It is the first report to be published by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).
"We hope that this report offers acknowledgement to those who experienced abuse resulting from the child migration programmes". Most former migrants have died. These child migrants were sent mainly to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). But many children ended up in institutions where they were physically and sexually abused, or were sent to work as farm laborers.
Norman Johnston, president of the International Association of Former Child Migrants, said the inquiry had "pointed the finger" at the British government.
Some witnesses told the inquiry of the "constant hunger, medical neglect and poor education" they faced overseas.
Another told of a group of 15 children being forced to watch as Christian Brothers killed a horse particularly loved by the youngsters as a form of collective punishment.
The report shared interviews with some of the victims, and one witness, Michael Hawes, said his time at Dhurringile, north of Melbourne, could be "better described as torture than abuse", revealing he was locked in a place known as the "dungeon".
Thursday's report said other organisations involved, such as charities and local authorities, should apologise if they had not already done so.
The Catholic Church looks forward to continuing its assistance to the Inquiry.
The policy was justified as a means of slashing the costs of caring for lone children, meeting labour shortages in the colonies, while populating them with white settlers and providing disadvantaged young people with a fresh start, the inquiry said.
Australia's royal commission found evidence of sexual and other forms of abuse at 16 of the 39 Australian institutions the child migrants were sent to.
It's thought there are around 2,000 child migrants still alive.
A number of individuals provided witness statements to the Inquiry concerning the role of various Catholic organisations in the child migration schemes to Canada and Australia. "The policy was allowed to continue despite evidence over many years showing that children were suffering".
The Catholic Church in England and Wales has reiterated "the expressions of regret and apologies" it made during the inquiry.
"So far as the inquiry is concerned, and as the Catholic Council has made clear on a number of occasions, the Catholic Council and the organisations it represents are committed to learning from the past and taking all appropriate steps in the future to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation. This will include, of course, learning from the Inquiry's conclusions on the issues identified".
Led by Professor Alexis Jay, the panel examined the programmes as part of a broader investigation into the protection of children outside of the UK.