent to Australia sue government over abuse

More than 100 Britons who were sent abroad as children under a resettlement scheme are to sue the UK government over
the abuse they suffered.

In March, an inquiry said 2,000 survivors should receive financial compensation within 12 months.

The victims' lawyer said the government "has a legal responsibility for the harm suffered by those children".
Between 1945-70, some 4,000 children were separated from their families and sent to Australia and Zimbabwe.

The Independent Inquiry Into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) considered the children who were forcibly relocated in the post-war
period.

A scheme saw children from deprived backgrounds who were often already in social care - some as young as three years
old - sent away with the promise of a better life.

Overseen by government, and managed by charities and the church, it was part of a longstanding policy aimed at easing the
strain on UK orphanages and strengthening the British population abroad.

Victims say they went on to be sexually, emotionally and physically abused.

Rex Wade was one of the last children to be sent to Australia as part of the programme in 1970.

At the age of 10, he was shipped from Cornwall with his brother to Tasmania.

He says he was subjected to a punitive regime and was treated "cruelly for any misdemeanour", and that his tormentors
would set a dog on him and other children if they misbehaved.

"It was physical, verbal and mental abuse," he says.

"I lost everything I ever had; the relationships I had with my family. It's a lot to deal with and you just don't get over it."

'They took my childhood'
John Glynn, who was sent to a Christian Brothers institution in Western Australia when he was eight years old, is one of
the 100 former migrants to bring the case forward.

At the institution in Clontarf, he was told he was not loved by his family in Britain. Through his seven years with the
Christian Brothers he was beaten brutally with a cane, and also sexually abused.

"As I get older it gets worse," the 74-year-old says.

"I think about that a lot now. They took my childhood from me. They took my country from me, my heritage."