Last night I watched a BBC production called Oranges and Sunshine. The story horrified me. From the end of the World War II to the early 1970s, the British government forcibly relocated British children who had been placed in a children’s home and sent them around the world to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the former Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.
When the parents in England returned to the children’s home to retrieve their youngsters, they were told that they had been adopted by a good family in England. The children who were sent to Australia had been told that their mother or father had died and they were going to live the good life, filled with oranges and sunshine and a perfect family in Australia.
Instead, some of the children were sent to orphanages usually run by Roman Catholic brothers in Western Australia or Queensland, where they were abused and forced to work in the worst possible conditions.
Losing their mother and identity had a terrible affect on the children, which they carry to this day. The most poignant stories were about the victims seeking the love they lost and holding memories of their mother.
In the latest news, there is concern about the rise in child sex trafficking. Barnardo's, a child charity, said that a quarter of the 1,452 victims it had recorded had been trafficked for sex within the country. There is an alarming rise in the number of children being moved around the country by abusers.
The Home Office said significant progress was being made implementing an action plan to tackle the problem. A Home Office spokesman said: "Child trafficking and child sexual exploitation are both abhorrent forms of child abuse and the UK government is committed to combating this crime in all its forms."
How can adults exploit children this way? And how can we, as a society, eradicate the warped outlook and tendencies in these criminals? I don't know the answer. Were the perps. born that way or did they develop their penchant as they matured? With both the exploited and exploiters on the increase, humanity is heading for a catastrophe.
I could cry for the children. With these life experiences, they can't dance with joy. I dread to think how the loss of love from their mother will affect them.