Paradise lost – Reunion’s stolen children

Between the 1960s and the 1980s, 2000 children were taken away from destitute families in the French overseas territory Reunion Island, located east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Emile Hoarau was one of them.

We accompanied back to his native island, almost 60 years on from when he had been taken to France…

The government was afraid the high birth rate there could further increase poverty on the island and trigger riots that would ultimately lead to independence – especially as France had recently lost other colonies including Algeria. French authorities promised to give these children a good education and a bright future. But often misery was looming, as was the case for Emile Hoarau. He was taken away from his guardian at the age of 9 and brought to France nine years later.

My TV report for DW – and the radio version. (à autour de 30’00 minutes)

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