The Church of Scotland has apologised for its 13-year participation in an “ill-conceived” child migrant programme.
A Kirk representative said they understand “children and their families experienced trauma and suffering” because of the resettlement scheme.
Thousands of children, generally between the age of three and 14, were sent overseas to countries such as Australia and New Zealand in an attempt to give them a better life. Instead, however, many children were abused.
A number of charities and organisations, such as the Church of Scotland, played a role in the British programme.
Rev Thom Riddell, convener of the Church of Scotland’s social care council, said they are “profoundly sorry for the actions which were taken”.
He said: “The Church of Scotland took part in the child migrant programme between the years of 1950-1963.
“We recognise the hurt caused and are deeply and profoundly sorry for the actions which were taken and for the impact that those actions had on the lives of those affected.
“We fully accept that the programme which we embarked on was ill conceived and understand that children and their families experienced trauma and suffering as a result.
“We believe that it is right and proper that we are held to account for this at The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.
“Although those involved at the time set out to give children a better opportunity for the future than it was thought they would have in Scotland we acknowledge that this was not what happened, and that in reality children were sent into an unfamiliar and often harsh and abusive environment.
“We unreservedly apologise to every migrated child who suffered as a result of our actions.”
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