MOTHER AND BABY HOMES: CALL FOR A CROSS-BORDER HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLIANT INQUIRY
KRW LAW LLP represents a number of women who were resident in Mother and Baby Homes across Ireland, North and South. Some of these women were forced to adopt their babies. Some of these women were forced into working in Magdalene Laundries and industrial schools. Many children, boys and girls, were separated from their parents and placed in industrial schools.
The recent publication of the Report of the Committee of Investigation in Dublin and the research commissioned by the Inter-Departmental Working Group in Belfast served only to underscore the human rights deficit in the approaches of the administrations in both jurisdictions to this issue. Both processes – specifically the engagement with victims and survivors – were criticised by human rights agencies including the United Nations and survivor groups.
Today KRW has sent substantial submissions to the Irish Government and the Stormont Executive setting out what needs to happen going forward: an investigation conducted in accordance with human rights standards with the effective participation of victims and survivors.
Separate submissions have been made to Dublin and Belfast and a joint submission has been sent to both administrations requesting a cross-border human rights compliant investigation. This submission has been sent to the UN, the EU Human Rights Commissioner and the European Committee on the Prevention of Torture. Additionally, this submission has been sent to Amnesty International and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.
Any investigation much include examining forced adoption, slavery, forced disappearance, the medical procedure of symphysiotomy, forced vaccination and mass burials.
It must examine inter alia complicity and impunity between state and church, the state with funded and ‘regulated’ these barbaric institutions and the church which was responsible for their operation.
These institutions operated with scant regard to the border and therefore there must be cross-border co-operation in any investigation as demanded by European human rights jurisprudence.
We have also offered to engage with the recently established Truth Recovery Design Panel in Belfast charged with developing the Terms of Reference for a programme of redress.
Owen Beattie, Associate Solicitor, KRW said:
“Investigations to date into the scandal of Mother and Bay Homes, Magdalene Laundries and industrial schools have been woefully inadequate in terms of human rights compliance. Moving forward we are urging a fully human rights compliant investigation with the effective participation of victims and survivors, as broad as necessary and with aim of ventilating a right to truth and establishing a scheme of redress which addresses the needs of those victims and survivors.”