Professor Gordon Lynch has been appointed to serve as an expert witness to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry for its investigation into child migration from Scotland which will run in 2019.
Professor Lynch is a leading researcher in the history of child migration programmes, funded by the UK and overseas governments, which sent around 100,000 children without their parents to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the former Southern Rhodesia. He has previously served as an expert witness in this field to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse where evidence presented by him and his fellow co-witness, Professor Stephen Constantine, helped to underpin the Inquiry’s recommendation that the UK Government should urgently establish a redress scheme to make payments to all surviving British child migrants.
Commenting on this appointment, Professor Lynch said: ‘I am pleased to serve the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry in this capacity. The work undertaken by this, and by previous inquiries, is helping us to build a clearer picture of how child migration programmes operated across the whole of the UK as well as their effects on the lives of those who were sent overseas as children. I hope this work can help the continued process of reflecting what lessons we can learn from their experiences as well as how we can best respond to the many former child migrants still alive today.’
Professor Lynch has also been involved in a range of other work intended to raise public awareness of the history of these migration schemes. In November, the Ballads of Child Migration project, which he helped to set up, held a series of performances across the country of songs reflecting the experiences of British child migrants with Professor Lynch speaking Q&A sessions with audiences at each venue. Recordings of songs from these live performances will be played on a show dedicated to the Ballads project on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show in January 2019.