Children - building blocks of Empire
From the late 19th to mid 20th centuries mass emigration from Europe created a foundation for Britain's empire. It provided much needed labour and gave people the chance to escape from Britain's overcrowded cities. Child migration is a little known part of this story.
Child migration was seen as a solution to deprivation, neglect and homelessness in 19th century Britain, and became Government policy. When Canada and Australia became self-governing dominions in 1867 and 1901, they supported child migration to increase their populations.
This short documentary explains more about the background and context behind the child migration schemes.