Gordon Brown: Migrant transportation scheme 'government enforced trafficking'

Former prime minister Gordon Brown has told the public inquiry into child sexual abuse that migrant schemes amounted to "government-enforced trafficking".

Mr Brown was giving evidence to the current segment of the wide-ranging investigation into abuse which is looking at what happened to children who were sent abroad as migrants.

The ex-PM told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) that the forced migrant schemes involving 130,000 children were a "violation of human rights".

Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown

Mr Brown, who issued a national apology to migrants in 2010, described the transportation programmes as a "modern form of government-enforced trafficking".

Mr Brown said a Government minister should be "hauled" before the inquiry to explain why nothing has been done over "sickening" new evidence of abuse which has come to light since 2010.

The ex-PM said the surviving 2,000 victims of the migrant programmes, which continued until the 1970s, should be compensated as a matter of urgency.

Mr Brown said the migrant situation could be "the worst national sex abuse scandal in numbers, length of time unchecked and geographical scope".

He went on: "The sheer scale of sexual abuse of British-born girls and boys could be worse than in the Savile scandal and further children's homes outrages we are aware of.

"Clearly, successive governments have failed in a duty of care.

"Children were denied a childhood, an identity, a family and any sense of belonging. Many, some as young as three, were sent abroad, often having been falsely told their parents were dead."

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