Academic Articles

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A Fragment of the Maltese Exodus: Child Migration to Australia 1953-1965

David Plowman

2010

In this 2010 article, A Fragment of the Maltese Exodus: Child Migration to Australia 1953-1965, David Plowman situates child migration from Malta within the longer history of child migration as part of "British policy from 1618 to 1967."

Over this time, according to Plowman, more than 150,000 British children went sent out to colonies as a source of cheap labour and to build up the 'white' population.

Initially, the Australian authorities were not enthusiastic about bringing Maltese children to Australia because, although they were "British subjects" they were "universally accepted as being very low in the social strata."

Only 310 children arrived from Malta - partly due to racism, partly because Maltese families took in children in need, and partly because parents sought to reclaim their children.

David Plowman insists in his paper that child migration still exists today, but now takes the form of adoption "of third world children by affluent first world parents and the migration of the adopted to the foster parents' country."