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Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Gordon Brown apologises to child migrants
Gordon Brown, migrant children and Monica Crane
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Monica Crane (centre, with doll), and today (right)

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has apologised formally for the UK's role in sending 130,000 children overseas as part of a migration programme.

Many were taken from their families and sent to Australia and Canada where they were abused by their carers.

Monica Crane, from Mepal in Cambridgeshire, was sent to Australia when she was nine years old.

She was one of those in parliament on Wednesday 24 February to hear the prime minister's apology.

Mr Brown said: "To all those former child migrants and their families... we are truly sorry. They were let down.

"We are sorry they were allowed to be sent away at the time when they were most vulnerable. We are sorry that instead of caring for them this country turned its back.

"And we are sorry that the voices of these children were not always heard, their cries for help not always heeded. And we are sorry that it has taken so long for this important day to come and for the full and unconditional apology that is justly deserved."

Before leaving for London, Monica told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: "The apology will help a lot. It will help me get on with my life because, basically, life's still got to go on."

You can read Monica's moving story about her life in an Australian orphanage here:

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