Historian Dr Stephen Constantine reflects on a policy considered beneficial at the time
Gordon Brown is to apologise for the UK's role in sending thousands of its children to former colonies in the 20th century, the BBC has learned.
Under the Child Migrants Programme - which ended just 40 years ago - poor children were sent to a "better life" in Australia, Canada and elsewhere.
But many were abused and ended up in institutions or as labourers on farms.
Officials are consulting survivors of the programme so that a statement can be made in the new year.
On Monday, Australia's prime minister will apologise to the 7,000 UK migrants living there for the mistreatment.
Sandra Anker was sent out to Australia when she was six years old
He will deliver a national apology to the "Forgotten Australians" and recognise the mistreatment and ongoing suffering of some 500,000 people held in orphanages or children's homes between 1930 and 1970.
As they were compulsorily shipped out of Britain, many of the children were told - wrongly - their parents were dead, and that a more abundant life awaited them.
Many parents did not know their children, aged as young as three, had been sent to Australia.
Care agencies worked with the government to send disadvantaged children to a rosy future and supply what was deemed "good white stock" to a former colony.
HISTORY OF UK CHILD MIGRANTS
UK the only country with a sustained history of child migration - over four centuries
In 1618, 100 sent from London to Richmond, Virginia
In total 130,000 sent from the UK to Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and Australia
Post-war, 7,000 shipped to Australia and 1,300 to New Zealand, Rhodesia and Canada
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.