Plight of child migrants in spotlight

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CAPTURED: Thousands of child migrants leaving Britain (c) LJMU Journalism

Thousands of child migrants leaving Britain. Pic © JMU Journalism

An exhibition which highlights the issues surrounding child migration has opened in the Maritime Museum, after organisers strived for years to make it happen.

The exhibition has been in the pipeline for nearly five years and aims to raise awareness of Liverpool’s past connection with child migrants.

The exhibition titled, ‘On their own, Britain’s child migrants’, is being run by both the Australian National Maritime Museum and National Museums Liverpool, who have collaborated on the project.

Kim Tao, curator from the Australian National Maritime Museum, told JMU Journalism: “It’s been about four or five years we’ve worked to get this at Liverpool.

“The idea has always been on the cards but the main issue has been money and funding. We finally got funding from an Australian government programme, ‘The national collecting institution for touring and outreach programme’.”

It is believed around 100,000 children were sent from Britain to Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries, many of whom left Liverpool by sea in the 20th Century.

Ms Tao added: “It’s about raising awareness about the long history of child migration and really putting it into context about immigration policies and child welfare policies.

“For us it was very important to tell the story from two points of view with this international collaboration with the UK and Australia.

“Liverpool was one of the major immigrant ports for a long time, sending migrants overseas. It is very important for us to put everything into perspective and to have this exhibition in the very place, on the very site, on the Albert Dock and on the River Mersey which is a very powerful thing to have.”

The exhibition features touching stories from the now-adult child migrants – some of whom were local kids from Liverpool and Manchester – and what they experienced on their journey.

About Laura Schumann, JMU Journalism