Black children were written off as endangered aliens during Britain’s “Dustbin Schools” that forced pupils to bed early to escape the clutches of the “City Boys,” an 18th-century school report has claimed.
Amnesty International’s Detainee Files report argues that the hundreds of black children sent to quiet, grey “dustbin schools” in the 17th century, to work in overnight shifts in cottages and country estates, “were destined for negative environments in which they would find little support, counseling or professional guidance.”
“Britain’s invisible immigrants, enslaved to the dirty and foul conditions of the coastal shanty towns of the East End of London, had their fate sealed by the Dustbin Schools,” the report states. “Few if any of the children who went there were sent back.”
The government at that time stood by the schools, determined to shield them from criticism by writing them off as a “department at risk of recruiting and educating immigrants.”
Refugee children were accepted into the schools over fears that they would, in turn, “significantly pressure African and Asian immigrants into giving up voluntary work to work in the migrant camps and plantations of Britain,” the report reads. However, in practice, they were “postulated as a suicide threat, or even as a target of physical attack.”
About 50,000 African and Asian children were sent to dustbin schools during the 17th century, most of whom were “extremely ill-prepared to complete their education,” according to the report.
The report goes on to describe how British lawyers put agents and “housemaids” in the schools to help control those who came to Britain, but often they also put women and children under “welfare measures that made it virtually impossible for black Africans and Asians to even continue with their lives.”
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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