The founder of the Nottingham-based Child Migrants Trust has been appointed CBE in the New Year Honours list.
Social worker Margaret Humphreys brought to public attention the UK's role in sending children to former colonies, where many suffered abuse.
Her organisation helps reunite former migrants living in countries such as Australia with their relatives.
In February, the Labour government apologised for the "misguided" programme, which ended in 1970.
The trust estimates that more than 130,000 poor children were shipped to Commonwealth countries for a "better life" - at least 4,500 of those after World War II.
Many were wrongly told their parents were dead, while parents were given very little information about where their children had been sent.
Some were subjected to physical and sexual abuse by those who were meant to be caring for them.
In 1992, Ms Humphreys was honoured with an Order of Australia for her work helping former child migrants.
Others named in the New Year Honours list include Nottinghamshire's Lord Lieutenant Sir Andrew Buchanan, who was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO).
John Wood, a Forestry Commission community ranger from Mansfield, has become an MBE.
Professor Michael Cooke, chief executive of Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust, was appointed CBE for his services to mental healthcare.