Victims of a forced sterilisation programme in Virginia are set to be compensated, after a ruling by state lawmakers.

More than 8,000 Virginians were sterilised between the 1920s and 1970s, with the state's programmes believed to be the inspiration for Nazi Germany's campaign of forced sterilisation in its efforts to create a "master race".

Lawmakers in Virginia have agreed to pay victims of the programme up to $25,000 (£16,000), after a campaign.

There are 11 people who underwent forced sterilisation in the state known to be still alive.

"I think it's a recognition when we do something wrong we need to fix it as a government," said Delegate Patrick Hope, a Democrat from northern Virginia's Arlington County, reports Reuters.

"Now we can close this final chapter and healing can begin."

Virginia was one of 30 US states to introduce forced sterilisation of those deemed mentally or physically handicapped, with more than 65,000 people sterilised across the country.

The eugenics movement, which had adherents in Sweden, Canada, and Japan, claimed to enhance positive genetic traits through selective breeding and sterilisation.

In 1927, the US Supreme Court upheld Virginia's forced sterilisation laws, and they remained in force until 1979.

More than a fifth of those sterilised were African American, and two thirds were women. Many of them saw medics for other procedures and were sterilised without their knowledge.

In 2011, the state issued a public apology over the policy.