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Child migrant inquiry - Minister tables Australian response.

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Media Release

The Hon Philip Ruddock, MP

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation


MPS 010/2000


Child Migrant Inquiry - Minister 

Tables Australian Response

The Australian and British Go vernments will cooperate in establishing a central database to help former child migrants trace their families, the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock said today.

This initiative follows a grant of $120 000 in the current financial year by the Australian Government, in addition to $645 000 provided since 1990, to assist with counselling, information, family research and reunion services.

The establishment of the database is contained in Australia's response to the British Government's response to a British House of Commons Health Committee report tabled in Parliament by Mr Ruddock.

The Minister said both governments are now essentially in agreement over measures for the welfare of former child migrants.

"The Australian Government agrees with the British Government that all stakeholders in this issue should work together," Mr Ruddock said.

"In Australia that includes State and Territory governments, churches and others involved in the child migration schemes and the organisations currently assisting former child migrants."

Mr Ruddock said attitudes toward child separation had changed significantly over past decades and that the Australian Government regretted that some had suffered as a result of past practices.

"For many years the Australian Government has helped former child migrants to access their records through the National Archives, and all State and Territory welfare departments have also been assisting. Now that the British Government has recognised its shared responsibility we can do more still," he said.

27 January 2000 

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jy  2000-01-31  12:57